“Zero: I see… Mikhail
Mikhail: What is it?
Zero: It’s… Time…
Hi guys I’m back! I actually took some time to play this game fully and actually happen to 100% complete the game itself getting the platinum. Also sorry the picture’s this size, when you press it, you’ll see how big it really is. Anyways, I actually was interested in the game when my brother actually finished the game and i wanted to try it myself and see how it is. Playing the game, it got me hook with the characters, the story, the music, the animation and CGI along with the well drawn background and i absolutely loved it all. Although, there were somethings that i happen to have dealt with during the game that i kinda wish Square-enix would hopefully fix and make sure it doesn’t happen in future games. Well, Time to Start this review. This is the review of Drakengard 3 (Drag-on Dragoon 3 in japan) on PlayStation 3. Developed by ACCESS Games and published by Square-enix in both America and Japan. Images are from the Drakengard 3 wiki as it has some outstanding shots, artworks and info on the characters and game itself.
Ah Let me add one more thing, This review will have spoilers to those who have not played the game, So please read at your own risk. I will try to not spoil as much as possible
“This is a story of six sisters in a world protected by song. But one of these sisters seeks to bring about the world’s ruin. And she won’t rest until all the others are dead.” -Drakengard 3 Release Trailer
The Game was Developed by the company who worked on the game NIER (which i haven’t gotten to play.) From its wiki, it says the game was made for its 10th anniversary for the first Drakengard game. As the launch trailer above stated, we are going to go the origin of the Drakengard series and where it all began. Before i began the game, i actually didn’t intend to hear the English voices. I heard them ahead of time to see how well they did, The only 2 voices that i liked was Disciple of Intoner V (5), Dito, and Disciple of Intoner II (2) Cent. Dito was voiced by Yuri Lowenthal and Cent was Liam O’Brien. Those guys were the only ones who i found perfect, but as for the female characters, the other 2 Disciples of Intoner’s IV and III, And the Dragon Mikhail (along with how the English voice actors announce Mikhail’s name) I didn’t like it. So I ended up switching to the Japanese voices.
I thought the japanese voices would come in-game but they didn’t. But, You can buy the Japanese voice pack on the PSN store for $4.99. It may take some time to download cause the size for the voice pack is 9.8 Gigs. (yes you read that right) but to me it was well worth it to hear the original Japanese voices for that price.
The game Starts, the narrator tells you of the story as it says here below. Oh and no i didn’t cut it off with the Beau- part. That’s part of the CGI cut scene itself
“Long ago, in an age tarnished by endless conflict, five beautiful goddesses descended upon the land. The goddesses sang mystical songs that restored peace and harmony to our broken world. The people began to worship these holy songstresses, and came to refer to them as “Intoners.” Thanks to the efforts of these Intoners, the chaos of war became a distant memory. And as a result, mankind enjoyed a an age of sweet reverie, basking in the newfoundlight and beau- “
This is actually one of the scenes that hooked me into the game as well, and that is the CGI Cut scene. It was Gorgeous and could not believe my eyes the beauty of the cut scene itself. I actually thought this was outstanding and was wondering what it would look like on the PS4 itself. Sadly don’t think it will happen but here’s wishing!
You are introduced to the main protagonist of the game. Zero, Once named rose, She is now called Zero. A beautiful white hair 19-year-old girl who is on the hunt to find and kill her 5 Sisters with her partner at her side, Michael. Michael A legendary 8000 year old dragon who became partners with Zero.
As you get to play the prologue, you are also introduced to the 5 Intoner Sisters that Zero is trying to kill. The 5 sisters name go in numbers of 1-5. No really, Their names are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
(Top Left, 5, Top Right 4, Right 3, Left 2, Top Middle, 1, Bottom Middle, Zero)
They also have the numbers place on their forehead to show which number they are. They go with the roman numerals. Each of them also has a different personality but I’ll get to that later. With Each Intoner, they also have their own Disciple that help them in battle as they also have the ability to summon their own song given to them by the intoners. In the prologue, well Zero doesn’t have any, nor do you see the sisters have them during the prologue.
