I’ve had my copy of Drakengard for a couple years now. I played my friend’s copy for a while after the game came out back in 2003, but I didn’t really get into the game for one pretty big reason. Each level, or mission, can take anywhere from fifteen to forty minutes to play, and there’s no way to save the game during the mission. If you die, you lose all of your progress.

That kind of gameplay belongs in a museum I mean … an arcade.

I remember reading a little about Drakengard on TVtropes at one point, and it actually did stoke my interest in the game a little, but not enough at the time. (This was what, maybe a year ago? Who knows?) Anyway, I was tired and burnt out after a day of writing, cleaning, and packing yesterday, so I figured I’d give the game another try.

It was a lot easier than I remembered. Even on the “normal” setting, which I assume is the most difficult setting since I didn’t bother looking, I figured out how to destroy the mobs of enemies with ease. I still died and lost about forty minutes at one point, but the second playthrough of the mission took only about twenty minutes.

I’m farther through the game after a few hours than I got in a couple days last time I played. I don’t know what’s different. Maybe my skills as a gamer have “leveled up?” Maybe I’m better at identifying certain patterns in gameplay and I’ve learned to exploit them? Maybe there’s some synergy between studying game design and playing games. I consider myself a bigger noob now than I ever was before. *shrug*

You know what I’m enjoying about Drakengard, though? Leveling up the stupid weapons to learn their stupid histories. I mean, the difference between the weapons (I’ll admit I’ve only used swords so far) seems kind of pathetic and gimmicky, and the weapon histories are trite. But I’m enjoying it. *shakes head*

I’ll admit to an ulterior motive, as well. I need to develop some concepts for weapons for Norvendae, and games that feature unique items or spells that “level up,” and feature enormous movelists, like Drakengard, Secret of Mana, Evermore, Disgaea, and Way of the Samurai are really appealing to me right now.