Gacha Pact ‘Em All
Fantasy MMOs: take a look on Google Play and you’ll find tons of them. After trying out several dozen myself, they all begin to blend together. Dragonicle is a new fantasy MMO-JRPG by Aura Kingdom 2 developers X-Legend Entertainment. This title recycles many Aura Kingdom 2 assets which isn’t a good look. Nonetheless, Dragonicle has the potential to be a diamond in the rough. Does it have what it takes to stand out?
In Dragonicle, you are a hero from the land of Asran tasked with searching the kingdom for fragmented Dragon Souls. Bringing them together allows you to form a Pact with the Dragon Soul, granting a unique transformation and powerful ability. It’s unclear how many Dragon Souls there are to collect, but they are numerous. X-Legend developers are actively adding new features to Dragonicle. That being said, players won’t run out of new Dragon Souls to collect any time soon.
Ups and Downs
Dragonicle is hard to pin down. Its graphics are superb. Its handling is responsive, but it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi in the story department. On one hand, it extends an opportunity for a fantastic adventure. On the other, however, it proves to be a grindy wasteland rife with in-game transactions.
I found it hard to immerse myself in the adventure given the cluttered interface. Long-time MMO-JRPG fans may be less phased by this common aspect of the genre. Gradually allowing the player to access new menus would curb the potential for sensory overload.
Questing oftentimes feels repetitive, particularly Pact Quests. Players often fight through the same battle several times until all fragments are collected. This gets old quickly. On the upswing, whether you prefer to team up or go it alone the player base is friendly and wholesome. Players shouldn’t have much difficulty finding others to join their adventure. Bear in mind that Epic Bosses roam area ruins guarding rare loot and are difficult to subdue without a team.
While in-game purchases aren’t make-or-break, Dragonicle doesn’t slouch when pushing players to spend their dough. In-game purchases are frequently encouraged in order to give the player a significant boost, thereby reaching higher levels faster. This is one of the game’s more robust features, which comes as a disappointment.
Middle Class Customization
Players choose from four classes with unique abilities. Each offer a different balance of stats respective to their class. These classes should be familiar to anyone who has ever played a fantasy RPG: Archer, Mage, Paladin and Shadow. Once your character reaches level 150, additional character slots open up to try other classes.
Unfortunately, character model and gender are fixed respective of class. Thankfully there are a few opening customization options such as hairstyle, colors, facial features and accessories. While leveling up, players collect a plethora of outfits and accessories to help their character stand out. After a certain level, mounts and pets become available for those who are a big fan of self-expression.
Overall, character customization is limited, and class options are run-of-the-mill. It would be nice to see the devs open that up going forward. Perhaps adding more feature customization and classes distinctive to the world of Dragonicle will lend the game more unique appeal.
To Idle or Not to Idle?
Dragonicle is touted as being a one-game-fits-all for MMO gamers with different playstyles. I found this to be somewhat untrue. While players may choose to auto-battle or go about battling manually, the ‘auto’ button will auto-toggle. As soon the player uses an attack or ability the button reactivates, and your character will hack and slash with automated abandon. Moving the character in any direction will interrupt the auto-battling and switch it off. Those looking for strategic battle will not find much substance here. Often the only strategy involved is timing your dodge-roll as the enemy powers up a special attack. To me, this feels about as strategic as playing a slot machine.
The silver lining to the auto-battle mechanics is that it prevents battling from feeling like a button masher. While it doesn’t hurt to repeatedly mash the attack button, it doesn’t really help either. In that sense there is some versatility to the gameplay, though it appears less an intentional feature and more a technicality. It’s as if manual gameplay is just a placebo tactic to convince non-idle gamers of Dragonicle’s duality.
All things considered, Dragonicle has some kinks to work out. There isn’t much to distinguish it from its predecessor Aura Kingdom 2. Fans of the latter likely won’t find reason to make the switch aside from some new game mechanics. The storyline isn’t fleshed out enough to captivate, and the battle system needs serious work. Is Dragonicle an MMO maverick? No, but with a little TLC it could be.
Is It Hardcore?
Dragonicle needs to place less emphasis on idle and gacha elements and spend more time on separating itself from others in its category.