Drakengard 3 is set to come out in the West sometime this year, and if you're like me, you want to catch up on the previous entries of the series. The original Drakengard has you taking control of a rather blood-thristy protagonist as you fight through hordes of enemies both in the air and on the ground. Also, there are some pretty morbid and crazy moments strewn about to keep players guessing as to what to expect next.
Whether this Action RPG is good or not is really up to the player, but I've compiled some tips to help you get through Drakengard just a little more smoothly.
Try to distribute experience evenly to Caim and the Dragon. There's usually an incentive to use the Dragon more throughout the Ground Missions, simply because it makes the levels faster, but it's important to level up Caim as well or you'll have trouble surviving. When the Dragon gets experience, only her attack power will rise. However, when Caim levels up, their shared health bar increases. This is even more important to remember when...
All boss battle take place in the sky. That's right, you won't be fighting any major enemies on the ground, so make sure to master controlling the Dragon and effectively dodging in the air. Also, more health tends to go farther in these battles than more attack power, so if you're having trouble it might be better to level Caim up than the Dragon.
Using the Dragon's homing shots isn't always the best strategy. Especially during certain boss fights where there many smaller units that you really don't want to hit, it can be difficult to lock on to the target you want to. There are also enemies late game that dodge homing shots and even counter when hit by them. While it's harder to aim the single ballistic shot, it does more damage and can insure you're hitting the right target.
The Status menu if your friend. This may seem obvious, but the Status menu can be really helpful in figuring out... well, your status. You can see how close weapons are to leveling up, as well as how many more times you can summon your chosen pact-partner into battle. It took me half of my first playthrough to even notice its usefulness, so don't ignore it!
Dodging is helpful, the rest, not so much. Caim can jump, guard, and dodge while fighting enemies. Honestly, dodging is the only really useful move of the three. Many enemies can break your guard, and this is not helped by the fact that enemies tend to swarm you. As for jumping, the little hop you get will rarely (if ever) help you on the battlefield, as the enemy will usually still hit your legs.
If you want Ending A (which leads to Drakengard 2), you don't have to do anything special. You don't need to get any of the pact-partners or see any of the extra Verses (marked by roman numerals). While doing so may be helpful to gain levels, weapons, and allies, it's not required. Seeing Ending A is important to understand the events and characters of Drakengard 2, so make sure to at least see Ending A before moving on to the sequel.
You don't have to finish the pact-partner's special chapters (or even find the partners themselves) until you want to unlock Ending D. Again, it's helpful for leveling (and also makes the story a little more cohesive), but if you don't want to, you don't have to do anything involving your allies until you want to unlock the fourth ending.
You don't have to collect all the weapons unless you're going for the final ending (Ending E). Collecting all of the weapons can be very difficult, so only worry about it if you're going for the final ending. Also, you can't really collect them all before that point anyway, as every ending has you going through more Chapters... which have more weapons in them. Speaking of...
Ending E is the one that connects to NieR. It's an incredibly vague connection, but Ending E is the one that eventually leads to NieR. However, you do not need to see Ending E to understand any of the events of NieR; most of the explanation connecting these two games is left to the Japanese only artbook Grimoire Nier.
You never have to level any weapon to Level 4 to obtain an ending. All you have to do is collect them. However, each weapon has a story attached to it in its status screen that you can read; you can only see the entire story once the chosen weapon is Level 4.
If you are running low on health... one decent idea is to equip a Sword (not a Long Sword) and run to an area where there are a bunch of non-target units. Swords are the easiest weapons to combo with (due to their speed and low damage), and if you're not at 100% health then health orbs will always spawn when you hit certain numbers in a combo (starting at 16 hits).
If there's a treasure chest that's not on the map, then is it almost always a large health orb. The only exceptions are when the game alerts you of a hidden treasure chest spawning; they do not appear on the map, and tend to hold weapons.
The game tells you how to unlock locked Verses. If you want to know how to unlock a Verse that you can't access (it's blacked out), go to said Verse and press X. The game will then tell you what you have to do to unlock the Verse.
Keeping these little tips in mind will make your trip through Drakengard's rather depressing world go... well, more smoothly, though not particularly less gloomy. If you have tips to share, or have any comments on the ones I've posted, shoot a comment below!