Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Friday, 12 October 2012

KING OF DRAGONS: simplistic fun-funs

So my week of reviews (remember that thing, true believers?) ended embarrassingly quickly, like some kind of virgin's one night stand. It was my birthday so I'm going to go ahead and blame other people. Namely Sir Vodka and Miss Tequila. Best friends. <3

Anyway, thought I would just do the final review before kicking back and reviewing whatever whenever so here is KING OF DRAGONS. Enjoy.

NNNNRGH. It's like they looked up "90's nerd" and just copied and pasted the definition into art somehow.
Side scrolling beat 'em ups have been done to death, but even so there are very few that anyone can say are bad. Hell, just look at the success of Castle Crashers and you can see that there will always be a place in gaming for these games. A fairly unknown game in this genre is KING OF DRAGONS (or KoD. Fuck you, CoD, you don't own that word) which is a massive dissapointment due to it being an awesome game. It features your standard fantasy fighters (Elven archer, wizard, warrior, cleric, dwarf) in your standard fantasy settings of forests and castles fighting standard fantasy enemies like orcs, evil knights and hydras. Completely standard in every way. Except it's awesome. Like, CAPITAL LETTERS AWESOME.

I'd tell you about the story but I have no fucking idea what happens to be honest and I don't really care. You're making your way to a castle thing to save someone and kill a KING OF DRAGONS who I'm pretty sure lives in a crystal tower on a bed of gold, naturally. I'm not even sure why your character has to do this when he clearly has the means to butcher his way into power in another kingdom somewhere else and probably live peacefully with the KING OF DRAGONS in the neighbouring land.

This is like, the second or third boss. He's a piece of piss. Might as well just shake hands and ask if he needs any help, it'd be easier, more profitable and take less time. Except he doesn't have hands because he's a wyvern.
The fighting system is rather nifty. There's one button to attack. No combos. None at all. You don't need combos, combos are for wimps and losers. Each character has their own attack schemes, though, with the elf being long range but weak, the wizard being mid range and mid power, etc etc etc. As you progress you pick up and auto equip better equipment that looks snazzier and attacks cooler depending on the character type. If you want the best looking, check the wizard, he's badass. You also upgrade your offhand weapon, which in the case of the melee guys is a shield which you can use (I think. It never really comes up) and for the ranged guys it boosts attack speed (probably. Again, it doesn't matter). But fuck that. You'll soon learn that attacking while jumping is the only real way forward. There's a magic button too, possibly  but there's only really a point if you're the wizard. So ignore that, too. You won't need it.

Look! Here's the warrior again! Blocking like a champ. I think. I've never seen what blocking looks like, tbh...
The difficulty level of the game is intense but oddly manageable. I mean, I've never completed the game so...y'know... But each time you do get a little further. The enemies spawn in a recognisable pattern and learning this spawn style wins you the game. It'll have you using ability spheres like a champ and smacking down enemies quicker than they can attack. Unless you play cleric. NEVER DO THIS. He attacks with a flyswatter and it's just embarrassing to watch. Once you start to recognise attack patterns of both the enemies and the bosses you can start to power through some of the levels in a couple of minutes. The first boss is a good example: you can actually stand in-between his dual wielded chain-maces and beat him in seconds. It's amazing. Soon you can start hitting the last levels no problem and enjoy the ride. Also the quicker you do it the more points/exp you get leading to your character levelling up and being able to survive longer. In some respects this game is a weird race, even though it's an rpg beat 'em up. 

Some chests actually freeze/damage you. Serves you right, cleric, for not being a ranged guy. That puny elf down the bottom is having no problem at all. And is fully clothed (looking at you, warrior...)
There are some bad points as always. KING OF DRAGONS recycles enemies more than any other game I've played barring Dynasty Warriors. There's about 5 or 6 different enemies who just do the age old colour transformation trick as the game progresses. Even the bosses do this. Though this might be a downside, it kind of twists into a odd good side. You don't want to have to deal with new enemies all the time in a game like this. You want to learn how to move to save your ass, and the repeating enemies help this by making you finesse your attack system all the time. You can actually plan attacks the moment a colour comes on the screen, and it's reassuring to know how to handle a situation when you don't have a special move to save the day like in Streets of Rage or Golden Axe. The only irredeemable bad point is that the last boss, the KING OF DRAGONS is insanely hard. I play this game on easy, and I still haven't beaten him and his RIDICULOUS GODDAM MOVES FUCKSHITNRRRRGH. No-one should plan a game where the last boss just shits all over the preparation you have done so far. It's a sour end to an otherwise frikkin' sweet game. 

That's not a natural position for a head to be. Serious. Also, you're as big as the last boss's toe...
So yeah. I like this game, and this was less of a review and more of a praise session. But that's what I feel this game deserves. It's simplistic but in a way which demands that you pay attention. The bosses are nicely thought out and the progression through the (ridiculously) short levels is enjoyable and varied. If you've ever wanted to play an RPG and not fuck about with all the customisation and just get down to it then this game fits the bill. If you want something to do for an hour this is the thing. If you want to actually play a good game, then pick this beast up. Also, the arcade version of this game was one of the best arcade cabinet games that I played and that was in a hotel in Ibiza when I was 8.

Peace out.

Links to emulators and roms: I prefer Snes9x, personally, but whatever.

Cliff Notes: A truly excellent example of how Beat 'Em Ups are one of the most fun franchises around. And how nerds rule.
Rating: 9/10. That last one was taken off from the last boss and his stupid as fuck attack scheme.
Friend Recommend: Definitely. It's free. It's fun. No-one can dislike it. Download it now.

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