Drakengard 2

Here be dragons

Dragons are cool. They can breathe fire, fly, and in this game at least, speak. And it's a good job that dragons are so cool, because without them this game would be very mediocre indeed.

Take the cut-scenes, for example. There are trillions of them, all dull and oh so worthy, involving characters who like to remain motionless throughout with lumps of text at the bottom of the screen to sift through. No thanks.

Then there's the third-person combat. It's not what you'd call bad, but it sure ain't exciting either, despite the huge amount of weapons and magic you can slowly acquire and level up over the course of the game. Each character has a standard slash and a second attack that launches enemies skywards. Combining the two with a jump move results in plenty of devastating combo attacks.


Not that you'll really need to be an expert or anything, since for the most part, enemies are content to stand around on the battlefield waiting to be hit - much like the soldiers who are supposed to be helping you out. You can actually get through most of the game by hitting the slash attack button over and over again until the blister on your finger starts weeping. The only time enemies are able to get the jump on you is when the awkward camera helps them attack from somewhere off-screen.

So, back to the dragons then. There's enormous fun to be had from picking off hapless enemies on the ground with fireballs, while the lock-on targeting works well against aerial opponents. Best of all is the Dragon Overdrive, a super-charged attack that inflicts thousands of points of damage. Genocide is very satisfying.

Drakengard 2 is decent enough, but ultimately looks a bit cheap and doesn't really pull off its ground or aerial combat with great conviction. It mutters 'average' from the first minute to the last.

The verdict

A completely ordinary hack-'em-up for the most part with nothing much to get excited about, but controlling the dragon is quite good fun.

PlayStation 2
Square Enix
Square Enix