Dragon Marked for Death - Nintendo Switch Review

Old school through and through

Game Info:

  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Inti Creates
  • Developer: Inti Creates
  • Release Date: January 31, 2019

Who it Caters to

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Old school side scrollers aren’t ever going to get truly old in our minds here at Honey’s Anime. There’s just a special beauty to beating down various baddies on a 2D plane and leveling up or gaining new equips to make yourself even more powerful. Developers Inti Creates probably shares our passion for the older days of gaming as they released a game called Dragon Marked for Death back in January of 2019. Finally getting a physical release, we here at Honey’s Anime have gotten our hands on this seemingly awesome title and have a review waiting for our dear readers out there. Join us in seeing if Dragon Marked for Death is worth your time and money by scrolling down below to read the full review!

What to Expect

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With a focus on 2D side scrolling action, Dragon Marked for Death harkens back to old school titles like Streets of Rage, Castlevania and Metroid. Players assume the role of one of several warriors as they do battle against the Medius Empire. Hack and slash your way through various enemies, solve puzzles to gain new items and take on quests alone or with others online/locally. Level up your heroes to gain better stats and gear to become the Dragonblood warrior you were meant to become! With changing stages based on characters chosen and tons of enemies to fight against, Dragon Marked for Death feels ever changing and constantly offers replayability for many gamers.


Dragon-Marked-for-Death-game-300x429 Dragon Marked for Death - Nintendo Switch Review
The once proud and strong Dragonblood Clan has faced an unforeseen disaster. The Medius Empire invaded their village and nearly brought the clan to extinction. However, the few who did survive forged a powerful pact with an ancient force known as the Astral Dragon Atrium and became true Dragonblood warriors. Now with the world facing possible destruction due to the Medius Empire, you must set forth to gain revenge on the empire for the downfall of your clan. Save those who need help and gain the power needed to become a force of reckoning worth of the Dragon blood in your veins! Welcome to your destiny in Dragon Marked for Death!


Dragon-Marked-for-Death-game-300x429 Dragon Marked for Death - Nintendo Switch Review
Inti Creates is a pretty well-known development team due to their amazing titles such as Azure Striker: Gunvolt and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. That’s why there was high expectations for their last big game known as Dragon Marked for Death. Aiming to be a title born from the legacy of old school 2D hack and slash games, Dragon Marked for Death seemed to be just what we were looking for, seeing as how we love retro titles here at Honey’s Anime. However, does Dragon Marked for Death show that retro games still can be enjoyed even today? We’ll answer that question with our review of Dragon Marked for Death for the Nintendo Switch!

Originally released back in late January 2019, Dragon Marked for Death has finally been released as a physical version—versus the digital only original—adding new classes and various bonus DLC pieces. Despite the later release though, Dragon Marked for Death hasn’t changed much and that is a good thing for fans of the original versus or those who wish to have a version not altered. We never played the original version, but we feel that isn’t necessary to give feedback on this current release.
At its core, Dragon Marked for Death is like Castelvania, Metroid and Streets of Rage or any hack and slash old school 2D title. Players assume the role of one of four classes that each come with a variety of skills, abilities and even level variants. The four classes—Warrior, Witch, Shinobi and Empress—each play similarly in design but differ incredibly when it comes to actual combat and usefulness. The warrior is a tank class capable of using massive single strike attacks, activating a berserker mode to deal more damage—in favor of losing defense—and can use a shield to protect himself or others from harm all while offering healing.

The shinobi is an agile fighter who lacks power but makes up for it in speed and skill. Unlike the single strike warrior, the shinobi can target an enemy and unleash a barrage of attacks both close ranged and long ranged. While the shinobi is an easier target to kill, due to the massive speed boost and agility, shinobi players will find it easy to wreck any enemy with relative ease.

Witch players are easily one of the more control focused character classes. The witch can heal players and attack enemies with magical skills. However, the witch is very different overall as a character. Players will need to make magic incantations to use the spells and are open to attack while doing so. For single players—which we have a bit to say in a few moments—the witch is a rough character to utilize fully. Playing it safe from a distance will always be her strongest tactic but it makes fighting less personal which can be boring.

Lastly, our personal favorite class is the Empress and we’ll explain why. The empress class is a bit of an all-around class perfect for multiplayer focused gamers and or single player minded ones. With her dragon head attachment, the empress can fire fireball attacks from a distance or charge it up for a stronger shot. Equally, the empress can use a mighty sword attack—on top of her basic sword skills—for damaging combos that make bosses cave quickly. The empress is a perfect character for those who seek an old school game and one that won’t lose its appeal as soon as the game begins.

While Dragon Marked for Death does many things right—the combat is smooth and the quests are fun—it makes problems appear due to its overall gameplay format. Playing as the warrior class for two hours during our review made us grow so bored of using single hit attacks and charge moves that we put down Dragon Marked for Death for several hours before returning and playing as a new character. Due to the simple combat/gameplay style seen in Dragon Marked for Death, how you play and enjoy the game depends solely on your gameplay preferences. Single player focused gamers will hate the witch or warrior due to their co-op focused style. Meanwhile, co-op—as fun as it is—ruins the challenge of Dragon Marked for Death as lower levels posses a real threat. Even with levels changing based on the class you play as—which is a neat theme if we do say so ourselves—there’s little challenge overall to Dragon Marked for Death if you use the empress or shinobi classes in your single player gameplay. We actually died more times using the other classes then using the low health shinobi and the all-around average empress. Dragon Marked for Death adheres to an old school style which causes it to suffer slightly.

Though if we wish to end our review on a positive note, we must give credit to the graphics and music for Dragon Marked for Death. With sprites similar to old school action RPGs, Dragon Marked for Death is filled with gorgeous designs and retro themed settings. The soundtrack as well hits all the right retro notes giving us a flashback of our arcade going pasts. There are some repetitive dungeon designs here and there and the hub town—which is where you buy gear and play with others—could have been a bit more developed but overall Dragon Marked for Death looks and sounds great.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Dragon Marked for Death is a peculiar title. There are elements that harken to the past days of gaming design and there are concepts seen from more retro action RPGs. What works in Dragon Marked for Death are when you can play as the classes that feel more modernized which in turn keeps the old school aesthetic of Dragon Marked for Death alive despite the quicker paced action. When you use other classes—warrior or empress—Dragon Marked for Death falls apart a bit, especially if you wanted to play alone rather than with others online. We personally liked Dragon Marked for Death more as a single player experience but having the ability to play with others locally or online isn’t something we’re going to complain about. Overall, Dragon Marked for Death hits more positive notes then negative ones making it a pretty solid title.

Honey's Pros:

  • Levels changing based on character class chosen makes no one play through feel alike
  • Amazing old school visuals and sound design
  • Co-op locally or online is a nice good ole time to be had with friends
  • The empress and shinobi classes make for a more modern game within a retro 2D title

Honey's Cons:

  • Warrior and empress classes make playing alone feel like a chore
  • Very little difficulty overall
  • Can occasionally get repetitive

Honey's Final Verdict:

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Dragon Marked for Death isn’t the perfect 2D side scroller we hoped for, but it shows that older themed titles still can be enjoyed even today. Whether you go at it alone or with some backup, Dragon Marked for Death offers a lot of content at a semi-steep but fair price tag. At the end of the day though, Dragon Marked for Death is a fun game with a lot of replayability and even more reasons to grab some friends for a good ole butt kicking time! Are you currently playing Dragon Marked for Death or want to? Let us know using the comment section below! For all your gaming review and article needs, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!

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Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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