Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of new Riders Review

Don’t worry, I reread that game title twice too, be glad that you don’t have to type it out! I prefer to write supercalifragilisticexpialidocious four times in a row than Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of new Riders… anyway, let us move on. Movie tie-in games, don’t we all love them? Quality wise these games aren’t always the best (read cash-in) but once in a while, things turn out differently. DreamWorks Dragons movies, games and toys have been a highly requested thing by its specific audience and those kids are the target gamers for Dawn of the New Riders. So the danger in another cash-in surely was possible, luckily this isn’t the case! A reduced retail-price and fairly decent quality is proof that Outright Games and Bandai Namco mean business. So let us jump on our cute, but deadly dragon and check out this review for Dawn of the New Riders!

The good

  • Patch: In the videogames world one dragon reigns supreme and that’s Spyro, our dear new friend Patch can stand tall right beside him, he isn’t as nostalgic or globally known but the design is just fantastic, the fact that he evolves, kinda like a Pok√©mon is really lovely too.
  • Aimed for the young audience but fun for all: Looking at other kid games, for example, Paw Patrol this one is fun for all ages. Easy enough for the little humans that barely started to explore an Xbox controller and still fun enough for veterans that spend 20.000 hours on their console. Some boss fights might require some help from a parent but kids have to be prepared for the troubles in life so some challenge is forgivable.
  • Standalone story game: I expected that this game would follow the story from the movie but to my surprise, it had a completely different and standalone storyline, it features many How to train your Dragon characters but doesn’t feature them as playable options. Instead, you have Scribbler and dragon Patch at your disposal. I have to be honest and say that I’m not entirely familiar with the franchise so I was glad that I could follow with the story. Talking about that, it isn’t complex but it didn’t bore me either and I really adored that cute little Patch Dragon. I’m sure that even Daenerys from Game of Thrones would have a brand new favorite, move over Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion!
  • Combat and platforming gameplay: Switching between the two characters both with unique combat features, a couple of weapons or dragon breath abilities and an easy to understand item/weapon crafting system gives the game enough depth to stand out between other games. Moving and controlling feels as tight as someone’s ass while facing a dragon, making the platforming sections enjoyable. The gameplay mix is perfectly balanced, like a perfect rum and Coke. The sweetness of coke with the bitter and punchy taste of the rum with an edgy slice of surprising lemon. You’ll be puzzling, platforming, battling and flying and before you know it the experience is done,just as short as finishing your perfectly blended rum and Coke.

Mixed Feelings

  • Dragon Flying: After an hour or so you get the ability to fly with Patch, exploring the (small) world. You can land on main mission islands or “hidden” islands that reward you with new dragons that you can use in combat or materials to improve your weapons. I really enjoyed this but it is a big shame that they didn’t expand this, maybe allowing some combat while flying perhaps? It feels a little empty and it has such big potential!

The bad

  • Falling through the level seems a feature, not a bug…: I’m not a dev so I’m at a loss why a falling through the level bug is such a common thing (feel free to explain that to me if you do know!) but it really happens a lot in this game, it seems that the dev realized this because after a few seconds you are magically teleported back on the ground texture. Who knows though, maybe this really is an ability from Patch, who am I to judge an ice/fire and electricity dragon right?!
  • Bugs that force a checkpoint restart: At three different moments a switch or other level progressing thing failed to work, forcing a checkpoint restart. As an adult you catch on quick that it is a bug but I could imagine that a kid remains stuck for a long time before they try again on another day (or even give up on it entirely)

Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of new Riders | Score: 72%

I did not expect to have this kind of experience with Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of new Riders, with cute characters and more than decent gameplay this is really a game I can recommend for the younger players and even adults!