In typical RPG fashion, killing enemies garners experience points, which in turn leads to increasing levels. Levelling up is a simple affair, but it does allow a small amount of customization of the dragon. With every new level the dragon gains points which can be spent improving abilities such as fly speed, health, or firepower. In addition, those points can be spent to buy new and more powerful spells. The dragon can also improve by collecting various gems that are trapped in monster lairs. When a set of 5 like-colored gems are collected, a special bonus is granted, such as another spell hot-key slot, increased life or increased natural attack power.
The biggest problem with the game, however, is the repetition. After the first few missions, most of the game settles into “kill monsters, build town, repeat.” I managed to stay involved, mostly because I just enjoy mindlessly blasting monsters every once in a while. But even I was getting a bit tired of the same old thing over and over again. The few thoroughly unenjoyable non-dragon missions scattered throughout do break up the monotony, but not in a good way.
I thought the graphics were decent enough, although they’re certainly not cutting edge. The dragon looks cool, and the attacks and spell effects are well done. Each of the monsters has a unique look, and it’s easy to differentiate them even when soaring high. The eating ability, in particular, looks great. I really enjoyed the ability to swoop down and grab some hapless critter, then noisily and bloodily chow down. The first time I watched this, I sat manically giggling for several minutes. Sounds are a bit weak, mostly various soundbites when monsters die or spells go off. The voice acting is poor at best, and in a disturbing fashion the subtitles never match what the cutscenes were saying. The music was decent, though almost as repetitive as the rest of the game.
For all its faults, it’s still just a great deal of fun to play a dragon. The game isn’t terribly long (less than 20 hours for a single play through), so those bothered by the repetition don’t have all that much to put up with. I found myself enjoying most of the time I put into the game, but mileage may vary. All in all, the I of the Dragon is a decent enough title whose lack of polish mars what would otherwise be a very entertaining and original game.
Who doesnâ€™t want to play a dragon? Unfortunately, a clunky control and a bit too much repetition keep this from being a great dragon-focused action-RPG.
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