Dragon Sinker is a casual JRPG inspired indie adventure game from Exe Creates Inc, the developers being the Asdivine Hearts and the Revenant Saga series. The game is clearly made as a love letter to the golden age of JRPGS with 8-bit graphics and although it just seemed like a purely easy mode game for gamers, either veterans in the JRPG genre or those experiencing it for the first time, it actually adds some very unique quirks and mechanics worthy of praise.
First of all is the Dragon Point Shop or the DRP Shop. As well as experience points and money you also earn dragon points which allow you to play the tombola machine where you can win anything from unique party members, powerful gear or potions and other items. While tombolas are nothing new, it feels like a fresh take on it and with optional characters up for grabs it is certainly fun to play. Gameplay-wise, all the tropes are there. Traversable overworld, various towns and dungeons with side-quests available. The side quests are decent and have you revisiting areas but also give the potential to earn optional party members which make them more than worthwhile. I have to point out though that the only way to move and interact with the world itself is via mouse click which is more than frustrating. It’s such a shame that controller or even keyboard bindings weren’t included and the game certainly loses points for that as well as the lack of a functional fullscreen feature. Two really noticeably annoying things that are difficult to look past.
Moving on to the battle system, here is where Dragon Sinker wins some points back. It has the convenience of an intuitive auto battle mode and the tried and true party row mechanic, but more than that, you get various stat and experience buffs dependant on who is in your team, what race they are and what job class they have. For example, if you have 3 humans in your team, your human job class experience rate increases. Not only that but you have 3 parties, each headed by a different race and they also have a statistical effect on your party as a whole on top of who you have in it. This gives you a lot or versatility in your team building, something this game makes a major feature out of, and one that adds a lot of replay value. Before I go too far into teams though, I should mention the plot. The story surrounds Prince Abram on his quest to defeat the dragon Wyrmvarg. Abram’s father, the king of Beigenthal City has had little choice but to offer up tributes to the dragon to keep him from decimating the kingdom and killing everyone but Prince Abram has had enough. Foolishly charging in with his two friends Bernard and Clarke, Prince Abram is defeated and loses a friend in the process. Rather then scold his son, the King instead sees the good in what his son is trying to do and gives him some gold along with his blessing and sends him off on a quest to obtain the legendary weapons and meet the other nations of the world in order to gain strength before facing the dragon again. A lot of clichés but honestly a fun little story and compelling enough to continue playing through.
The music can often seem a bit grating but it’s to be expected when emulating JRPGs from the 8-bit era. Some of the songs are really great, others get old really fast. Overall the sound effects are pretty average and while they could be improved upon, they could also be much worse. Still, I doubt in the state these music tracks are in currently that anyone is going to be clambering to buy an OST. But back to the team building. This to me is the more standout feature in the game.
As I mentioned earlier you control 3 parties, each headed by a member of a different race. You don’t start out like this but eventually you unlock these team leaders which allow you to mix and match to add to your battle strength. As I also mentioned earlier, the Dragon Point Shop and Side Quests potentially award you optional party members and there seems to be a lot of benefit to party member collecting. Each has different classes and abilities and mix well with others and worse with some. It’s actually really fun to collect and build. It’s almost a shame that your team leaders are limited to just 3 because I’d have been happy setting up a lot more parties.
Sadly there is no achievement set for Dragon Sinker either which is a shame as that too could have added additional replay value but with all the optional content, side quests and characters, I can’t complain too much. Overall, compared to what it does wrong, Dragon Sinker does a lot more right and much of what it does do wrong would easily be remedied with a simple patch. If I was going to be pessimistic, I’d say that this is a lazy port of an IOS/Android Smartphone game that doesn’t add anything compared to earlier releases but in many ways it doesn’t have to. I have my minor grievances with the lack of controller/keyboard support, lack of fullscreen support, lack of achievement set and what not but honestly it’s just fine. Dragon Sinker is a Golden Age of JRPGs love letter and is worth it for genre veterans to have a look at.
REVIEW CODE: A FREE PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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