iPad Game Review: Dracula: The Path of the Dragon Reviewed by JadeDragon
Nobody knows how many times the story of Dracula has been told and retold. With the introduction of the iPad, the most famous resident of Transylvania makes another appearance. This time around, the story is discovered and told through a catholic priest, Father Arno Moriani, whose investigation leads him to unforeseen places. Dracula: The Path of the Dragon is an adventure game that mixes cinematic cutscenes with interactive gameplay. If you have played the iPhone/iPod touch version, you should know that the graphics in the iPad version have been reworked and the game looks gorgeous!
Dracula: The Path of the Dragon is a three-part story, and we are only at the beginning of the journey. Father Arno Moriani goes to a small town in Transylvania to investigate a candidate for sainthood, but what he finds is much more sinister and mysterious. He talks to the local priest, the journalist, the police, the doctor and even a gravedigger, and the more he learns the more questions pop up. As the investigation for sainthood turns to vampire hunt, Father Arno finds himself entangled in an escapable web of politics, religion, superstition and conspiracy.
Although the story in Dracula: The Path of the Dragon is set in 1920 just after the first World War, it has many modern sentiments and you won?t feel like you are going through surreal scenes from the last century. The language is easy to understand and puzzles are easy to solve. Solving puzzles involves reading documents, picking up and using items, talking to people and figuring out what to do next. The first installment happens in the little town and some areas surrounding it; once you are done with everything, you take the train and leave the town.
While the environment looks expansive for an adventure game, the tempo of the story is a bit slow, partially because there are many things you can do. It is possible that since this is the first installment, heavier storyline and more puzzles are packed in later episodes. The game should takes you no more than a couple of hours to solve, if you don?t get stuck that is. Check everything that has an prompt for an action.
Playing Dracula: The Path of the Dragon on the iPad is like walking inside of a movie. The cutscenes help set up the environment and the large iPad screen help create the right mood. The village looks eerie and empty, and the characters fit their roles well. Items look very sharp, and the purple sky looks apocalyptic. The developers also created a good amount of documents to support the story. Touch controls for looking around and actions are easy to use, though the large screen can sometimes make one feels a bit dizzy when panning too fast.
Great music and sound FX accompany the outstanding visual. The background music is eerie but not corny thanks to the power of a large orchestra, and music changes also as you move from one type of place to another, or taking certain actions in the game. Actions also trigger sound effects, but voice acting does the heavy lifting in this game. Most voice actors are pros in this game, adding to the ?being in a movie effect?. Voice dubbing covers not only dialogues but also responses to certain actions as tips, i.e. if you are not ready to go to bed when you tap on the bed, you will hear your own voice saying ?This isn?t really the right time?.
If you are intrigued by vampire stories, especially about Dracula, you will enjoy taking the journey into the darkness on the path of Dragon. The game developers themselves are fans of Bram Stocker, as he was mentioned in a very favorable light in the game. Though not a lot had happened in the first installment, you get a feeling that the stage is set for something big and bad to happen in the coming episodes. The game has great visuals and awesome audio, and the promise of something great to come.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Sharp images blended in dark and moody scenes. Sound: - 5 - Music fits the theme of the game well, voice acting is good for most characters. Controls: - 5 - Very easy to use. Gameplay: - 4.5 - A little light on the puzzles, but a good number of places to see.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Tap on anything that has prompt to see what you can do.
- Use the phone to call anyone you are allowed to call. Great way to gather information.
- Don?t forget to donate your blood, and remember the number 1905.