STAFF REVIEW of Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend (Xbox One)

Monday, January 27, 2020.
by Adam Dileva

Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend Box art I’ve played quite a handful of KEMCO games over the past while, as they have a massive catalogue of mobile games that they’ve been constantly porting over to Xbox One for classic RPG fans to enjoy. The newest entry, Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend took me a little bit by surprise. To be completely honest, many of the KEMCO titles are very similar to one another. It’s clear they have a template and formula that’s been working for them for quite some time, and after you’ve played a handful of them, you start to see many of the similarities. Yes, Dragon Sinker feels like many other KEMCO JRPG’s, but this one actually hooked me and had me playing even after I was done the main story.

If you’re as seasoned as I am, then you’ll have fond memories of classic 8-bit RPG’s such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and more from decades ago. If you grew up loving these types of games, or even have a soft spot for them now, then you’ll be happy to know that Dragon Sinker plays much like a love letter to those classics, albeit with its own modern spin on a few things. So if you’ve been craving some classic 8-bit RPG nostalgia, buckle in, as Dragon Sinker will scratch that itch.

For how much I enjoyed its gameplay, the plot is as cliché and predictable as it gets. The evil dragon Wyrmvarg demands a sacrifice from the human kingdom yearly, of which the human King has been compliant. Unbeknownst to Prince Abram though, he sets off to go defeat Wyrmvarg and fails, only infuriating the dragon further. Now to defeat Wyrmvarg, Prince Abram is going to have to scour the continent in search of three legendary weapons; the only ones known to have defeated him ages before.

Doing so won’t be easy though, as Humans, Elves and Dwarves no longer get along and have animosity towards one another. Along the way you’ll just so happen to befriend an Elf and Dwarf, gathering other followers during your journey as well. So while the overall narrative is a dated and overused trope, and the writing is passible at best, I still wanted to stick with it until the credits rolled and I saw one of the numerous endings.

You’ll have your typical setup where you’ll follow the main quest from town to town, exploring a dungeon and defeating its boss, gaining upgraded equipment before moving onto the next. There are a handful of optional side quests that you can partake in, usually asking you to revisit an older area or dungeon, though the majority of the rewards generally never felt worthwhile, aside from the quests where someone new would join your party.

Progression is generally very linear, with the overworld map having sign posts of where to head next and most other pathways blocked off. The same goes for dungeons, as any dead ends generally have a treasure chest, but you never veer too far from the main path. In these dungeons you’ll come across two or three pentagrams on the floor, allowing you to quickly teleport to any of the others you’ve activated in the same dungeon. Lastly, if you plan on completing the optional side quests, you’ll want to spend some gold and invest in a handful of Rainbow Feathers, as these are the items to fast travel to any main town or area you’ve previously been to.

At each new town you’ll have access to purchase new weapons and armor for your three main characters, and if you’ve grinded enough battles along the way, you’ll generally always have enough to afford the top tier equipment at the time. Your journey should take roughly 10-15 hours depending on the difficulty you choose, whereas I got my first ending at just about 8 or so hours in without too much extra grinding. That being said, there’s a lot to do post game if you wish, especially an optional boss that you’ll need to massively grind to even stand a chance against, so there’s plenty of gameplay within should you want.

You’ll face against your typical fair of slimes, goblins, wurms, birds and more. There’s really not a lot of variety of enemies, and harder versions are either pallet swapped or enlarged, indicating they are much stronger. While I do wish there was much more of an enemy assortment, the 8-bit visuals are done great and you’d be hard pressed to tell if this was released recently or back in the 80’s for the most part.

The party system was something I found interesting, though completely useless. You’re able to create 3 parties of 4 players each, for a total of 12 that can be used or swapped to at any time in battle. Abram leads one team, Mia another, and lastly, Bowen the third. Each of these leaders are permanently alongside you to the end, but each can also have 3 other minor characters in their party as well that can be freely swapped out whenever you choose.

The idea of this 3 party system is that you can create three separate types of parties, then swap them interchangeably whenever needed in battle. In theory this works, as I don’t see why not, but I simply balanced my main group, Abram’s, with a tank, healer and damage classes. I actually never swapped out to the other two groups ever aside from trying it out. Factor in that there’s more than a dozen different jobs, of which the appearance of each character will change to suit, and you can create some interesting party combinations.

When one of the minor characters max out their job, usually at level 10, they can switch to another, granting one of your 3 main characters a special bonus ability they can learn, so it pays to level many of them up. Thankfully, all of your 12 used characters will gain experience and job points for winning battles, even if they aren’t technically ‘tagged’ into a battle. Once you find a few class abilities that mesh and work well together, you’ll eventually become unstoppable if you plan out your attacks accordingly.

What surprised me the most though was when I realized there was a lottery system included within. Here you can spend lottery tickets for a chance at some amazing prizes, though you’ll also earn a different currency during regular gameplay that allows for lottery entries with better prizes. While the majority of the time you’ll simply earn some decent items, I got very lucky early on and won a special pet character that was usable in my party and some insanely overpowered gear. This gear actually lasted me to the very end of the game and my pet was by far the strongest of my 12 for quite some time. Thankfully you’re not able to spend real money in this lottery gimmick, though being a KEMCO title, there are some extra DLC’s you can purchase such as double experience points, faster walking, no enemy encounters and other helpful bonuses should you wish.

While it’s obvious at times that this was originally a mobile game that’s been ported, given its extremely repetitive background music and uninspired enemy variety, I still enjoyed the gameplay enough to stick with it to the end. The writing has some humor to it, but is cliché and predictable as can be. Even so, for whatever reason, this has easily been my favorite KEMCO title to date, even if it feels like I’ve already experienced much like it before.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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