Once the prologue is complete, we go into a time skip as we go to the present of where the game is currently at. You are able to walk around with zero but she is a bit different than before since you now see her with a flower in her right eye. The reason for the flower? We’ll get to that in a bit. But one thing is missing and that’s Michael, her dragon partner. Sadly, He’s no longer with her. So instead, she ends up having a reincarnation of the dragon Michael and well… This reincarnation of Michael is more childish then he was before. Don’t believe me? You see him roll around in the mud, get screamed at by Zero, Then he pisses himself in the mud. The game then starts but you see him run of apologizing for what he did so you have to chase after him. Zero refuses to call him by his name so instead calls him stupid dragon.
(This was a promotion for the game as all the characters were given a chibi form like Mikhail right here. )
When I was introduced into the characters, i was a bit confused as to how zero will be handled Mikhail along with the thought that Mikhail is in fact a dragon, so how will Mikhail be though the game, will he be a very scary dangerous dragon, or childish as you saw him. Zero in fact actually handles Mikhail the ways she wants, she actually abuses him, feeding him rotten meat, hitting him, stabbing him with her sword and even screaming and being angry at him for things he did wrong. But no matter what Zero does to him, he always cares and loves Zero no matter what. When playing though the game, you understand the Mikhail is a caring dragon who doesn’t wish to kill anyone, but find a way to reason with them than fight it out or having to kill them. But he does hate Wyverns.
Mikhail usually doesn’t understand some of the adult jokes that fly though the game as he just ask what they were doing. Like how he asked what Zero and the intoner were doing at night-time with Mikhail hearing all the moaning and what they were doing and said he wanted to join next time. Zero rejects the idea as Mikhail just questions why. It’s very funny to me how they made both the characters personality as it is and i think it was a great job with the writers doing that. As you continue to go with the story of the game, you will slowly grow and attachment to both Characters as both Zero and Mikhail Grow a bond together that can’t be separated and deep down inside, Zero really cares for Mikhail, no matter what she does to him.
As the game play begins with the first chapter, you slowly start to get use to how the game is, giving you a tutorial of game. Health bar is on top, your Strong attack usage is the bottom bar. Square is normal attacks, Triangle is your Strong so be wise to use it as much as you can as you can use them for combos or you can use the bar itself to protect yourself or parry attacks. It will use the bar so be useful of the guard cause i never really used it in the game until it was to parry arrows. I didn’t know how Important it was during the Survivor Challenges you will get to later in the game. The Game itself plays smooth for an action role-playing gaming. But there were problems i did have with the game that i really wish square-enix or access games could have done to fix the game itself.
(Yeah the thing on his head happens to be DLC which if you buy the Collectors edition you can download it )
There is another game play you actually happen to run into and that’s the flying shooting games. I don’t remember the name of it but its where you’re in the sky flying and aiming and shooting. So you do have those kind of game plays but that is with Zero and Mikhail together. You also play in that mode during the fight between IV (4). There is one thing that must be mention and that is that every boss fight, you will be fighting as the dragon Mikhail with Zero on your back. As you control Mikhail, it’s the same controllers but without the hack and slashing this time, instead it’s fireballs, dodging and giant headbutts into those boss! But be careful, They will aim to shoot you down sometimes and they will send their troops after you, so you can either fight in air, or on the ground.
After the Mikhail fights, you must then fight the Intoners with Zero, but be careful when you decide to go into Intoner mode. When you go into Intoner mode during the fight with the sisters, they will also go into intoner mode with the time limit being the amount of blood you have on the flower icon next to your health bar and Strength/guard bar. Each time an Enemy is killed, or enough damage is done to a boss or enemy, the flower bar will start to fill up. Once you see a small light flash along with a sound, it means you can now go into intoner mode. So be use to use it when you need to or for emergencies. To Know when you are in Intoner mode, you will be press L3 and R3 Together, Zero will scream and turn red as the picture below showing you can are now in that mode, Your power is increased and so is your defense and speed. But it also helps when a spirit takes over an enemy who turns dark. When activating Intoner mode, the spirits will be forced out, giving you a chance to kill them before they go posses another enemy.
