- Release Date: 2012
- Publisher: Aeria Games
- Developer: Sun-Ground
- Genre: Strategy
Dragon Crusade, or 7 Dragons 2 (Chinese: 七龙纪), is a free to play text-based browser game developed by China-based Sun-Ground and published by Aeria Games. The first title 7 Dragons was published by OutSpark while Dragon Crusade is a mix of renamed and revamped version of 7 Dragons, but it does not take much difference than “7 Dragons” is.
The central gameplay of the game works like that of Travian and players build their own village or city, train troops, grow heroes and colonize other territories. The game includes 6 races, various buildings and dungeons.
Dragon Crusade made me realize that it is hard for a strategy game to entertain players now, given that so many different varieties are already out there.
To be honest, I always find trouble in appreciating text-based games. How could anyone achieve sense of accomplishment when he or she simple clicks the mouse to send troops and waits for the attack report? Maybe some people relish that process. But, what on earth does a player expect from a game? I know myself for sure that a game with no animation and no involving gameplay, nor fascinating story can never hold me long. Dragon Crusade proves to be no exception.
Players are tasked with constructing lots of facilities, including a bar to collect hero commanders, a stable to buy the mount for the heroes (though I really don’t understand why I have to spend money buying stuff from somewhere I build for my own, hmm), a pet house to purchase pets, a barrack to train soldiers, medical tents to treat the wounded, a magical school to enhance the magical defense of your troops, a temple to throw spiritual activities, a castle to increase the defense capacity, a research center to develop technology in order to speed up constructions, a bakery to increase the crop output, a circus to improve your citizens’ loyalty, factories to process raw materials such as wood, rocks, and crystals, and more. Sounds interesting? Yeah, but can you still be interested when you keep running out of resources all the time? Yes, of course you can solve that problem by upgrading your farms and mining factories. You will find, however, that you don’t have enough resources for the upgrades, either. As I progressed in Dragon Crusade, the system kept offering coupons, which I used to allocate the resources when there are not sufficient materials. I didn’t realize how but it did allow me to perform several upgrades. In this way, I spend over thirty coupons before I figured out that the distribution is conducted by assigning the remaining resources to each variety of resources instead of adding additional resources. A game featuring text-base gameplay never bothers to inform players of something so important. That is ridiculous.
A developed and comprehensive hero recruitment system is deployed in the game. Besides setting up and upgrading kinds of buildings to attract and house heroes, players also have to equip heroes with rewarded items to enhance their speed, defense, and damage. I kind of understand that in a text-based game, that is crucial in determining the results of wars. They could, however, do that through direct increases of different attributes rather than designing so many fancy clothes while all I can see is a man or a woman with long ears and a hood. Why bother when I cannot see the outfit at all?
Dragon Crusade adopts a weird upgrade system. As far as I can see, the overall level of my character, which never shows up so far, is always a level higher than my highest-ranked hero. And a hero levels up by accumulating experiences in battles and taking the experience potion. My hero effortlessly achieved level 10 after I used some potions (partially because I was forced to make room for newly obtained rewards). When there is shortcut, the honor and accomplishment that used to be earned through unremitting efforts suddenly lose their appeal.
Actually, it was the very moment I entered this game that I was aware I would never love this game-with almost the entire city vacant, every spare spot awaits you to construct something on it and most importantly and annoyingly, you are supposed to upgrade each of them. You could imagine how desperate I was when I found that the upgrade of a level 6 farm costs about half an hour. What am I supposed to do so as to kill all those waiting time? This is a text-based game with no exciting graphics or animation-as a matter of fact, I kind of wonder if my character is a female one-the more I look at “her”, the more I believe “she” is a man wearing womanly wig.
Sun-Ground’ passion for Dragon Crusade is evident in their focus on details – well, some of them. But it proves to be nothing but a time-consuming machine where few are willing to pay.
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