Shit just got real with Dragon’s Crown. A new update has been released for Dragon’s Crown, and this is a pretty significant update. First the Level Cap. Originally, the level cap was 99 on Infernal Mode. Now players can play the game in Ultimate Mode, which lifts the level cap to 255. On top of this, a new dungeon called the Tower of Mirages has been added. It’s a dungeon of randomly generated rooms and has, I’m not kidding, tens of thousands of levels. Looks like my Amazon Twerka’s gonna have a lot more twerkin’ to do before I declare her adventure complete (I just started on Infernal Mode). Ultimate Mode becomes available only if you beat the 9th floor of the Labyrinth of Chaos.
On top of this comes a few more gameplay improvements. Now when you attack enemies, you can see a damage total instead a bunch of numbers popping up. If you have a save file with the story complete, you can now play as other characters and skip straight to the Talisman quest. Also, if you completed quest as your main character, you don’t have to do the guild quests again as the others (so now I can rock the Sorceress without dreading doing those quests over, like the solo challenges…). And finally, if you’re still having trouble seeing your characters in the midst of all the chaos, you can now toggle character transparency for when they overlap.
So get out there and get crackin’ on that new level cap. And remember, this update is free.
Before Dragon’s Crown and its online beat ’em up mayhem, there was Grand Knights History. GKH was a PSP RPG by Vanillaware that was rather online heavy with players choosing a kingdom to align with and going online to face other players and their kingdoms. Two years after release, publisher Marvelous Entertainment has announced that the game’s servers in Japan will be shutting down, effective October 31, 2013. The game was scheduled to be localized by XSEED (with Europe’s Rising Star Games using their translation of the game for European release). However, when Vanillaware’s time, resources, and funds were running low due to Dragon’s Crown development and UTV Ignition shenanigans, XSEED had no choice but to drop the localization. This disappointed Vanillaware fans, hurting even more so knowing that the text translation was complete and it was up to Vanillware to insert and program the English version (which is then followed up by more QA).
Out of morbid curiosity, I asked XSEED’s Hatsuu if there’s any chance of GKH being picked up again and getting released now. I pretty much expected a “no”, and that’s exactly what I got. So sorry Vanillware fans, this is one game we won’t be playing.
Remember that mode in Double Dragon on the NES that allowed to to fight against your pals as either Billy or Jimmy? If you do, then this should be a pleasant surprise for you. It’s been confirmed via Famitsu (translated by Siliconera) that Dragon’s Crown will have a Player vs. Player mode in it where you can duke it our with others either locally or online. The article doesn’t state what kinds of matches are possible beyond a 4-player battle royale, but I’d imagine that other kinds would still be possible, like 2 vs. 2, handicap matches, etc. Since it’s possible to play as the same characters in the regular mode, I’m assuming the same can be done here.
Want a reason to have the Sorceress narrate your journey like it’s sponsored by Vodafone? Well you might be in luck. Atlus has confirmed that for the first month of Dragon’s Crown’s release, the Character Narration voice pack will be free. With this voice pack, the character you pick for your journey will narrate the story instead of the regular narrator. Not quite sure which parts have narration, but a good guess would be when you enter a dungeon and the narrator tells the stories pertaining to that dungeon.
This will apply for all six playable characters. It’s unknown what language the voice pack will be.
Ahem… pardon my lack of professionalism (and constant fellating of Dragon’s Crown). So then, it’s confirmed that the artbook Japanese gamers get when they pre-order Dragon’s Crown will also be available for U.S. fans as well. Judging from the image above, it looks to be a soft cover if the the sort of “depth” of the spine is anything to go by.
Vanillaware games have been really deserving of an artbook, and and we’re finally getting one. Along with George Kamitani’s art and concepts, other popular artists have contributed to the book too with their interpretations of the Dragon’s Crown cast. They include Code of Princess artist Kinu Nishimura, Darkstalkersartist Akira Yasuda (aka Akiman), and Street Fighter/MvC veteran artist BENGUS.
In the midst of all the tasty hoopla surrounding Dragon’s Crown, I thought why don’t I go check out the website of the game I covered extensively since its UTV Ignition days. I already knew that the Japanese site was updated with new U.I. and enchanting music courtesy of Hitoshi Sakimoto. So I wondered if the North American site was still the same as we saw it when UTV was still publishing it. Lo and behold, they did give it the same facelift that the Japanese site had gotten, though it probably took long for them to change it. Last time I checked was around the release of the Sorceress trailer.
The release of Dragon’s Crown draws ever closer in Japan, so Atlus will be putting together videos detailing each of the individual characters players can choose from. Starting with the Fighter, he seems to be the go-to person if you want a balanced character with attacks and defense. That shield of his can protect allies who might be in harm’s way. Take for instance the scene in 0:27. The Fighter stands in front of the Sorceress (more on her after the break), blocking enemy attacks while she casts some magic against the enemy. Alongside some sick combos, Fighter also has some good crowd control in the form of a shoulder tackle. If things get to hectic, the fighter can tackle an enemy, sending them flying across the screen and away from him (and probably to another ally that can properly deal with it). Fighter’s also got an attack that’ll bring surrounding enemies to a crumple state, giving him some room to breathe.
Atlus said that they’d divulge new info on Dragon’s Crown today, and they’ve done just that. They released a new trailer, showing off a slew of new characters that we haven’t seen before. After the flourish of player characters, we see what looks to be a king and a queen (or maybe an artisan and a queen?). Right after them is a knight with with a sword through his chest holding a scroll, a priest, and a rather burly knight (the same knight from the initial reveal). We see a different merchant this time around, probably from the same guild as the other one we saw before. We then see a burly Conan-The-Barbarian looking dude and a menacing woman afterwards. Enemies perhaps? Then we see a man from the eyes of someone holding out his hands, a woman draped in a white gown lounging, and a mouse dancing someone’s hand.
