As some of you know, or really most of you should know by now, is that I play games.  Lots of games.  All kind of games really.  And with Cellphones being as advanced now as they are, I even use that device to play games at times.

Ranzal is a big slab of beef, good character though.

While my phone is never on the cutting edge (Seriously, I got an LG Stylo 3 Plus) it’s still a surprisingly capable phone.  And one sort of game I am attracted to are, of course, Gacha games.  Good ol Gacha games, those Free to Play games that try their darnedest to get ya to open your wallet and spend cash on em.  Thankfully, the only ones that have grabbed my attention for any length of time have been Final Fantasy Brave Exivus (which I have stopped playing due to sheer Power Creep) and now Dragalia Lost.

Dragalia Lost is a game developed by Cygames (Creators of Shadowverse and Granblue Fantasy) and published by the big dogs themselves, Nintendo.  Its an Action RPG where you collect adventurers and dragons, and embark on quests to help a Prince save his kingdom.

Visually the game is actually really good looking.  It plays in a 3D Isometric view, fixed camera, with 3D Sprites done in a very Chibi style.  Attack animations and Dragon Transformations are accompanied by appropriate flash, and during story cut scenes each character is drawn in a very nice anime art style.  You start to learn characters by their appearance very quickly as each one looks unique compared to the others.  I love the art style of both the Adventurers, and the Dragons you get to encounter.

As far as gameplay goes, its an Action RPG.  You move during combat by dragging and holding, and attack by tapping.  Dodging is done by quickly swiping in a direction.  You take a team of 4 Adventurers on each mission and in general your objective is to reach the end and kill a boss creature.  Pretty standard for most action RPGs.  What sets the game apart from other mobile titles is Coop for me.  Every single mission and event can be played Solo, or you can join or setup a Coop room, where 3 other players can jump in and the team can go out and fight against whatever hordes of monsters stand in your path.  There are even Raid events, where each of 4 players brings an entire team of adventurers into a boss fight, and these feel very much like an MMO boss fight with mechanics to learn, attacks to dodge and fire to not stand in.  Its a lot of fun honestly.  Best part is most missions take around 2-4 minutes to complete, meaning you can easily get some bite sized gameplay action when you have time.

I do want to take a moment to talk about the audio as well.  This game has some stellar music, including a very catchy theme song and anime styled / jrpg style opening video.  I adore the music in this game.  Plus, this game has VOICE ACTING!  You see, story sequences are played out in a very JRPG styled cut scene, with portraits of the characters on screen with limited animation, and speech bubbles.  But the speech for a lot of it is voice acted and its done very well.  There is both Japanese and English voice acting in the game.  Thankfully the story is solid as well, telling the journey of Prince Euden and his attempt to save his Kingdom from a demonic invasion by finding and creating bonds with Dragons, ancient protectors of his land.  Its very much a JRPG storyline.

You do occasionally get disconnected in CoOp, but its still no big deal. This is the Hypnos Raid.

Now, like any Mobile / Gacha game, you will be doing Summons to get new Adventurers (characters), Wyrmprints (Armor), and Dragons.  This is where the game hopes to get ya to open your wallet, as you either need the premium currency or Wyrmrite to do summons.  The rates are clearly spelled out for your chances on 3*, 4*, or 5* items, and there is a pity timer on the 10+1 pulls.  The longer it takes for you to get a 5* anything, the better your chances become in the future.  It does appear to be a per banner thing though.  You do get both Story characters and Story Dragons, and drops from doing quests so you don’t really need to spend cash or even Wyrmrite on summons unless you want to.  In fact, all the story characters and dragons are 4* and are plenty enough to get ya through the content currently in game.  5* are admittedly more powerful though.  I find that I get enough Wyrmrite right now to summon, and the rewards for daily logins and events are good enough that I dont feel any urge to spend cash on the game at all.  I have yet to really run into anything I couldn’t do with my current squad either, which is nice.  I do expect 6* to be an eventuality, as right now the 5* Level Cap on Adventurers appears to be 80, and we all know that RPGs always go to 100.

Characters, by the way, are improved with Leveling, Wyrmprints, Weapons, and Dragons.  Wyrmprints are basically Armor and provide stat buffs, each character can use a specific weapon type, and Dragons provide a Dragon Transformation as well as stats.  Characters are also divided by Element (Fire, Wind, Water, Light, and Dark) which does matter.  Fire elementals take less Wind damage and Deal more damage to Wind Creatures.  Wind characters take less Water damage and deal more damage to Water creatures, and Water takes less from Fire and deals more to Fire.  Light and Dark counter each other, but ALWAYS in the players favor (IE You won’t take more damage as a Light character from Dark attacks, but you WILL deal more damage TO dark enemies).  Weapons and Dragons also have elements as well, and equipping a Dragon that matches the Element of a character gives a greater boost (IE A Fire Dragon on a Fire character will be better than a Water Dragon on a Fire Character).  There is an entire crafting system for weapons as well which I have barely gotten into, but it is definitely something you will spend time on if you get serious about the game.  Its very Monster Hunter like in that you start with a base weapon and then upgrade it into newer types.

Every Character has a Story to Unlock

Now that I got most of the technical stuff out of the way, I want to talk about one of my favorite parts of this game: The Adventurer and Dragon stories, and the Castle.  This game has a Castle building Minigame, where you build up and design your own Castle / Town.  The buildings you put down have a real benefit, whether its money generation (Gold for upgrades), Dragon Fruits (this is how you level up dragons) and boosts to each Adventurer by Elemental Type (there are 5 Elements).  You can place buildings in pretty much any spot available, and there are decorations you can add as well so you can spice the castle up quite a bit, and its fun to plan out how you want your home base to look.

Further, you can unlock stories for each Adventurer AND Dragon you have.  As you level up your characters “Mana Circles” (which are upgrade paths) you unlock their Stories, which tell you background about who they are, how they met the Prince, and their own goals and history.  I am a guy who loves learning about Characters and this is what really got me into the game.  Every single time I get a new character from a Summon I want to know why they joined Euden (the Prince) and what they are all about, and they are all different.  For the Dragons, you have to fill up their Friendship meter.  Each dragon will accept gifts each day, and give you gifts in return.  You get upgrade materials for this.  As the dragons bond gets increased, you unlock THEIR stories, and can learn about them and everything.  This is honestly my favorite part of this game.

Overall I am really enjoying this game a great deal, and I find it to be a very fair Mobile Gacha game overall, and its definitely quality.  I have encountered no bugs, personally, and while I dont have an urge to spend money on the game I might pick something up just to support the developers.  The gameplay is rock solid and fun, the characters are all interesting, and I am a sucker for Dragons.

Just look at my favorite dragon, the Halloween Event Silke!  She is adorable (and no longer available, because she was a Halloween only dragon.  I got her though!)  How can you not love such a cute character!

You can grab Dragalia online from the IOS and Android store, and if you are looking for a good mobile game its well worth your time.  Now excuse me, I gotta go beat up a Wind Raid Dragon!  (At the time of writing this, there is a Wind Dragon Raid event)

All images used in this post are screenshots of my own game and characters.

Impressions: Dragalia Lost
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