Part 2: Episode II: In Which I'd Rather Be Playing Dynasty Warriors
Episode II: In Which I'd Rather Be Playing Dynasty Warriors
Alright, let's back up for some gameplay. I think this game might be less fun to play than Dirge of Cerberus. Not even exaggerating here.
Verse 2: To the Castle
So yeah... It seems Caim and the rest of the Union were out playing soccer or some shit when the Empire showed up and started wrecking up shit. That's the only reason I could possibly see for having to rush back to your own fucking base to defend your faction's VIP.
So, welcome to Drakengard's gameplay... Yeah... I hope you like the color brown. Gears of War and its ilk is a tapestry of rainbow like vibrancy compared to the early parts of this game.
So you know how there was this whole "Union Army" during that opening FMV? Yeah... They have all vanished saved various unnamed disembodied voices bitching at Caim and of course Caim himself. A fuck ton of Imperial soldiers are still in the area.
And I do mean a fuck ton.
You see, Drakengard expects you to grind. Grind like a Chinese MMORPG gold farmer. There are sixty five weapons to be unlocked in Drakengard. Each weapon has three upgrades. Upgrades are only had by murdering hundreds of enemies a piece with each weapon in question. And on top of that Caim himself can level up via mass murder.
You see Drakengard rewards experience for Caim by kills and maintaining "Chains". It's sort of like the combo meter in say Devil May Cry. Except there are no combos to be seen here outside of mashing Square while doing a canned flailing with your weapon animation to enemies who take way too many hits.
Now, I'm not saying that's the only method of attack there is. Oh no. It's one of five methods of attacking. You see, upon building up a Chain attack, an orange orb will randomly spawn. Running over said orb will make a big explosion of energy blast out and knock everyone on their ass causing a bit of damage.
There are also magic attacks. The little yellow meter down at the bottom there is the magic meter. Each weapon has its own magical attack. Each magic attack gains strength (read: shoots more of the same shit) as the weapon in question gains levels. Caim's default sword, for instance, shoots a fireball. Upgrading it to max makes it shoot three fireballs.
Caim also has a dashing attack. This is accomplished by moving forward (Caim does not fucking walk) for about six or seven seconds. Caim will then flash and dash slightly faster! Hitting attack will cause him to do a forward thrust which will knock anyone in front of him off their feet for a sizable amount of damage. It is useful when initially attacking a group, seeing as enemies "attack" in this game by basically just chilling out in clusters until Caim shows up to ruin their day.
In many stages, the only thing that matters is offing several enemy commanders. Everyone else is just a bonus. Enemy commanders are easily identifiable by the big ass "TARGET" sign above their heads, the gold symbol marking them on the map, and the fact they have three times more HP than anyone else.
I might as well mention Caim's primary method of attacking while we are here. You see, each weapon has a canned mashing the attack button animation. This animation gets longer and longer with each upgrade. During said animation, Caim's weapon will flash purple at certain points. Quickly mashing triangle when the purple flash goes off makes Caim unleash a big burst of energy that hits fairly hard, knocks everything off its feet, and he's also completely invincible during the animation.
Needless to say, combat primarily consists of mashing the button a few times and unleashing this attack when it crops up. It is by far the most effective means of combat when combating any more than one opponent. It is also boring as shit.
During the combat, random disembodied assholes will cry out shit to Caim. Among the useless dialog is the fact Lord Inuart is with the goddess. We'll be learning a lot more about this jerk off later. Stay tuned.
After taking out the first group of enemy commanders, Caim is tasked with...killing a second group of enemy commanders on the other side of the area.
Caim is, understandably, a bit pissed at this. I know, it is shocking.
On the second half of the map we run into these assholes: horseback riders. Horseback riders are the luck of the draw. These guys' only attack is blindly charging forward toward Caim. If they do indeed manage to accomplish this, Caim is getting his shit kicked in. There is little way to stop getting a javelin in the face.
