Dragon Pals is a side-scrolling MMORPG that blends elements of several different titles, including Dawn of Darkness, Wartune and even Dragon city. And the mixture turns out to be cheap-looking and ridiculously familiar and as a result, tiresome all the way through.
It hasn’t been long since games like Dawn of Darkness, Legend Warriors, and Immortal Realms came around with the same gameplay and slight differences in visuals or trivial details. And that is what Dragon also seems to be doing. In this game, players, as in all the three abovementioned titles, travel across towns, crawl dungeons, recruit companions, and enhance gear to increase their power. Thanks to the automatic navigating and the side-scrolling maps, the adventuring remains simple enough to be handled by newbies of this genre.
Perhaps about one hour into the game, players would realize that Dragon Pals manages to distinguish itself from all the other side-scrolling games. And the reason does not lie in the exotic settings with tents and Arabic architectures, nor in characters’ eye-catching outfits. It is the game’s presentation of elements from titles of other genre into this already too familiar gameplay.
Instead of battling bosses and then including them in their battle formations, players rescue or kind of collect dragon eggs, which when cracked open reward with dragons of different appearances and attributes. Those dragons, or pets as the game suggests, can be transformed into more powerful ones.
However, aside from the egg collecting and the surprises resulting from obtaining new dragons, Dragon Pals shares nothing in common with Dragon City. Rather, it bears a close resemblance to Wartune, a title that combines many familiar contents in one package. There is this Demon Tower, which works in the same way as the Tower of Trials in Wartune, where players climb up, battle monsters and bosses, and obtain rewards such as gems at Level 5, Level 10, Level 15 and other such levels. Besides, players could challenge other players at the Arena, cultivate different types of crops in their farms, contribute to the statues (whose counterparts in Wartune are the ancient trees) in friends’ farms to help harvest special items, spend Amethysts (or gold in Wartune) to obtain the orbs that could ultimately increase their battle competence.
Naturally, the game fails to spare players from the problems in those previous titles when it attempts to retain the fun part. For example, the small-sized towns are always crowded with identical characters and pets as in Dawn of Darkness and other similar titles, and the repetitive tower climbing and money-consuming orbit fetching stuff feel only too familiar to be enjoyable or to be worth the efforts at all.
The game’s embracing of old game contents doesn’t exclude flaws of its own. For example, players could only use a maximum of 3 skills in battles, and the skill buttons do not respond to mouse clicking or hotkey pressing, although during the tutorial, players were told how to use one. All the battles throughout the game, including PvP and PvE, single player and multi-player ones, require only the automatic combating, which notably aggravates the boredom and lack of difficulty out of the unwelcome familiarity.
It simply won’t make sense to keep at a game that constantly reminds us of this or that title without any unique fun of its own, any fun at all.
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