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Dragon View

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Reviewed by J.M. Hornbaker Do you remember "Drakkhen"? Well, this is the sequel and it's a lot more fun than the original. In Drakkhen, you had to watch as your party members fought the enemies on their own, which was annoying to say the least. And all you could do was watch. Well, that has been improved upon drastically. Now you only control one party member, and all of the battles are fought in separate battle screens. They are set up in a "Final Fight" type fashion. You can look left and right, jump, attack, and move in all eight directions. The layout of the world is still practically the same, with a desert area, ice area, forest area, and a fire area. Only they all aren't laid out in nice neat patterns like in the first game. You need to collect pieces of the map to find your way around or you could end up lost very quickly. The game is also quite long. If you invest a lot of time and exploration into it it can take you 50+ hours to beat this baby on the first try. Very tough, and very involving.

Graphics 8 out of 10

The graphics are great in the battle sequences and when you are in town and the caves etc. but the world in which you spend the majority of your time travelling is horribly done. First, the bad things. The overworld is horrible, with choppy graphics and a very slow moving character who is even slower at turning around. In the time it takes for this guy turns around, you could probably order a pizza and have it arrive at your door just as the hero is finishing his rotation. This is totally uncalled for. One other minor thing about the overworld graphics is that when you are walking near a wall, it seems to get closer and closer even though you are walking parallel to it. Now to the good part. The graphics in DV are presented in a cartoony sort of way, with large detailed sprites and a wide variety of colors. One other gripe is the large amount of repeating characters in the game. Nothing major but I just thought that I would touch upon it.

Music and Sound 7 out of 10

I'm usually not too picky when it comes to music and sound, but this is my all means a little less than mediocre. The whole score seems to be done on a generic keyboard, and there is very little variety of music in the game, with 7 or 8 tracks at the most. And you'd think that they'd make up for the lack of variety with some half decent music at least. Now the sound effects on the other hand are superb, which is why i gave it a 7 out of 10. From the sound of your sword cutting through the air to the whipping of the scorpions' tails as they prepare to attack you, they are all done to near perfection. Not much else to say except the sound is one of DV's strong points, and the music is very, very dumb.

Game Challenge 6 out of 10

Okay, this is a hard game to rate on challenge; the enemies that you fight are all easy to kill after fighting them a few times. At first though, they are extremely tough and don't be surprised if you find yourself dying three or four times before you even win one battle. But after you gain some levels, you can even venture ahead and destroy some super powerful enemies if you have patience. For example, you can go to the fire realm when your guy is on level five and beat up the little caterpillar guys and gain two or three levels, and all you have to do is dodge their pitiful attacks and have the patience to hit them a good sixty or seventy times. Another thing that is very hard to grasp at first for some players of traditional RPG's is the lack of the ability to run from a battle. It can be very tough to determine where to go or what to do next. The NPC's tell you very little or nothing about what to do next. Very time consuming and very tough.

Game Play-Fun 4 out of 10

The gameplay is not that great. The storyline is not very smooth and it really doesn't give you very much background information. One of the good qualities of the gameplay though, and possibly the only one, is the way that the story is presented from a first person point of view, which is very rarely done well, or done at all, in an RPG. The game is linear, yet it lets you go wherever you want whenever you want. This is sometimes confusing when the wiseman at the temple tells you about the desert so you figure "Oh, I got to go to the desert" but when you get there you find that all of the enemies there are super powerful and they'll kick your butt in a hurry. This is just uncalled for.

Frustration

Yes, very much. You can often find yourself stuck and have no idea where to go, even though you're where you're supposed to be. There is often not enough information given to you as to what to do/where to go, and sometimes there are things people say that are irrelevant to the game and all they do is confuse you even more. Very frustrating.

Replayability 3 out of 10

I've never actually finished the game. I didn't have the nerve to finish it the whole way through. I got so frustrated as to where to go that I gave up. Also the battles got so repetitive i found myself dodging the enemy encounters just so i didn't have to waste time. They could have made the enemy encounters a little tougher just so it would actually be a challenge instead of a chore to play.

Game Value 5 out of 10

I bought the game from my uncle for $15 and it was worth that price, but just barely. The enemies offer no challenge whatsoever and the music is horrible. Only pick this one up if you see it in a bargain bin somewhere for a couple of bucks.

Overall 4 out of 10

This game is one that improved upon its previous effort drastically but didn't really have enough power to make it as a blockbuster title. If a little more time and effort were put into it, it could have been a good game. But all it turned out to be was what seemed like an unfinished mediocre gaming experience.

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