Dragon of Legends (Early Access): Progress Log #1

One of the unexpected benefits of doing these progress logs leading up to reviews is that it’s possible to cover Early Access/In Development titles that were previously off-limits; it would have been irresponsible to review a game that’s not technically finished (not that this has stopped some reviewers), so it’s nice being able to talk about a game like Dragon of Legends that’s currently in an alpha state without having to analyze it and play while in “reviewer mode.” As for the game, it’s a Viking-inspired action RPG sporting pixel art that has lots of personality. Beyond that, your created character begins the game post-shipwreck and can subsequently wander around and pester strangers while wearing nothing but lime green underwear.

There’s some alpha bugginess here

There are three clips in the video above. In the first, a wolf boss-type thing who has to be killed as part of a quest summons two wolves who appear out of nowhere, which is weird. Even weirder, one of them randomly disappears right before I hit it with the killing blow. The second clip is of the perk tree thing, and what’s strange about it is that some things you can upgrade don’t tell you what they do. It’s possible that they don’t do anything yet, so selecting them instead of a 2.5% upgrade in damage (or whatever) might be a bad idea. Right now it’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on here, basically. The third and final clip involves receiving a wearable reward after defeating the wolf boss from earlier, only for the game to disallow equipping it because my level wasn’t high enough. The reward had a level 4 requirement, though, and I finished the quest as a level 6 character. Oddly enough, I was able to equip it later, but only after quitting out of the game and reloading. Of course, issues like this are to be expected being that it’s an alpha, but it can still be a bit frustrating to hit a bug like this while you’re trying to figure things out because it’s difficult to tell whether such things are outright bugs or simply misunderstood features.

I’m always puzzled by start-and-stop music

There are also three clips in the video above. The first two highlight how the music tends to stop and then start back up again (which is less of a problem in the second example because of the prolonged pause, but still), and this is always one of those things that leaves me scratching my head. If you don’t have a way of analyzing where the music is and having it hop back to repeat, cutting the tail off of a track in a digital audio workstation and pasting it into the beginning is an easy way of seamlessly looping music. That second option can lead to tracks sounding a little strange to begin with—though in all honesty, it’s rarely noticeable unless you know to listen for it—but even that could be remedied with a short fade-in. Moving on, the third clip highlights how piercing one of the instruments gets when it starts hitting high notes. Stuff like that can become really fatiguing, and some EQ could go a long way here. Switching up the instruments to something more realistic would also help, as some tracks have a very “generic MIDI” sound despite being well composed.

The controls can be a bit awkward at first

I started playing as the wizard, and he does quite a bit of damage. However, his default attack is a charge attack that locks him facing whichever direction he’s looking at when you click the left mouse button. There are no controller controls here (at least, not right now), and the direction he shoots in is determined by his facing as determined by the WASD keys rather than where the mouse is. This is just unfamiliar enough of a combination to trip me up. That having been said, I think that Xpadder could be used to great effect, as the way the controls work seem well suited to a controller. I’ll probably get something like that set up for the next progress log.

Uninterrupted gameplay

Dragon of Legends displays in a 1280×720 window by default, and I couldn’t for the life of me get it to go fullscreen (the settings button doesn’t work at the moment), so I ended up recording in 1920×1080 and then cropping the rest of my desktop out in After Effects. Aligning a bunch of different videos seemed like a hassle, though, so I ended up recording and editing one large video and then cutting pieces out of the result to point things out. Much easier. Above is the full, uninterrupted video, and you can see various things I didn’t mention, like the Rick and Morty reference at 5:37.

[Click here to go to Dragon of Legends (Early Access) log #2]

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