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Average User Score: 8.9May 28, 2015It's a delightful little game that tries just as hard to unlock your imagination as it does to capture your heart. Next gen platforming atIt's a delightful little game that tries just as hard to unlock your imagination as it does to capture your heart. Next gen platforming at its finest, utilizing the Vita's touch capabilities without forcing it. This game might not be action packed, but it's sure to put a smile on your face in ways other than some of the mindless violence games that are a dime a dozen these days.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Nov 9, 2013Solid game play, great polish, but frustrating design decisions plague every facet of game.
First off, I have to say that the game play andSolid game play, great polish, but frustrating design decisions plague every facet of game.
First off, I have to say that the game play and production value shown really is stellar. Controls feel solid and button mapping is as intuitive as it can be for a console RPG. Graphically, there is great draw distance and pop-ins are few and far between. The game can hit some lagging if a lot is going on during a fight with many enemies or if you try to pull up the pause screen while the game is auto-saving, but it's not game-breaking in the least. Plenty of equipment to customize your character, though most of the good stuff isn't until later in the game.
As a longtime fan of RPGs, I've seen my share of 1st person and 3rd person RPGs make its way to the console world. DD:DR has certainly done a fine job of creating an atmosphere and feel that immerses you into the medieval, dragon-filled universe. The world you are able to explore is massive. So massive, in fact, that it takes you a good 15-20 minutes of traversing just to make it from your starting town to the next one, shorter if you choose to run past possible packs of enemies. But this is where a few design decisions affect your experience. With a world so vast, you would think fast traveling would be a given, something free and simple to go back and forth between your towns and other places you've discovered. Instead, you're left with having to use ferrystones (for towns) and portcrystals (for dungeons). Though ferrystones aren't too expensive, it still becomes something you are required to track in your inventory. Getting them from one man hidden away in a remote section of a large town is a journey that becomes frustratingly repetitive. I know the developers chose to weave in night-time gameplay to make users think and plan their journeys between towns and dungeons, but after a while, you get sick of trying to find your way through seemingly endless paths through forests and canyons. And with fast travel not being a viable option at times, you would think the map design would be more detailed and easier to use. Not the case. The zoom function is a joke, and there's little detail in the map except when you get into a town. It shows little in terms of items, enemies, or treasures. Your map seems to be only a tool for getting from one town to the next, and even that becomes frustrating at times.
Which brings me to my next point about questing. You would think with all the manual traveling you'd have to do, the quest interface would be well sorted and planned out. There seems to be none of either. All the quests are jumbled together, unsorted main quests from side quests. Waypoints for quests are ambiguous and leave you scratching your head to figure out where you're supposed to go. This combined with the traveling made me think twice a few times about moving forward and investing another hour or two. Something so critical as quest sorting should not be left this unfinished. There have been plenty of RPGs in recent history who have done this well, so there's no excuse not to at least copy a layout from another game.
When you're not a vagabond, scouring the lands for items, you're fighting enemies. But one crucial element is missing from battles, in my opinion. Target lock would be most helpful. It's certainly not broken without it, but it sure made it look like my character was swinging blindly to complete the move set while the goblin in front of me before, is now behind me. I played mainly as a magic archer from the first chance I had so my arrows had a natural homing ability. I can't imagine how it must be to play as a regular archer without this skill. Manual aiming fine for one or two foes, but when hordes come at you, dispatching them quickly becomes difficult.
All in all, a great game with only minor quibbles. But the world traveling really made me just as mentally exhausted as it was physically for my character (stamina depletes quickly; no sprinting for you).… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Sep 22, 2013This review might be coming a bit late, but since the price drop, it might prove useful to someone who was waiting for it to be within theirThis review might be coming a bit late, but since the price drop, it might prove useful to someone who was waiting for it to be within their budget. And now that it's only $20, it's certainly worth a go around.
If you've been a fan of the previous Criterion games such as Burnout Paradise, you'll feel right at home with this open world racer. The cut scenes, crashes and game mechanics are virtually the same except licensed cars are being smashed around instead of your generic look-alikes. Graphically, it's about as detailed as you can hope for in a portable racer. The textures are nice with only a few anti-aliasing issues with headlights and far away buildings. There were some graphical glitches that I couldn't overlook such as clipping right through a mountain side when my car caught a little too much air or my car looking like it's having a seizure if it lands awkwardly on the ground. Those were rare, so it was rather excusable. The game is beautiful. Because it's the full version of the console equivalents, sometimes the fonts were a bit too small to read on the loading screen and during dialogue captions.
The gameplay is definitely on the arcade side of things with the cars driving and handling relatively the same across all makes and models. Tap the brake while accelerating through a corner and your car is sure to drift. Since the obvious formula the developers were going for was the Burnout style of racing, this didn't feel entirely disappointing. Although you would hope that there would be a larger difference in handling when comparing a rear wheel drive powerhouse muscle car like a Z01 and a rigid compact cornering machine like the Ariel Atom. Sadly, this was not the case. The only real notable differences were changing to off-road tires to boost handling in the dirt. All in all, it's still a blast to zoom past on-coming traffic as they look like nothing but blurs on your screen.
The sound is definitely compressed and the crashing sounds are more reminiscent of a thunderclap than metal colliding. From the Vita speakers, it's not very noticeable as they can't produce low decibels very well, but once you put on a good pair of headphones, these details all come to light. Overall, it's nothing overly distracting and doesn't take away from the gameplay and only audiophiles would truly penalize the game for it.
Overall, this is a solid game that warrants you spending your hard earned $20, especially since this game doesn't lack anything that its console counterparts have. All the cars, all the races (and even some nice exclusives), and all the options are here. Although, I will say that there is no DLC available for this version so you'll have to settle for the normal versions of each car instead of your ever so slightly tweaked versions you can buy in the DLC. No complaints here. They're fine for me. As a final remark, for all those who continue comparing this version to the console version, it would be like comparing Little League baseball players and MLB players. You just can't do that. The hardware just can't produce the same amount of detail, so just judge it for what it is; a beautiful and full spectacle on a completely portable platform. So just stop ragging on the kid for not being able to hit 30 homeruns a year.… Expand