I can also say for each mission and for each Accord Request you do during the game, you collect money, Gain level experience and gain weapons throughout the entire game. Doing certain Accord Request gives you some cards, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black. Each of them giving you the chance to upgrade your weapons. The more you upgrade, the most expensive it gets. It will use one card per though so make sure you have enough in stalk to level them up. Accord’s Request give you some of the cards, but also when doing story mode, there is chest that you can open which give you Weapons, Money or Cards. So keep an eye out for those. They will also be available at the shop when you are choosing a chapter along with many other items and weapons you can buy. One thing that was annoying would be money grinding. So you’re gonna need to save up A LOT Of money to upgrade every single weapon in the game, and if you do that, you are given a special costume for Zero. I won’t tell you but it helps you during the survivor Challenges so i suggest you upgrade every weapon in the game!
Now before i continue with the story review, i actually wish to speak of the problems i mention above.
The problems with some of the games are as Followed.
- Frame Drops
- Unresponsive movement during Survivor. (I will explain but it RARELY ever happens. Happen to me like 3 times. but i can pause the game.)
- Small Bugs/glitches with enemy’s
Hear me out on this before i continue it’s story review. The problems of the game play was kinda of thing that i did mind and hoped one day they would patch and fix the game, but sadly they won’t do it. Here are some of the things that happen during the game that you will experience but the game is still beautiful and wonderful to play even if the problems have occurred.
I’ve seen some games drop some big and massive frames, but Drakengard 3 tends to do that if too many enemy’s surround you during one screen and you try to attack them as the game slows down a bit. But the frame drops are short, they will go back to how they were in a matter of Seconds or you go into intoner mode (Press L3 and R3 Together) As much as I’ve dealt with frame drops. The game is still fun no matter what, and not only that, Sometimes the frame drops do give you an advantage to you to attack enemy’s if they are huge to attack or to escape from their attacks in time. So it’s good and Bad.
Unresponsive Movement During Survivor Challenge.
Now this has happen to me during Survivor Rounds only. After complete most of the story, you have side quest called Accords Request. You take the request of collecting items in the game by killing enemy’s or opening Treasure chest. Only certain weapons can be used for some (you will be allowed to use any weapons in other request) and no items are allowed. Oh and you have a time limit for each one so good luck. Then after completing more of the story, There is a Survivor Round where you survivor killing enemy’s going to the next round. 10 rounds for each Challenge so be ready to upgrade your weapons to max. During survivor rounds, i tend to have a small problem. I defeated a bunch of enemy’s in a round, collect money and my EXP, move on to the next round. But then! My controller won’t move or attack at all. So i try everything and i pause the game to see if that works. Doesn’t. Only way to get out of this is by Dodging or waiting a while. Pressing R1 and you are allowed to move again. I don’t know if anyone caught this during their game play in survivor but they should be aware of this and a problem like that should be fixed. But don’t worry. During Story mode, this NEVER happens, nor during Accords request, Only time it happens would be during Survivor but it doesn’t happen as much. I would say it would happen only after like what, after 50 Rounds of Survivor. So if it doesn’t happen to you. Good. but it might one day, but don’t worry about it. As i said, to get out of it, dodge.
Small Bugs/Glitchs on Enemy’s
Now This has some funny ones and some odd ones. but I’ve only found 2. The First one happen during the desert where I was attacked by the sand wolves. The wolf ended up getting stuck to a wall and just instantly kept repeatedly falling down but never landing or recovering so you can keep attacking till it’s dead. I was laughing and my brother said it was a first time he’s seen it. The next one is the land of the forest chapter as Sorcerers are attacking on top of small mountains. As you attack one of them, there is a chance a Sorcerer will go through the walls in the game glitching him out, not being able to attack him in any way at all but he can’t hurt you. Only way to hurt him is with a long-range Weapon such as a chakram or a Spear. Ah well, least you can still hit him.
Back to the Story! Review!
