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User Reviews

Was Square Enix behind this?! Pixelspeech (1006) 3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars
A break from FF saga is always a great thing to spot, but... MAT (204114) 1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.0
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 2.3
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.1
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.6
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.2
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.6
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation or special edition)
Overall User Score (17 votes) 3.1

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Netjak (Oct 10, 2003)
I've been slowly but surely working through the Best of Show List that I made after this year's E3. So far, my #3 Rise of Nations was an Editor's Choice here, Final Fantasy X-2, my #6 was alright, and my #8 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has been bringing the funk, too. Now it's time to take a look at my #5 Drag-On Dragoon, and knock another 10% off my list.
Geeks Under Grace (May 01, 2016)
Overall, Drakengard is a mixed bag. It's a fairly decent story with some enjoyable characters, but it's definitely a game that airs on the darker side. It's a lot of fun to play, but it's extremely challenging and sometimes downright frustrating. Fans of action RPGs will likely love this game because it's one of the very few games that allows you to take control of a dragon and fight as the beast for the majority of the game.
80 (May 24, 2004)
Tout comme ses intervenants, Drakengard est difficile à appréhender. Pouvant paraître répétitif et furieusement peu accessible du fait d'une caméra relativement mal programmée, il faut creuser dans cette couche moins attrayante pour atteindre un coeur passionnant de noirceur et d'intérêt. Le Dragon sera votre meilleur allié dans le plaisir que vous expérimenterez tout au long d'une aventure riche et passionnante. Destiné à un public averti, Drakengard est une expérience, qu'il faut essayer que l'on soit conquis ou déçu.
IGN (Feb 13, 2004)
Forever known as the king of the console RPG market, the massive Japanese videogame giant Square Enix appears to be looking to revitalize its placement in other genres with its first 2004 product, Drakengard. Released in Japan to mixed reviews as Drag-On Dragoon last September, this somewhat low-key project from former Namco employees has only just begun to light the fires under the bellies of dedicated Squeenix fans; and though it was originally presented as an action/RPG when first announced shortly after the Square Enix merger proclamation of 2002, its role-playing elements and heritage are actually rather slim.
Yes, it's simple and not terribly original, but it does provide plenty of fast-paced action and some solid visuals. As action games go, you could do much worse.
Game Over Online (May 04, 2004)
Overall, Drakengard is a title that showed promise, but was hampered from soaring primarily because of its static, somewhat limited combat and graphical issues. This is a pity considering the solid storyline, numerous weapons and multiple endings lend themselves to a large amount of replayability. To experience it, however, players will have to get over the tedium of killing tens of thousands of soldiers. If you’re an action adventure fan or Dynasty Warriors fan, this is probably a game you’ll have in your collection, but for others, you may want to rent it to see if Drakengard is for you.
games xtreme (Aug 17, 2004)
At its core this game is a no-brainer hack and slash game, with a bit of flying thrown in to mix it up a little. The game doesn't excel in either of the game modes, and some of the graphical problems can cause a massive amount of frustration. I was surprised that Square-Enix would allow a game that has received so little polish, be released. In fact, it just feels rushed and lacks any kind of innovation. Some gamers may enjoy this game because some fun can be had with it, though there are other games in the same genre that do so much better.
70 (GAF) (Jul 12, 2004)
Drakengard is a surprisingly long game, clocking in at around 30 hours with multiple endings. Once again, players spoiled by the mammoth hours SquareEnix RPGs normally encompass may bemoan it as being short but within its splintered genre, the length is more than respectable.
70 (Apr 14, 2004)
I had such high hopes for Drakengard, that the review seems more negative than it really is. It’s an “ok” game. It’d be a good 3 day rental. After the first two you may not even want it for that 3rd day, but if hack-n-slash is your thing, maybe check it out. The dragon is fun for a while; the ability to easily switch weapons is nice. The style and graphics are well done, it just isn’t fun. Drakengard doesn’t involve you enough to want to keep playing it over and over.
GameZone (Mar 18, 2004)
Square Enix is well known for releasing original games that take hold of gamers and lead them on a wild ride! When Drakengard was announced I was waiting with keen anticipation until I could finally get my hands on it, but I was really surprised once I did. While this game has the usual Square Enix wonderfully crafted storyline, the gameplay is really lacking in many areas. Read on to find out more.
