Dragon Fin Soup.
For the month of November, the indie RPG Dragon Fin Soup is for free for Playstation Plus members and I thought I’d give it a try and let you know my thoughts, if it’s worth downloading or not. Dragon Fin Soup was created by Grimm Brothers. I played on Playstation 4 though it’s also available, or will be available, on the Vita as well.
In terms of story, it’s a little confusing. This world exists on the back of a flying turtle in space. If that sounds familiar, it’s because this idea was taken straight from the Discworld books. The game opens with four animated pictures and some narration but I really don’t quite understand what’s happening. You eventually begin controlling a young girl named Red Robin, who adventures alongside her wolf. The movement is really strange, as it’s turn-based but not clearly. It appears to be just choppy animations, until enemies appear. Also playing on the PS4 was really difficult to control your movements. I would try to move and talk to people but would either miss them completely or get stuck in this chain of moving them around.
In terms of combat, you face your enemies and attack them with a few types of attacks. Getting to them and facing them is difficult though, usually costing a few hit points while you get oriented. Also, it’s in my first big fight that I realize there was no tutorial. You’re never told how to activate your various attacks. No one even tells you the game is turn-based, you just start to realize this as you enemies stand still and wait for you to do something.
This brings up the biggest problem with the game. Maybe this is because I don’t play a lot of quote unquote roguelike games but I was familiar with how to play. I died constantly, even once I figured out how to use consumables. Is there a strategy I didn’t know how to use? The menus are also really strange. I found a pair of pants but instead of equipping it, I accidentally ate them and almost died. Why would you game let you do this? And I only did this because no other option made sense when I looked at the pants.
On a plus side, the game looks and sounds cool. The animation is fun, with the overworld maps especially looking vibrant. But the game could look stunning and still not be worth checking out. Here, the lack of any explanation was frustrating, but even once you figured out how to do it, the game was still frustrating. There are portals that teleport you throughout the map, often just to be swarmed by enemies. At one point, my poor wolf was killed. I play a lot of games and I couldn’t get a good grasp of how to play this game well, so I feel like most mainstream audiences won’t have the drive to continue on for too long. If you’re familiar with games like this, or maybe play on PC or Vita, where the controls might be more intuitive, then maybe Dragon’s Fin Soup will be for you. But for me, on PS4, I found it to be frustrating and unintuitive. Maybe download it and try it yourself, but it wasn’t for me at all.