You should know, though, that you’ll be seeing a lot of the same nine or so areas, many, many times. After the point in the story when you unlock online co-op, you’ll be asked to revisit the same nine areas you just cleared previously, but with upgraded monsters. Each of these areas will now have an “A” path (they’re all level 17) and a “B” path, ranging from 18-30 depending on the area. The paths will differ slightly in their rooms and enemies, and the bosses will be completely different. In higher difficulties, you’ll once again have these areas to explore, but with up-leveled bosses and enemies.
Conveniently, rewards gained in areas will scale to your character’s level. Opening chests or defeating bosses will reward treasure of a random grade (“S” being the best, down to “E”). Score and gold points are evenly awarded to all party members. At the end of a mission (or leaving a mission), players will be shown the items they earned. This cleanly handles a common ARPG issue: inventory management cutting into gameplay action. On PS3 local co-op, the items will be split between the players, randomly scaling to each character’s respective level.
There’s a lot more I could say about Dragon's Crown, but I’ll have to stop here. Gameplay-wise, I had a blast with the combat and enjoyed the hand-drawn art. Some questionable design choices (especially regarding online co-op) as well as a massive repetitiveness factor bog the game down a bit, however. From a co-op standpoint, Dragon's Crown will probably be the most fun for people who have some reliable (and tolerant) co-op buddies, be they local or online. Just be prepared to deal with some quirks.
The Co-Optimus review of Dragon's Crown is based on the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3 versions of the game. Codes for review were supplied by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Pick from a roster of six characters in online, local, or combo co-op supporting up to 4 players. Join up with friends or randomly selected players to explore and battle your way through nine areas, each with two different paths complete with different bosses. Three difficulty levels in all with their own level caps, but with the ability to go back and visit previous difficulties.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.