Draglade Review
Draglade box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Dimps Corporation 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atlus 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 4, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Greater accuracy with your timing will improve the damage you deal. A superior level of accuracy will let you power up the "phat beat combo," which deals a ballistic assault worthy of its name. New musical beat combos can also be purchased as you visit different cities on your quest. A built-in editor also lets you visually arrange the brief musical phrases to concoct your own original beat combos, and there's an added option to change the musical sound that accompanies the notes. Overall, beat combos are a neat addition to the fighting formula, but it's unfortunate the rhythm component does not factor more heavily into the gameplay.

Draglade screenshot

The bullet collection aspect is an appealing one since you can easily spend a substantial amount of time attempting to locate all of the many common and rare bullets. Throughout the game, new bullets can be obtained by defeating enemies or purchasing them with credits earned in battle. There are over 100 different bullets available between 10 different elemental types including fire, earth, water, lightning, wind, ice, poison, flower, sound, and void. They can also be traded with friends using the DS' wireless function. Certain opponents are more susceptible to damage dealt from a particular element, and the option to customize your special attacks for an optimum fighting style against a particular set of foes lets you strategically pinpoint and target their weak spots.

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Visually, Draglade's relatively lackluster anime artistic style and presentation looks like it could have been pulled directly out of (insert any number of generic Japanese-inspired action game franchises here). The fully-animated 2D characters, scenery, and arenas appear decent enough, but they're generally uninspiring. The music is interesting and varied for the most part, and the Japanese emo track at the opening screen is worth a chuckle. Playing through the solo mode with each of the four main characters unlocks their rivals for play, but facing off against human opponents is a big part of what gives fighting games additional staying power. Fortunately, the multi-player options here are substantial. Aside from the being able to trade beat combos and bullets, players can battle their friends or play co-op quests via a local wireless connection. The game also supports single-card download play to let you thrown down with a pal even if you've only got a single copy of the game. If you don't have any friends handy, it's easy to jump onto the online WiFi network and duke it out against random combatants.

Draglade screenshot

It's easy to get a little hung-up on the presentation, but Draglade is a good fighting game when you look deeper beneath the exterior trappings. The controls are tight, and the action blows by at a steady pace. Adding a touch of rhythm into the mix is a fresh and exciting idea. The musical elements could have been implemented a bit more thoroughly throughout the game, but all-in-all it brings something new to the brawler formula.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • A creative mix of fighting and music. Intuitive controls allow players of all ages and skills to get into the game, while a vast assortment of customizable fighting techniques and devastating combinations allow for advanced fighting tactics. Use Beat Combos to create a powerful melody.
  • Unlockable Extras. Discover additional characters and special techniques - there are plenty of things to collect. Each character will have their own unique weapons and attributes.
  • Customizable characters. Mix and match moves to tailor your fighter to your preferences, and expand your arsenal of abilities by trading skills with a friend.
  • Local and Nintendo WFC multiplayer. Play against players across the nation in a one-on-one test of skills, or connect locally with a friend and take on cooperative quests.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    3.1
    Graphics
    Colorful 2D artwork and animation comes across feeling stale and generic.
    4.2
    Control
    The controls stay fluid and fast by keeping things simple. There's an amazing amount you can do without having to input tedious button combo sequences.
    3.8
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The action hit sounds of beat combos are fun to listen to, and the rest of the music is more than adequate.
    4.0

    Play Value
    It's a well rounded fighting game. You may get sick of looking at it, but overall there's a lot of content to explore.

    3.9
    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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