I don’t play too many mobile games. Usually I’ll try one for a few days at a time, and then drop it. Occasionally I’ll pick up a game and then play it consecutively for years, so long as it’s made by Nintendo. Well wouldn’t you know it, Dragalia Lost is a Nintendo game, and here we are one year after it’s release and I’m still playing.
An action RPG with heavy gacha game elements, Dragalia Lost is co developed between Nintendo and Cygames, the latter of which is well known for other mobile success stories in Japan, with the largest being Granblue Fantasy. If you haven’t played Dragalia yet, you might see the game as a generic mobile title where you spend in-game currency to get a chance to get a possible character or item you might want.
And at its core that’s essentially what the game is.
The reason I’m still here with the game at the mark of its one year anniversary is hard to explain. Partially it’s because I made the game part of my daily routine: at some point in the day I would log in to get my daily rewards, collect my items from the field, and maybe play a few matches on auto-play. Honestly it’s kind of the same with Fire Emblem Heroes.
Unlike FEH, Dragalia has a bit more personality. I have heard the story is decent, but I tend to just skip all dialogue and jump right in to battles. The game is flashy, the characters and dragons are unique, and there is quite a bit of depth to combat in late game battles.
I can definitely see why some scoff at games like this. Early on it becomes evident you’ll need to get the best characters to stand a chance. Once you get them, you’ll need to unlock all their skills, which takes a somewhat difficult to obtain material to do. After that you’re going to need a matching dragon to equip and level up, some elemental 5-star weapons to compliment your hero, then literally do all of that again 19 more times for every other elemental team of 4. It’s a lot, and the barrier for entry can be high.
But, kind of like Fire Emblem, since I’ve been playing for a year now, I have kind of jumped over many of those hurdles and now find myself enjoying the upper echelon on players. I’m still not going to spend a dime on the game, which will unfortunately hinder my progress compared to others who do so, but it is still very satisfying to be at a higher level and battling down tough foes. There is almost an obligation to keep going at this point. One that I am happy to abide by.
Looking back at the game from one year ago, many changes have come up. Your usual balance changes, improvements to UI, added content and items, all that stuff is there. The things that really stand out as different are the introduction and importance of elemental weapons. That really changes the late game meta. Also, Wyrmprints not being in summons is amazing, and the added influx of Eldwater to upgrade your team is a great change. Smaller changes like Astral Raids and the introduction of guilds are nice additions, but could still use some improvement.
I see myself playing the game for some time still. It’s kind of mindless (I can’t even tell you the last time I played a non-raid battle NOT on auto-battle), but it’s still fun. Gaining materials is fun. Summoning new heroes is fun. Trying to get heroes and dragons to their maximum potential is fun. Overall the game hits all the right notes it should, and I really don’t think it’ll fall out of the rotation any time soon.
Here’s to another year with the Prince and Dragalia Lost!