GamePro (US) (Mar 19, 2004)
Drakengard (or Drag-On Dragoon as it's known in Japan) is Square Enix's latest action/fantasy adventure, a Dynasty Warriors?style hack-n-slash that ups the ante with aerial dragon combat. As is typical with Square Enix titles, a great deal of care went into crafting characters and an epic story line. Unfortunately, the gameplay never truly takes flight.
GameSpot (Feb 23, 2004)
To its credit, Drakengard is greater than the sum of its parts. The main cast of characters, while not terribly well developed, is interesting and rather unconventional. Though the story itself is awkwardly paced and is sometimes difficult to keep up with, it becomes one of the main motivating factors for wanting to get all the way through to the end of the game. Beyond this, multiple endings, optional missions, and all those hidden weapons might keep you busy for a while longer. The action itself in Drakengard really isn't bad; it's just very repetitive and rather simplistic. This is a shame, because if the gameplay had more to offer it would be a lot easier to recommend the game as a whole.
Diehard GameFan (Mar 17, 2004)
This is a good game, but not a great game. It was an admirable attempt at something different. It would have been more enjoyable if the sky missions were retooled, but that just may be a personal thing. I would suggest to anyone who wants to cut people up to give it a rent, because I can’t see myself buying it, even though I liked it. It’s fun in short bursts, but that’s about it.
The Video Game Critic (Jun 08, 2004)
One drawback is the lack of any kind of camera control. It's usually in the right spot, but tends to pan very slowly. Drakengard's graphics are exceptional. The red dragon's skin has a brilliant sheen, and enemies wear impressive suits of armor. One graphical flaw is the ubiquitous "fog" that hides scenery when you are wandering around on foot. It's especially egregious when you know a castle is near but you can't see it. Darkengard features multiple endings, and if you manage to collect all the weapons, you get to see a particularly bizarre one. Drakengard is a good-looking, quality title for those who like a lot of action in their adventures.
Jolt (UK) (Jun 10, 2004)
I have a penchant for bladed weapons, and bladed weapons is what you get here, with over 40 to choose from as you guide Caim, Prince of the Union Army, through a clichéd storyline that tells of Dragons, swordplay and a captured Princess. I don’t know about you, but if I had to go through all that’s entailed in rescuing a princess then the least I would expect is a shag at the end of it. Unfortunately for Caim, all of this is out of the goodness of his heart, because the princess is his sister. Let her burn I say, sisters are a pain in the arse anyway.
Deeko (2003)
Drakengard is a game that could have been so much more, a title that had potential written all over it but managed to live up to none of it. Though the storyline is unique and satisfying and the musical score is nothing short of brilliant, the overall gameplay elements that make up Drakengard are tedious and irksome, leaving you with a game that you may never actually finish. If there had been more to do attack wise or perhaps some slightly more unique missions to enter into, the game might have worked, but what we're left with in the end is game that never manages to be anything short of mediocre in more ways than one, which is a shame given the quality of the story. It was a valiant attempt, but a failed one to say the least.
UOL Jogos (Mar 17, 2004)
"Drakengard" tem todos os sinais de um projeto que recebeu grande atenção da Enix, mas aparentemente a tentativa de lidar com uma trama épica, um clone de "Dynasty Warriors" e de "Panzer Dragoon" foi demais para o estúdio. O conceito tem potencial, mas a falta de cuidado na criação de suas partes resulta em algo que deve gerar sono... e não adrenalina.
G4 TV: X-Play (Mar 27, 2006)
Optional chapters, multiple endings, and being able to replay stages amount to a game that's certainly lengthy, but they multiply an already great repetition factor. If you're willing to sacrifice depth of gameplay for depth of story, you may find that "Drakengard" is a worthwhile purchase. We recommend gamers take this scaly beast for a test drive before you make a pact with your local game store, lest you bite off more than you care to chew.
60 (Aug 20, 2004)
Of course, any game in the genre will have to be compared to the mighty Dynasty Warriors series, and Drakengard is no exception. And comparatively speaking it holds its ground well; having a more engaging storyline and variety of mission types means that those who are feeling a little jaded by Koei's current offerings will lap this up, and should applaud Square-Enix for trying something a little bit different. With that in mind, Dynasty Warriors devotees should seriously consider a purchase. For the rest, try before you buy. Drakengard is not the next evolutionary leap some may have hoped for - but it is no dodo, either.