As you continue throughout the story, Zero does as what she keeps aiming to do from the beginning and that is to kill her sisters, Take their disciples as her own and do whatever she wants with them. Progressing through the story, you find out that there is more than one ending. You are introduced to Accord who talks about what would happen if the ending you currently saw was different, how would it turn out? There are various ways for something to end and for Zero and Mikhail to have the ending their were looking forward to. So Drakengard 3 happens to have 4 Branches. A B C and D. Each with a different ending and each with a different story.
After Branch A you are introduced to this lovely young woman called Accord, who happens to witness everything Zero does. She also happens to be the narrator of the game. She actually tends to have a little fun and break the fourth wall during the game. Same with Zero who did the same during the snow chapter in branch A. She also has a little fun during Branch B or C teasing Zero.
She follows Zero through her adventure as she also happens to record all of her progress.
During Branch A, you do happen to grab the intoner’s disciples who end up helping you during the entire storyline for all branches. So you can choose whoever you wish to take with you. Each one will Present you with a weapon of theirs for you to take as an offering them to let them be with you. But you can only take 2 out of the 4 disciples, but with each one growing attached to you, they will present you with another present of their most powerful weapon. The disciples all follow you through branches A-D but each one also have an ending for them as you progress for to them with a certain rule implying to them that wasn’t told until later in branch C. And The Rule?
No Disciple can summon their song without their intoners -Zero
As the quote that zero states, it is true, if any Disciple were to use their powers and summon the song that is given to them to by their intoners, they will be reverted to their original form. Not being able to go back to the way they were. Each and one of them use their powers during Branch D to fight for Zero. During branch’s B and C, their ends as to that were they fought till the end. As Did Zero and Mikhail. But Branch B and D, those were one of the heart breaking ending’s that got me and i nearly went into tears during those ending moments that to me they are also the unforgettable ones.
Branch A ending happens to be a big sad yet confusing ending as you fight I (One). The ending goes with one dying as Mikhail as well. Zero stabbed her sister and then goes to Mikhail, but is then stabbed by I’s twin Brother who will end up going insane as he’s the only intoner in the world and the rest dead. Zero then crawls to Mikhail with all her might try to put her hand on his wing, but dies with her hand and Mikhail’s wing being a few inches away from one another.
Branch B happen to be one of the most touching yet heart breaking ones in the game. After the fight with II and her Disciple Cent, who happens to come back to her after seeing her once again and remembering he is her Disciple, You fight Cent’s summon creature, Raphael. Mikhail is poisoned so much, that he could die at any second, giving Zero little options about how to save Mikhail. She had though of one way, and that is the flower in her eye. The flower in her eye happens to have a power as shown during the story of Branch A where no matter what happens to her, no matter how many time she dies, she can always come back to life as many times as she want. Zero’s only option was to give Mikhail the flower and she choose to.
As you are greeted to an ending with Mikhail being alive, but no Zero beside him. He looks around for her but only hears her child voice with him replying to that voice, but with no one around him. Credits then play as the song played during the credits is called Black Song.
There actually happens to be 2 version of the song. One of them is one that was listed out of the US, and the other being song by Eir Aoi, who was asked to sing the song by company. She also happens to be a fan of the Drakengard Series. For Those who wish to hear the version Eir Aoi Sings, which in my opinion happens to be the most beautiful one It is Right Below.
As you head to branch C, you start to understand the story behind the flower as it is curse to Zero for she can never die. As you reach your way to the end of branch C and Fight I once again. As you fight her once again with Mikhail and Zero on his back. The truth behind the flower, along with why Zero needs Mikhail no matter what is revealed. Zero can be set free from the curse, but, there is only one way for her to be free of the curse, that being that after she’s killed all her sisters, Mikhail must then kill her. As you fight One and her dragon partner Gabriella. Mikhail is killed from his wounds with his fight with Gabrielle as he also dies, leaving both Zero and one to fight once again. Zero then kills her sister as one laughs at her sister before she falls and dies. Zero then turns to Mikhail as he is the only Dragon left that can kill her. With Regret and remorse filling her heart with Mikhail’s death, She vomits trying to look for another dragon. Sadly, She could never find one that could end the curse of the flower.
