Instead of clearing stages, think of Dragon’s Crown as a game that’s broken into quests producer Kashow Oda explained to Dengeki PlayStation. Dungeons in Vanillaware’s beat ’em up have multiple routes and you’ll have to follow specific paths to obtain items. The next time you visit the same area you may do different actions, which changes how the area feels.
Oda gave a specific example, at one point in the game you can steal an item from a boss monster. Steal the treasure and you’ll tick off the boss who will retaliate by chasing you through the stage – even into different dungeons. Oda says players have choices in the game like deciding to fight, run away, or to search for secrets within a stage. Altogether, Oda says the game has between 40-50 hours of play time.
You don’t have to complete quests alone, Dragon’s Crown has a multiplayer mode. Yes, it’s possible for everyone to be the sorceress. The game will display a players name and a color variation (red, green or pink were listed as examples) so you can differentiate who is who. Having an entire group of sorceresses turning enemies into frogs may not be the best strategy. To remedy this, Dragon’s Crown has items, equipment, and magic, which can compliment players. Oda hopes teams will discuss which party to use before tackling a quest. Fighters, for example, have high defense and can act as tanks by protecting the entire party. Dragon’s Crown has an in-game communication system too. Oda says, you can respond with "thank you", shown as a pop-up image in the game, after a fighter covers you from an attack. A single player game ends when you run out of lives.
… and then your character turns into a pile of bones. Revealed first on Siliconera, Dragon’s Crown has a bone catching system where you can retrieve the skeletal remains of other players. Bring these into town and you can revive the fallen players as NPCs in your game. There is a cap to how many bony NPCs you can retain and Oda says its in the tens. (So, somewhere between 10, but less than 100.) Like Demon’s Souls, players can leave a dying message with their corpse. A fairy and thief also follow your party around as NPCs too. They act as in-game guides.
Dragon’s Crown is in development for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Ignition will release the game in North America in spring 2012.