PAX 2015: Hands-On Dragon Fin Soup

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Probably the only Roguelike at PAX that is true to its original source, Dragon Fin Soup is a great action RPG that mixes up fairy tale stories into a very deep adventure.

This is yet another of those games that I had seen maybe a screenshot or two before PAX, but is now one of my most anticipated games. If you’ve read my other Roguelike review, you know I love games in this genreā€”and this one is no exception.

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As I mentioned previously, Dragon Fin Soup implements quite a few of the features that the original Rogue had: randomized dungeon exploration, mystery potions, mystery items, etc. However, there are quite a few really cool additions onto this game.

First of all, Dragon Fin Soup has a fairy tale theme going on in it. However, instead of traditional fairly tales, they twist the original content to add more flavor and dark humor to the story. Just as the description of the game, in the PAX meeting invite, says: it’s a raucous, bawdy, fairy tale-subverting RPG that hopes to ruin all your childhood memories.

During my hands-on time with the game, we didn’t go through much of the story (as not to spoil it), but I did see the hilarious changes they’ve done to these old wive’s tales. For example, Little Red Riding Hood, called Red Robin in the game, is a raging alcoholic huntress who’s good with a blade. So expect quite a few hilarious twists on your childhood memories.

 
Probably my favorite addition, to the Rogue-style gameplay, is that in each dungeon or level there are giant enemies that appear to be probably four times the size of your character. These giants are simply frightening when you come across them for the first time, since enemies a usually only takes up a single tile in these types of games. This is definitely the only Roguelike game I’ve personally played that has had huge enemies like this, and I think it’s a great addition.

A few other of the very unique things added to this Roguelike are a storage system and peddlers that are distributed randomly throughout the levels. Other Roguelike games force you to get out of the dungeon to store and sell your stuff, but this one integrates it right into the dungeon, which is great.

During my hands-on time we played one of the modes, called the Survival mode, which is an endless dungeon where you just try to go as far as you can. I was told repeatedly that I probably wouldn’t make it through the first level of the dungeon; however, I managed to not only take down two of the big bosses, but I also made it to the exit. I probably would not have made it if it weren’t for a trap that the big giant got stuck on and it had taken down most of his health.

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The final unique feature that I want to touch on is the addition of pets into the game. This is a genius addition to the gameplay, in my opinion. The pets run around and attack enemies for you to help you cope with all the tough enemies and traps it game (as pets do not seem to be susceptible to the traps, unlike enemies and your character). After a bit of research, the pet idea isn’t brand new for the genre, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it.

The environments in the game were simply beautiful and chock full of life. There were trees in the dungeon that I played, and you could chop them all down and they’d fall over three or four tiles, hurting any enemies in their path.

If you can’t tell already, I’m very excited for this game and can’t wait to get my hands on it. There are several other modes, including an online leaderboard component. The story mode is estimated to be over twenty hours of gameplay, and all together there is over sixty hours worth of content in the game, so I think this going to be one to look forward to.

Dragon Fin Soup is targeting the PS4, PS3, PS Vita and is set to be a staggered release starting Fall of 2015. It’s planned to be cross buy and possibly cross save after launch.

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