(Zero As she throws up on the floor with Mikhail on the floor, dead, with half of his Body gone)
It is now time for the Final Branch. This would be one of the longest branches to me but it also happens to tell you the past of Zero even more. After losing Dito, Cent, And Decadus, Octa asked zero the story behind the flower, the sisters and what why she needed Michael before he died the reincarnation of Michael, Mikhail, was born. Zero tells the story as you also have to fight you way through the game and listen to the story.
You are introduced to Zero Once again without the Flower in her eye. You also happen to find out that the 5 sisters were born from her cause of the flower. They all ran taking away all of Zero’s powers. Zero Still carries the power of the intoner as you can use it at anytime during the chapter, while you are in the intoner mode, you will be hearing The Black Song with and without the singing. Singing can only be heard during intoner mode.
Continuing the story, Octa also happens to die fighting for Zero. As you reach the fight with I one Last time. Accord offers her aid as she helps Zero kill her sister but with Accord being a Sacrifice and dyeing in the process. But you happen to see she is a robot. With Zero going to her, she thanks her for helping her. With the chapter ending there, But, there is one last thing to do and that is for Mikhail to seal her off.
This is the last Chapter of the last Branch. The name of the Final chapter is called The Final Song. I didn’t understand to what I will be facing in the final song so i prepared myself for anything.
It happen to throw me off with the gaming being a hack and slash or a flying fight, to the final chapter turning into a Button Timing Music game where as you will be hearing the song but you will also be hearing some sounds as you must time them PERFECTLY in the game when they touch Mikhail. Now, you think you’ll be able to see Mikhail the whole time as you hear the song and time every last bit of the notes thrown at you, well no that’s not gonna happen. The camera tends to change angels every time as they can face the statues close to the face or move around so you don’t know where Mikhail is at, or the camera will zoom in close to Mikhail face as you have such little time to even time the note. Oh i also forgot to mention, this song happens to be an 8 minute Song and i am not joking on that. So i wish you all SO much luck into doing this because it took my about 50 tries before i even got the chance to complete it. That was like 2 weeks for me.
As you keep playing, the screen slowly starts to fade to black with you still having to listen to the small sounds, But there are 4 Notes that you will not Hear on the last-minute of the song that you must time Perfectly. If you miss Any notes throughout the entire song, you must start ALL over to the beginning, not buts, no saves, start the song ALL Over. Now here’s what i did at first. I played the song all the way being able to reach it to where the screen turning black and going into a small cut scene, but with the 4 hidden notes catching me off guard, you might need a little guide to do it. So i was able to use a small guide to help me find the last notes that i never expected to find. Which is below to help those who are having a problem with it. I do wish you luck cause even with the guide, you have to sync it perfectly or you will fail. I had a very hard time even when it was synced perfectly.
As you are playing the last 4 notes, you also hear the last conversation Zero and Mikhail have before it’s time to say their goodbyes (which you can see in the video) to one another. Remember the quote all the way on the top in the beginning? That quote was the last words in the cut scene, which if you don’t want to go back up, i will have it here as well. The Last Conversation they both have is like saying goodbye to your long time childhood friend. They created a bond that could never be broken, but the time came when it was time to say goodbye. In a way, i didn’t want it to end, i wanted them to continue being there for one another.
Mikhail: Hey, Zero?
Zero: What is it?
Mikhail: I…I had a lot of fun. With you, I mean. It was fun being with you. The killing was hard. It was really hard, But…
Zero: Stop Repeating things.
Mikhail: But getting to be with you, Zero… Getting to eat next to you… Getting to Fly Around with you… Getting to have you yell at me… And Then getting to be friends again… It was really, really fun.
Zero: I see… Mikhail
Mikhail: What is it?
