I've been playing the Nintendo mobile title Dragalia Lost since it released a few months ago, but I'm just getting around to collecting my thoughts on it. The game has been very successful in terms of money spent, especially given the fact it's Nintendo's first mobile game that isn't based on a familiar IP. Dragalia Lost is a touch-based action RPG, but there isn't much dungeon crawling involved. Stages are pretty straightforward and for the most part easy to barrel through if your team is at the recommended level. Boss battles can be a bit more challenging, but again, aren't that difficult if your team is levelled up.
The core combat may not be that compelling, but everything else about Dragalia Lost is pretty polished and enjoyable. The character models aren't the greatest, but that's understandable given that it's a mobile title and only really noticeable during the brief victory cutscenes after completing a stage. The character designs and story are good despite being mostly typical anime fare, and in general the settings are colorful and the overall tone is light. The game supplements the basic story with a lot of additional ways to get to know the characters better, including unlockable story segments and entertaining little comics. There are numerous systems at play: levelling up heroes and unlocking skills, equipping and levelling up weapons, buffs, and dragons that you can transform into, and a castle you can manage that will grant additional buffs. Managing these systems is straightforward for the most part, though, and doesn't require much thought.
Limited time events function as side stories that introduce new characters that you can keep permanently if you use them enough during the event. The game has gacha (e.g. lottery) systems in place for their various mechanics, including new playable characters, items, and dragons. Unlike Fire Emblem Heroes, I don't feel at all compelled to try to collect any specific heroes in the game since I don't have any previous attachment to them and the game provides enough freebies to still have flexibility in putting together a team of four (not to mention I'm nowhere near maxing out the characters I already have). But it seems like the game provides enough currency to pull for or promote a decent number of high-level characters if you wanted.
The game has a pretty decent co-op system where you can either join friends or play with strangers, which is nice and unique in terms of Nintendo's mobile offerings so far. One of the things I enjoyed most about it is the music, most of which is by a well-known Japanese pop singer named Daoko. I'm not sure how many other non-music video games have featured a single artist's music so extensively, but I've definitely become a fan of her music through this game, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one.
Overall this is a game that I don't mind spending the minimum amount of time on in order to collect daily bonuses and participate in limited events, but I'm also glad that it didn't suck me in since a big chunk of my gaming time is already taken up by Fire Emblem Heroes and more often than not, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp as well. It doesn't look like Dragalia Lost is going anywhere anytime soon, and it'll be interesting to see how it continues to develop.
Find adventure with these Dragalia Lost links:
- Official site. Includes some cute "how to play the game" comics.
- There's a lot of good info at dragalialost.gamepedia.com, including a tier list
- Pre-release Nintendo Direct about the game
- Review at NintendoLife
- Entry at Wikipedia