Dragon Sinker (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Thom Compton 15.05.2017

Review for Dragon Sinker on Nintendo 3DS

Good old KEMCO. While some other companies have tried to bring back the so called golden age of RPGs, KEMCO has been amongst the most successful. A lot of the team's work has aimed to be as much like the old 16-bit RPGs it frequently tries to imitate. While there's been mixed response, they have always remained true to themselves. Enter Dragon Sinker (NUK site, NUS site), and prepare for another blast from the past.

In Dragon Sinker, KEMCO and developer EXE-Create are aiming for an older feel, going back to 8-bit. The beautiful pixels and gorgeous soundscape lend further credibility that the team behind Dragon Sinker are fully capable of doing the job well, and for the most part they do. There are some odd design decisions, though, that leave the game feeling rather lacklustre.

The game begins with Prince Abram and his trusty companions about to strike doom and despair into the evil dragon, Wyrmvarg. See, Wyrmvarg has been demanding a sacrifice from Abram's village every year, or he'll go crazy and start tearing stuff up. This summarization of the story doesn't do it justice - as the player will also discover, there are some social issues afoot between two other tribes.

Still, the story is rather lacklustre, but it's okay, because the gameplay is not. Mostly. The game controls exactly like you would expect. Pick a command, execute it, than wait your turn. Abram and his trusty sidekick, Bernard, start off pretty well powered. Levelling takes a surprisingly long amount of time, but not so long that it feels like it will never come. Think watching a dial-up window connect, but instead of looking at sports clips, you're becoming an overpowered beast.

Screenshot for Dragon Sinker on Nintendo 3DS

Enemies are brutal, even early on, requiring a lot of early game grinding. This causes the story to move at a snail's pace, as even with all of his might and valour, Abram and co. can be brought to their knees fairly easily. That's okay, because another part is waiting in the wings. Being able to switch parties is a fantastic idea, and fortunately, EXE-Create pulled it off, having a party of all mages or half elves and half humans, or however the player wants to set it up. Since characters will also learn jobs throughout the game, it's possible to set up a crazy amount of fighting combinations to eventually slay Wyrmvarg.

The game does, however, make some very questionable decisions. When the party dies in battle on the field (i.e. not boss fights), they have the option to just run away. They will respawn on the map, with only 1HP a piece. This is kind of ridiculous, as it just leaves the party to flounder in their defeat longer if they have no way to heal. It also removes a tremendous amount of the risk involved. If the player can just flee after dying, then preparation becomes less important. With a good stock of healing items, there's no real reason to worry about dying in the field.

Bosses, meanwhile, do not act this way, and death allows a retry, or returning to the menu. This is a nice feature, in case the player just forgot to do something that led to their demise. Dragon Sinker has a lot of nice things included that many RPGs simply do not have. You would be doing yourself a disservice not checking them out.

Screenshot for Dragon Sinker on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Dragon Sinker might be one of KEMCO's best titles to date. With some 50 games already in their catalogue, Dragon Sinker stands out because it doesn't just settle for being like its influences. It finds incredibly clever ways to enhance the experience it has, and while much of what the player is doing is the same old song and dance, those little off beats more than make up for it.






Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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