Thunderbolt Games (Jul 07, 2004)
I'll say it again, if the game had had the guts to end after the first ending it would have been great. Not an essential purchase, but considering its budget price one that would have offered 10-12 hours of intense gaming with a great story and an interesting hybrid of styles that work very well for the shorter duration. By artificially extending the life of the game, the cracks begin to show and by the time the third or fourth ending comes around any narrative coherence has been lost and the gameplay is shown up for the painfully limited button bashing that it is and can't sustain the level of storytelling found in much longer and deeper rpgs. Play this game by all means, but once the first ending has rolled around, pack it up and file it away, or trade it in to hang on to your good memories of it. Don't be tempted to play on, it reveals nothing of importance or interest. Sometimes more is much, much less.
I'm a sucker for leveling up and gaining new powers, yet even with a healthy dose of these elements, I wanted nothing more than to permanently shelve this game.
GameSpy (Feb 25, 2004)
Dynasty Warriors 4 does the ground fighting with more variety and interest. Panzer Dragoon Orta takes to the skies with more spectacular success. But Drakengard has both aspects melded into a confusingly epic game including numerous side-quests and dozens of sharp pointy objects to thrash about with. Got a spare 20 to 30 hours, and a hankering for mindless medieval bloodshed? Not been pressing the Square button enough? Go on -- give this an intense weekend rental.
Overall it's mediocre in every respect. If you like a hack 'n' slash that keeps things simple then it might just appeal to you but like Unlimited Saga it's another Square Enix title that just downright disappoints.
Legendra (Jun 30, 2009)
Nous voilà devant un titre original mais un peu ambigu, les qualités du jeu étant en dent de scie. Certains aspects comme les personnages, le scénario ou l'ambiance en général sont bien réussis, tandis que d'autres sont médiocres, surtout les graphismes qui sont atroces et le gameplay, bien qu'il possède de bonnes inspirations, qui est raté en raison de sa répétition et de la gestion approximative des animations et collisions. C'est bien dommage, car le titre était très prometteur sur le papier.
Yahoo! Games (Mar 05, 2004)
Here's the deal. You hate dragons. You also hate the empire that's been sacking your kingdom. In particular, you hate the chump who's brought you to the brink of death with a sword in the back, forcing you to make a pact with a dragon (who you hate, remember) in order to survive. Such is the tale of a boy and his dragon in Square Enix's action epic Drakengard. It builds on what should have been a no-loss proposition, grafting the endless melee of Dynasty Warriors to the majestic dragon-flight of Panzer Dragoon. Too bad the resulting beast is more Frankenstein monster than anything else.
Game Revolution (Mar, 2004)
While Drakengard combines two distinct gameplay styles, neither works well due to the awful AI and severe repetition. Enemy pop-up and some slowdown don’t help either, but this dragon is kept alive with an interesting story and a plethora of upgradeable weapons to play with. If you’re in the mood for some mindless enemy destruction, Drakengard delivers, but would-be dragonriders with more discerning tastes might want to give this beast a wide berth.
So overall, Drakengard is not up to the quality I would have expected from Square-Enix, (and I don't expect too much from them these days) so I would say you're best to stay away from it, and unless you're a huge fan of the genre - you can decide which one it is trying to fit into.
ActionTrip (Mar 12, 2004)
So, to sum up, not the finest effort made by this company, especially recently when they have come out with some real gems. The good things about this game were only so-so, and the low points could almost redefine low. For all the effort I put into playing this game, in the end I was left very unsatisfied. The game modes are too repetitive, and the action gets slow and fast too quickly. (Trust me it can happen.) The game just gets boring because you do the same three things over and over. Even looking for secrets doesn't help. And to even make the game palatable you have to put on a CD and mute the TV. I hate to disappoint Square fans all over but this one just isn't worth the effort. I take some satisfaction that though it is a Square-Enix title, this game was actually developed by a third party developer (Cavia).
RPG Site (Feb 23, 2014)
There's something about Drakengard that really makes you want to like it. Cavia really tries to do something different with this title, with the plot screaming hopelessness and with characters that are far from heroes. It's a shame, really, that the game itself is an absolute slog to play through, and the story was more or less butchered (due in no small part to the fair amount of censorship with the North American version). Honestly, it's easier--and at some points, more comprehensible--to read a synopsis of the plot rather than to play Drakengard itself; trying to run through hours of boring ground and aerial missions will ruin the title's few interesting points.