Dragon Star Varnir lets RPG battles take flight
Remember our review of Death End Re;Quest? When we wrote that Compile Heart are known for their refreshing and groundbreaking RPG’s? Aimed at gamers who enjoy Japanese styled games? They proved themselves once again with Dragon Star Varnir!
Quick! Read on!
Dragon Star Varnir is your typical RPG, well-seasoned with lots of those delicious anime-flavours. Not unlike series like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, you will spend most of your time bashing adversaries on the head or frying them with your spells, turn-based style. All in the good name of world peace, of course. Not one for clichés, this game brings quite some variety to the genre and will keep you hooked with its moving story, colourful characters and interesting game mechanics.
Witches, dragons and knights, oh my!
Enter a world where young girls with magical powers, called witches, are cursed to give birth to dragons. Ruthless creatures that are born by gnawing their way through the witch’s stomach and thus making their very first victim.
You are Zephy, a knight tasked with hunting down witches. During one of your missions, your bravery almost costs you your life, but two witches come to the rescue. The dragon blood which is used to save you from the brink of death has a curious side-effect as it transforms you into the first male witch, including all the magical properties.
You can not go back to your old way of life: your dear old colleagues would skewer you on sight with their swords and spears once they notice you slinging spells and soaring through the skies. Siding with the witches is your only option if you want to survive. All the while giving it your best shot to achieve world peace and trying not to make more enemies
A layered approach to the battle
Dragon Star Varnir’s main strong point in comparison to other RPG’s is its battle system. Skirmishes are fought out in mid-air. During those moments all parties soar above the ground. Adjust your height to perform physical attacks. You would rather stay where you are? Fry them with a well-aimed fireball. Position yourself strategically against any attack or to attack others. Try to line up your enemies by knocking them to the same height level so your allies can easily attack all of them in one go. There are plenty of strategies to choose from!
Battles are quite impressing. Even more so once you collect enough energy to unleash your inner dragon. You will not get as big as a Pokémon during a Dynamax transformation, but the power level of your physical and magical attacks temporarily increases!
When it comes to spells and attributes, this game is as straightforward as they come. It’s only obvious that fire dragons are weak against water attacks. Try to devour them to gain their powers. But, beware: sharing is caring! Carefully think and plan who should eat what to get your whole team on par.
Grinding WILL be the end of you
During the early chapters of the game you will be responsible for the fate of three young witches. They need dragon meat to survice. Give them too little and they will go mad. Give them too much and the dragon within them will grow and eventually kill the witch. The story and its ending are influenced by your efforts and/or your benevolence to keep the girls alive. Not unlike the first two games within the Bioshock series, where you had the choice to save the Little Sisters or to claim their power by killing them. These particular witches are worth more in death, but keeping them alive is a sign of your RPG-prowess.
Grinding? Hah! Those poor witches get more hungry the more you grind for levels. And you do not want to feed them too much dragon meat… Do you?
Dragon Star Varnir soars on so many levels
At times the story can be a bit of a yarn and the writing may be slightly off when it comes to credibility. Nevertheless, the end of every dialogue keeps you wondering how things will work out for all characters. Beside cliffhangers, the game also offers a lot of funny moments.
Another little drawback concerns the environments, which can be a rather bland. But, again, the characters make up for all of this. And the gameplay is refreshing without leaning on the gimmicky side.
Does Dragon Star Varnir bore or soar? Be assured: this game soars on so many levels! If you really want to try something new within the RPG-genre, then go with Dragon Star Varnir.