Zero: It’s… Time…
Mikhail is flying as he goes in front of the statue and says “Goodnight, Zero…” as he shoots a fireball at the statue. The statue then breaks as it crumbles to the ground and Mikhail flying off. You then heard accord speak as she believes that Zero is still alive somewhere. A cut scene is then shown with another Accord taking the luggage of the earlier Accord. Then more accords pop out from different spots, from under the ruble that crumble to the floor, to behind buildings as all of them gather in one spot telling they all must continue recording the stories of the world that Zero has left behind. They all salute with one by one going their own path as you are left with one Accord walking on her own.
One Accord comes up to the screen and says she wishes to thank you for playing the game. Before she turns off what it seems to be a Television, she says she will one day meet Zero again. She turns off the television as you are sent to the Mission Complete Screen. You Finish the entire Story of the game.
Now what is left after that? Well the next thing to do is some side quest which are Accords Request along with collecting weapons, items and missed treasure chest in the game. That’s if you wish. Not only that, Accords Last 3 request happen to be survivor Challenges so good luck with those ones!
(I wish there was a chibi picture of Accord but i can’t find it, so i put a cute one of II)
Accord Request are as what they are, they are side quest to the game where you go taking the request of Accord to collect items that enemy’s drop or open chest. At the beginning of some of them are you limited to only using One weapon for those missions such as Sword, Chakram, Claws (well your using your fist) Or Spear. There are 3 Rules in the missions. Rule 1: Complete the mission with the weapon you choose. Rule 2: can’t use Any items. Rule 3: don’t complain about Rules 1 and 2. No really I’m not joking about Rule 3. I found that funny the most. You are given a time limit to every mission, if you fail, you have to start over, the side quest won’t close on you so keep trying as much as you can and plan it out!
As you complete some of the side quest given to you or unlocked during the story. You will have a Money day which you fight a giant enemy’s you have fought before in the game to collect money. Killing these giant enemy’s or mini bosses as they are will not only give you a bonus and a lot money to collect, But a golden solider will come to face you! If you have enough time and power items, you can kill them very fast. After 1 Golden Solider is dead. 2 More come out, if you kill those 2, Then 3 are out. After those 3, you get a Major Bonus. Multiplying what you have earned by x2 then x7. Giving you a lot of money! I wanted to find an easy way to get money so i asked my brother where the best spot is. He told me complete the desert, Then with your weapon being max out (being the spear from what he told me) You’ll be able to get around 200,000 to 300,000 Every time. So grind that money out for the platinum if you plan on going for it! If you collected enough money, unlock every weapon and card and happen to upgrade every single one of them. You will unlock a costume for Zero that you will be able to use anytime you want. It is a Crimson Dress that will automatically Fill up your intoner mode meter forever. When you enter intoner mode, The meter will go down, but once you’ve run out, it will refill instantly for you to use again! So unlock it to survivor the Final Survivor!
Review Summery time!
The Story became one that was a little hard to follow at first, but wanting to find the truth behind everything was one thing that was able to make continue with the game and say that this game is one that should be worth experiencing yourself. The Game playing changing into different one’s such as a Hack and Slash to a Flying shooting its final chapter being a timing music game was also outstanding in its own way. The design of all the characters and stages all fit the game world itself and hope that those characters and backgrounds will return again one day in the future games of Drakengard Series along with their being an option to have the voices change from English to Japanese for Free. With the game being one of the best i played so far and making it to my top 5 favorite games on the Playstation 3, this is one game for Playstation fans, Square-enix fans, Access Games fans that you should check out.
Drakengard 3 for the Playstation 3 gets 8.5 Out of 10.
If patches were put in the game to fix the problems that i happen to post above. the score would have been a higher but with no patch in the future, i have to be honest with the downsides of it and i hope that in the future, that if problems like this occur, they can be fixed. Still even with those small problems (and as i said, they rarely happen in the game ever) fans of the series, Playstation 3 owners and many more should try this game out for this is one that can’t be missed. Thank you once again for time to read this review and i hope to see you again with the next review, I will try to do better with reviews so here’s wishing. I leave you all with these last pictures of the beautiful Zero artwork! Thank you and See you next time! -kazuki20