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Eastern games continue to enter the North American market and Dragon
Nest is one of the latest, not to mention probably one of the more
entertaining, of this breed. This fantasy MMORPG focuses on a great
combat system married with an anime-cute visual style. Dragon
developed by Eyedentity Games and published by Nexon and is
free-to-play. So if you want to look adorable, but be able to kick much
monster ass, then read on!


There is nothing objectionable in Dragon
. There is no gore or
profanity and the violence is of the cartoon variety (no blood).
However, there is some very light fanservice normally found in anime in
some instances.

Gameplay - 90 / 100

In Dragon Nest,
the player chooses one of four different classes to
play. Sadly, these classes are gender locked and there is just bare
bones customization to your avatar. You can get costume pieces to wear
in the game or from the cash shop. As your character levels, you gain
skill points used to purchase new skills for use in combat. When you
hit level 15, you can choose to specialize in a sub-class of the class
you are playing. These sub-classes are more specialized versions of the
main class, each with their own particular focus.

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Open wide!!

The design of the game is your typical hub style MMO. You have several
quest hubs (towns) from which you can enter various dungeons that are
instanced. You clear a dungeon by killing all the monsters found
therein, and, at the end, you fight a boss monster. Upon completion,
you get to choose a random chest for extra loot. There are multiple
difficulty settings for each dungeon, which results in better loot and
more experience the more difficult the setting.

Combat is the central feature to Dragon
and it
is a damn good system.
It’s flexible, dynamic, and loads of fun. There is no
targeting in Dragon Nest.
You use your crosshairs to aim your attacks,
so you really have total control of your avatar. To dodge, you hit the
same direction key twice. You use your two mouse buttons for your base
attacks and you use the number keys for combo attacks. The left
mouse button is your normal attack whilst the right mouse button is
your special attack. The special attacks vary depending upon the
situation and the skills you learn as you level. As a warrior, my base
special attack is a kick. Later on, I can gain a new special attack
where I do a normal kick first and then follow it with a roundhouse
kick. If an enemy is stunned, my special attack will kick them up into
the air, along with any adjacent enemies. If I jump and do my special
attack, then I do a cool drop kick. My absolute favorite is when an
enemy is down on the ground. In that situation, my special attack
delivers a crushing elbow slam. (Can you smell what the Jeffprime is

Video showing combo attacks.

I cannot emphasize how fun the combat system in Dragon Nest is. Between your combo attacks, dodges, normal attacks, and various special attacks, there are a ton of options available to you during every fight. Combat is never stale and I just can’t get enough beating the crap out of monsters.

A refreshing aspect of the game is the humor. While it’s not overly slapstick, there are quite a bit of humorous touches to be found in the game. One quest that made me laugh was a goblin version of 300 where you had to defeat 300 goblins in a small area. Another was a spy saying that he hid in a basket to get some intel of some dark elves, not to ogle them. (Dark elves are psychotic hotties in the game.) While the tone is light-hearted, there are some serious moments, which are made all the more serious by the normal tone of the game.

The usual bells and whistles of MMOs are found here as well. There is an auction house, guilds, crafting, and storage so the average MMO player will feel right at home in Dragon Nest.

Dragon Nest review
Checking out a town.

While I am giving gameplay a high rating, I would have rated it higher but for a few caveats. First, the dungeons can get repetitive. There are times where I’ve entered a dungeon a couple of times and the next part of the quest chain, instead of going to a new dungeon, instead sends me back to the same dungeon. Fortunately, you should clear a dungeon anywhere from five to ten minutes, on the average.

The other quibble in the game is the cash shop and its impact upon crafting in gameplay. You can easily enchant items up to a certain level, but if you fail while you are enchanting an item, the item is destroyed. The only way to prevent such a thing is to purchase an item from the cash shop to prevent the item from being destroyed.

Graphics - 82 / 100

The graphics in Dragon Nest are very lush and colorful. The visuals in the game are of anime-style cuteness. Your character looks cute, the NPCs look cute, and the monsters look cute, mostly. If you can handle anime-style cuteness, then you’ll love the look of the game. If you don’t like this style, then you’ll probably go mad. Personally, the visual style of the game grew on me and I found it a refreshing change of pace from the normal, gritty fantasy games I play. The combat animations are well done and are a natural part of the combat system. I love how when an enemy is defeated, they try to rise, reach out their little hands, gasp, and then expire. Bloodthirsty and cute all at the same time.

Dragon Nest review
Watching the poochums at work at the forge.

Sound - 77 / 100

The sound in Dragon Nest is pretty good. There are plenty of action sounds in combat and the NPCs all have a catchphrase or two when you talk to them. The music is your standard fantasy MMO fare and does a fine job, but like in most games, you will be tuning out the background music as you’re stomping butt in the various dungeons. Overall, the sound helps keep you in the right mood as you play and doesn’t detract from the game experience.

Multiplayer - 77 / 100

You can easily group in Dragon Nest. There are guilds as well, with the chief benefit being a specific chat channel, storage, and the ability to face off against other guilds. PvP is composed of various skirmish matches and a ladder system. There are rewards for fighting in PvP and you can easily access the Arena, where all the fighting takes place.

Dragon Nest review
Some PvP action.

I had a blast playing in respawn matches where you play until one side accumulates a certain number of kills. Too keep it somewhat balanced, the game will enhance players so that you won’t be walking in with your 10th level hit points and facing a horde of level 20 players. Surprisingly, my sloth-like reflexes resulted in getting more kills than deaths, which is a rarity!

The main improvements that I would do to multiplayer would be to have scenarios in PvP and to add some other guild benefits.

Value - 82 / 100

The value of Dragon Nest is good. The game is free-to-play! Unlike other F2P games, you can actually purchase healing and magic point potions within the game. Items in the cash shop include items that allow you to bypass the limits placed upon the in-game mail and auction house, and, of course, extra storage space. You can also purchase costume pieces. These costume pieces can either be bought for 30 days, 90 days, or permanent. Personally, I’m not a big fan of renting costume pieces. Buying a standard full outfit will run about five dollars in real money for 30 days, nine dollars for 90 days, or around thirteen bucks for permanent. Please note that a full outfit is comprised of different costume pieces. Still, you can play happily without buying anything. If you have impulse control, then Dragon Nest is a good value.

Dragon Nest review
Wondering what to buy to look better.

Lasting Appeal - 82 / 100

Dragon Nest is definitely a game worth playing and one to keep coming back to. I can definitely see myself playing this game on a regular basis to get some monster-slaying in or some quick PvP action. I don’t think I’ll play Dragon Nest 20 hours a week from now on, but it’s something to come back to if you have a half hour and you just want to beat the crap out of some stuff and have some fun.

Pros and Cons

  • Extremely solid and fun combat system
  • Lush, colorful graphics
  • If you like anime-inspired cuteness, then you’ll love the look of Dragon Nest
  • Dungeons can get repetitive
  • If you hate anime-inspired cuteness, then you’ll loathe the look of Dragon Nest
  • Locked character selection with very little customization

Dragon Nest review
Some people may need insulin for all this cuteness.


Overall, Dragon Nest is a fun game that has an extremely flexible and dynamic combat system. The anime-style cuteness of the visuals will either endear you to the game or make you loathe it. Personally, I find it a refreshing change of pace from the normal fantasy MMOs I play. It’s not a deep game, but what it focuses on, it does extremely well. It has ported over very well from the Asian market without the usual hiccups that usually occur, such as language differences or bad voice dubbing. I would definitely recommend checking it out. You kick the crap out of monsters in a multitude of bone-crushing ways. What’s not to love about that?

Overall 80/100 - Good


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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016