However, if Caim manages to get the first attack, they are stun locked until pretty much death or someone else decides to attack and the player is too retarded to continue attacking the thing. There's about a three second lag between the AI kicking in and attacking. If the thing notices Caim when he's far off: he's fucked. The dashing attack is his best friend in this instance.
"My sister is inside the castle you failed to protect, fuckwad. Got it. Thanks."
Upon beating down the couple of horseback riders, Caim now must get back the key to his own fucking castle from a pair of jerks guarding the gate. Gameplay!
The guys guarding the gate are basically the reason the "mash attack until purple attack comes up" method of gameplay is necessary. These goliath pricks will go "fuck it" and block Caim's standard attacks after a few hits and unleash an unblockable counter attack immediately after if you attempt to attack normally.
However, spamming special attacks makes them complete walkovers. Oh yeah, there's a dragon in the "bailey". Who the fuck says bailey? Honestly...
A magic treasure box with the key to Caim's own castle appears upon the death of the two iron clad Heavys. Play the little Zelda sound in your heads.
And then running back to the castle gates finishes the first stage.
Six minute of that tedium on just the first stage. Good grief...
And here we have the level up screen. This is the only time I'll show this off. You'll see 68 enemies put our boy Caim at roughly 60ish percent toward a level up. Keep in mind your average enemy right now takes around five hits to kill. And the percentage to level up goes up and up each level. Gameplay!
I mentioned previously that there are sixty-five weapons in total. This is the only stage in which it is a freebie. Not counting this one and Caim's default sword, that is sixty three weapons with shit you would never do, were a FAQ not open on your desktop, to figure out left... Fuck...
Anyhow, this is our first weapon: The Bonebreaker. Weapons are divided into several classes:
- Long Swords
- Pole Axes
As you can see, each weapon has a bunch of stats. Really "strength" and "combo length" are the only things you are reading which are worth a damn. I don't know what the rest are about. I really don't give a damn. Those are the only two that ever matter.
As previously said, weapons upgrade with the more people you kill using them. And by "upgrade" I mean they literally magically turn into more badass versions of themselves with the more blood you soak them in. For instance, here's the fully upgraded version of the Bonebreaker. Only a ballpark of 600 kills with the weapon later.
Now, there actually is an actual interesting reason to upgrade weapons.
No, it is not for the stat upgrades. Like I said, this game fucking sucks and I give fuck all of a damn about the gameplay. No, the reason is that each weapon comes equipped with a Grimm's Fairy Tale. One which usually ends with the user/smith/some random jerk involved with the weapon discovering something horrible/dying horribly/or something shitty.
I will be providing all the full stories of the weapons because Drakengard is just hilariously bleak in all regards. For instance, let's check out Caim's default sword's tale:
I find it a bit dickish to give your kid a sword which is roughly the size of a full grown adult and go "go get them, tiger". But, what do I know about fantasy asshole kings?
Let's check out what the Bonebreaker has to offer...
This is honestly one of the more upbeat stories.
Verse 4: The Way of the Sword
Following a really dull battle with some grunts, of course.
Hyenas: A dire overlooked animal in fantasy settings.
We are again reminded as to the lack of reasoning as to why the Imperials didn't just kill the fucking dragon in the first place. Dragons are not commonplace in this world. There are all of like three in the entire game. All of which are synonymous with "ruining your fucking day" regardless of faction. It's like subduing Godzilla in Tokyo and just binding him on some railroad tracks on the edge of Osaka and hoping for the best.
I'm actually using the Bonebreaker here. The Bonebreaker breaks fuck all bones and has a range of an old woman slapping someone, contrary to the stat screen.
Luckily, Caim is allowed to stick up to nine weapons in a toggle menu to switch between.
The goal for this fun filled stage is murdering everyone, then murdering four more of the Heavies.
I know I made the joke about the drab interior in the previous update but really... Look at this place...
After murdering everyone in the area...
"Is better than bleeding out in this crap shack. Meh..."
Weapon Select/Mission Briefing
Chapter 1 Ground Mission