Previously on News Regarding Dragon’s Crown, Atlus took over publishing duties from UTV Ignition. They also started lending a hand in the actual development of the game. Since then, well not much else was known (outside of Atlus censoring the Amazon and the Sorceress in the U.S. side of the official website). The trailer itself is pretty short, but quite a few new things are shown. For starters, we see some new art for all the characters. We can also see what seems to be player indicators over each character’s head and damage output numbers for attacks. We also see some new locales not seen in the initial trailer, including a ruined tower that can be traversed from the inside and outside via magic carpet. Finally, we see more of that mysterious merchant-like person that followed the heroes in the previous trailer. This time, he’s accompanied by a fairy.
Many feared that the game was in trouble after reports surfaced that developer Vanillaware were having problems making both Grand Knights History and Dragon’s Crown at the same time. The troubles piled on after XSEED cancelled GKH‘s localization since Vanillaware would have to do the programming (XSEED lacks this), and they already had their hands full. Now that GKH is released in Japan, they can now focus on Dragon’s Crown development. Atlus is also reported to begin talking about the game this March. Screenshots from the trailer after the break.
Finally some good news for this ambitious title from Vanillaware. After concerns popped up as to whether or not Dragon’s Crown was alive, and if Ignition was capable of publishing the game after parent company UTV’s acquisition by Disney, Atlus has come in to save the day. Late this evening, Atlus has announced that they will be taking over publishing rights to Dragon’s Crown. Not only that, they’ll also be sending over some of their own to help out with the production of the game. Dragon’s Crown was slated to release this Spring, but Atlus has stated that it’ll be pushed back to 2013. They also stated that the game can’t retail for $30. Not sure if they’re referring to price of the PS3 version or the Vita version. But hey, Joystiq is right. Since Atlus is doing this, we’re probably gonna get some kind of extra goodies when getting the game. Speaking of which, this is the first time Atlus has published a Vanillaware title since Odin Sphere.
But man, you gotta feel for Ignition. Just when it looked like things were going good for them, Disney comes in and makes things a bit iffy.
A while ago I expressed concern over the fate of Ignition Entertainment and what Disney might do to the company now that it owns a commanding share of UTV, Ignition’s parent company. Well, two bits of info has surfaced. First the good news. Ignition has announced that it’ll be bringing over Magical Drop V. Magical Drop V is part of a long running puzzle game franchise by Data East. To the rest of you, you probably know of Magical Drop from this animated gif that’s circle around the internet for ages. But Magical Drop is a really fun game, fast paced, and really, really hard. No lie, computer opponents will kick your ass with cleats on. If you wanna try out Magical Drop, it’s available now on Wii’s Virtual Console and PSN.
And now for the slightly sad news. Someone by the name of Matt Donnelley had forwarded an email to IGN stating that Amazon had cancelled his preorder of Dragon’s Crown, stating that the game would “not be released by the supplier on the expected date. As a result, we cancelled them from your order and your credit card wasn’t charged.” Amazon proceeded to delist the game from their catalog. Just to make sure, IGN also checked Gamestop, and the game is no where to be found either. After the story was posted, an illustrator from Vanillaware tweeted that the game was still in development and to wait for an official release announcement. This delisting thing could mean that either something Ignition related might be happening, Vanillaware needs to delay the game a bit, or, like Xenoblade, Vanillaware/Ignition might choose one store to sell their game. For now, we wait.
Late last year, XSEED Games said that they would be bringing over PSP game Grand Knights History and planned to release it some time around Winter. Normally, as the season draws closer, we’d get a more precise date and, in this case (niche game and all), a small marketing push. Well it’s February, and absolutely noting has come out from XSEED about Grand Knights History, a title developed by the Vanillaware. Siliconera did some investigating on XSEED’s Facebook page and saw that fans were also wondering about the game. They came to the conclusion that XSEED themselves have no idea when they’ll be releasing the game.
Grand Knights History has already been released in Japan to good reviews and sales. Vanillaware is still developing Dragon’s Crown, but even the fate of that game’s Western release is in question. And now that the world’s looking toward the future with the Playstation Vita, interest in this game will plummet, and XSEED might either have to bring the game to Vita, keep it on PSP and expect very low sales, or drop the game altogether.
Grand Knights History, the somewhat ambitious PSP RPG with online play in mind, has been picked up by XSEED and is slated for release in the US. Released not too long ago in Japan (and to good sales no less), this is one of two games being made by Vanillaware (the other one being Dragon’s Crown for PSV/PS3). Grand Knights History is a turn based RPG where you choose one of three kingdoms to represent (Avalon, Logres, or Union) and create a squad of knights to take into battle. You can also go online with your squad of four and battle other players (representing one of the other kingdom). For European gamers out there, Rising Star Games will be handling the publishing duties. Grand Knights History is slated for release sometime around Winter on PSP.
In case the huge knockers didn’t give you a hint earlier, Vanillaware has revealed a new game for the PS3/PSV called Dragon’s Crown. Before giving ya’ll the goods, some details on the game has surfaced. The game is going to be a 4 player co-op game and can be played online, with an option for solo single-player. Kinda sounds similar to their efforts with Grand Knights History. It also seems to be taking a more character building route, with treasure and loot to be had. You can play as 6 characters: Wizard, Sorceress, Fighter, Elf, Dwarf, and Amazon.
Update: Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown Facebook page has made available super high-res versions of the Sorceress and Amazon.