By Spencer . May 25, 2007 . 10:02am
I haven’t really gotten far in Custom Beat Battle: Draglade since it arrived yesterday, but I want to give you guys some early impressions about Dimps’ game. When you start Custom Beat Battle: Draglade you can pick one of four characters Daichi who carries a huge hammer, Kairu who is in the picture to the right, Hibito who wields a sword and the martial artist Gai. There is a lot of customization in Custom Beat Battle: Draglade, besides picking your hero you can also select his color from seven choices. I picked Hibito, changed his hair color to blue and jumped into the world of Draglade.
If you’ve been watching the trailers you might get the impression that Custom Beat Battle: Draglade is only a fighting game. While fighting is an integral part of Draglade, I would say the game is more of a 2D action game. Along the journey to each town Hibito runs into open fields where he has to fight cybernetic bears. To defend himself, Hibito can use a three hit combo by pressing Y and block by holding R. Some monsters like turtles hide in their shells and if Hibito encounters a guarding enemy he can do a grab and launch it into the air with a flaming kick. If Custom Beat Battle: Draglade only had a single three hit combo and a downward sword slash the system would get old fast. It is the customization that makes Custom Beat Battle: Draglade interesting.
You can equip six spells before you get into combat, but only three of them are active. One spell is mapped to the A button and the other two can be executed by pressing up+A or down+A. To use the other the other three stocked spells you need to quickly select them from the touch screen. There are hundreds of different spells to use and you start off with a basic fireball. Later on you get spells to recover your HP, armor up to boost your defense and a shockwave of lightning that chases the ground. Each spell has a number next to it and you need to have enough BP to cast it. Your BP passively recovers so you usually have enough energy to release steady blast of flame. However, you can’t spam fireballs. After five shots you’re tapped out and forced to wait until you can use another spell. Besides magic you can use your BP to execute a custom beat combo by pressing L. When you make a custom beat combo you can choose three kinds of beats short (1 beat), medium (2 beats) and long (3 beats) that correspond to weak, medium and heavy attack. You can create your own twelve beat combo from the combo customization menu. It’s up to you if you want to make a string of 12 rapid attacks or any mix of beats to add in powerful finishing attacks. When you use your custom beat combo tones play with your attacks and if you have a good ear you can sample one of your favorite songs. There is one other element players need to master with custom beat combos, timing button presses. Like any other music game you need to match your button tapping to the rhythm, but Draglade is pretty tough on judging your accuracy.
Custom Beat Battle: Draglade also has online play where you enter a one on one match. You use your custom created fighter online, but both players start out with 3000 HP so there isn’t too much of a level gap. I only played a few online matches and unfortunately they suffered severe lag since I was playing with other people from Japan. I imagine the problem might be less if I use a friend list so if anyone out there has Draglade and wants to play a match leave your friend code in the comments.