A good RPG is always a reason to celebrate. Especially when it comes to JRPGs. Dragon Sinker blends the best elements from tried games, gives them an extra twist and puts a giant cherry on top.
The folks at KEMCO and Exe-Create know what they’re doing. Just a few minutes in this game prove that an 8-bit retro-adventure is still as exciting as it was yesteryear. The look and feel of the very first Dragon Quest, a story which reminds of Lufia and a gameplay not unlike the job system from Final Fantasy V. Still interested? Read on!
A long time ago humans, elves and dwarves united forces and defeated the evil dragon Wyrmvarg. He wasn’t very keen on taking things lying down. So after many years he stood up again, demanding sacrifices. Now a new generation of heroes rises in search of the legendary weapons to put a definite end to His Scaly Evilness.
Expect to lead a colorful cast on a journey throughout all corners of the world. Grassy plains, dark caves, high mountain tops and other exotic locations await you. You’ll fight turn-based battles against monsters and bosses, stay at inns and raise the troops morale and their stats with new weapons and shiny equipment. Speaking of your allies: each and every one of them has its very own job class. Warrior, thief, priest, baker… Don’t care for a particular job or mastered it completely? Why not have your mage transform into a bard?
And here ends the well-trodden path. Dragon Sinker adds depth to the genre by forcing you to compose several teams. Control up to three parties of max four characters each and exchange them when needed. Even during battles, you’ll need every skill set you’ve got! Some enemies are particularly vulnerable against certain attacks and character types. Not unlike Pokémon: you don’t take a Pikachu to a ground-type fight. That’s common logic. And it runs even deeper than this: the more dwarves in your team, the less chance one of your allies succumbs to paralysis, blindness or a poison attack. Elves protect against status debuffs. Combine this knowledge with more than 16 different jobs and you’ll soon realize that Dragon Sinker brings a lot of interesting strategic options to your battles.
As the silent protagonist you even have a say when it comes to dialogue choices. The phrases you pick don’t change the outcome of the game. However, they do get funny reactions from your allies.
Don’t be fooled by the retro-animation, nor by anything you may have picked up from other RPGs: Dragon Sinker throws mean adversaries at you. The game constantly lulls you into a false sense of security. Even when you have been training your characters. Gamers who don’t pay attention, see their party pay the ultimate price. There are no save points to be found, but progression is saved whenever you like. Your allies are so considerate as to point out a nearing boss fight. Still lost a battle? Even one that didn’t look like quite a big deal until a small fry used a mass attack spell against your party? Don’t fret: the game lets you start over the battle. As long as you don’t give up, nothing is lost.
Once a while you will need a bit of level grinding before tackling the next area. This never feels like a chore. The many sub quests on offer in towns and cities, have you backtracking just a bit. Ideal for getting those extra needed experience points. Don’t miss out on the rewards for completing these quests: powerful weapons, rare potions and new characters/jobs!
It’s not hard to get hooked on Dragon Sinker. If unforeseen circumstances do force you away for a while, it’s easily to get into the game again: controls are intuitive, the map always points to the next main goal and a story summary retells your previous adventures.
Even now RPGs from yesteryear celebrate their golden era, like it never passed away. KEMCO successfully translated their formula to current gameplay standards. Rest assured: Dragon Sinker is a valuable addition to your game collection.