Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 13, 2016

TG 16 Review: Dragon Spirit

Note: This game is reviewed on actual Turbografx 16 hardware with absolutely no emulation.

Image result for dragon spirit turbografx 16

We are going to look at Dragon Spirit. Will this game be it? Will it be a forgotten classic that will cause the world to rise up and cheer? And will it win the infamous Malstrom Award?

As you can guess, Dragon Spirit is a shmup. You can tell the good shmups from the bad ones on the Turbografx 16 because the bad ones always have a gimmick. This time, you are a dragon! And you are in a Jurassic universe full of dinosaurs who pop their heads above water to shoot fireballs at you. When you gain power-ups like a double attack, you gain another head! When you take damage, you lose weapon ability. You have three hits to die. There is no way to replenish your life meter.

One button fires shots. The other fires bombs at the ground enemies that your fire shots cannot reach.

Above: Dragon Spirit has a good soundtrack.

Dragon Spirit’s ‘gimmick’ of being a dragon in a Jurassic atmosphere is refreshing. The game world, with its fine soundtrack, makes you want to keep playing the game. However, the game’s atrocious controls keep you away. Your dragon is freaking huge and will get hit very easily.

What I think kills the game is getting hit or dying. It is not easy to come back in this game. It is the classic shmup problem. When you die or lose your weapons, you are in a tough area with your pea-shooter. Dragon Spirit suffers this problem. This game is fun… until you get hit. When you die, you start back from a checkpoint.

Above: This reviewer hated the slow fatass hitbox of the dragon too!

I am struggling to find more to say about this game. There is an arcade version (found on Namco discs) and a NES version. The NES version is terrible. This is the version to own as the game view will fill up your entire screen. Dragon Spirit is a really cool concept, but it isn’t polished in the controls. Playing as a dragon, the cool music, and the really neat Jurassic atmosphere makes this game worthy to be checked out. But it does not get a Malstrom Award.

Above: “Um… yeah… I like it.” haha

This game is interesting enough to check out for its personality, but the gameplay is too annoying to be enjoyable.

[Back to TG 16 Table of Contents]

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