Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms - 0.99 (WaGame Technology)

Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms is a new side-scrolling beat-em-up/hack-n-slash/action RPG from WaGame Technology. In it, you play as Zhao Yun as you battle against the Nanman Barbarians. The game really reminds me of Dynasty Warriors, but in a side-scrolling, old-school format. The graphics are awesome, and very reminiscent of the SNES/SEGA era, and the animations are great. Walking looks kinda funny, but it’s not distracting, and the fighting animations are very smooth and presented very well.

The controls in DOTTK are tight, responsive, and very easy to use. You move Zhao Yun with a joystick in the bottom left corner, and have an attack button on the bottom right side of the screen, with a skill attack button next to it. When you fill up your attack bar under your health bar, another button appears next to the skill button, and stays there until you tap on it. In that same area is where you tap to ride horses, and elephants. Turning around quickly to fight off enemies that swarm around you is very easy to do, and you’re never stuck mashing on the screen trying to turn around in a hurry so you don’t loose a bunch of health.
Right now, there is one pretty major bug/issue. Whenever you die, and try to retry from the last checkpoint, everything on the screen becomes unresponsive. The developers have said that they’re working on a fix for this, but it seems like this is something that should have been dealt with during some beta testing. It is a shame that if you die, you need to exit the game, remove it from your multitasking bar, and re-start from the beginning of the level, instead of at the last checkpoint. Hopefully the developers get this issue fixed soon, because it’s a pretty major bug.
Aside from that, the gameplay is pretty good. You go through the levels, hacking and slashing away at enemies. If you press the skill button, the action pauses, so you can take your time choosing which skill you’d like to use given the current situation on the screen. There’s vases, crates, and treasure chests scattered throughout the levels, each dropping gold, health, and flags. You can use the gold to buy accessories in the shop between levels, and the flags to use your skills. The enemies also have an item drop rate that’s reasonably decent, and sometimes you’ll come across a full meal that restores your health fully. However, in order to use a skill or your special attack, you’ll need to press forward on the joypad while pressing the buttons, and this can get pretty frustrating during hectic battle sequences.
There are also some power-ups, but these drop rates are pretty low. Some will give you stronger attacks, some will increase your defense, and things like that. You level up while progressing through the game, but another thing I would have liked to see is the health refilled when you level up. Right now, leveling up doesn’t really do anything but give you another attack and defense point, which in the battle sections, doesn’t really help too much. There are bosses at the end of each level, and defeating them can sometimes prove to be quite the challenge. But it’s not overly difficult, and reminds me of old-school beat-em-up games.
Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms does have a lot of content, especially for being $0.99. It’s a solid action RPG, with the addition of side-scrolling levels, and is definitely worth checking out. There’s plenty of variation with the bosses and enemies, and really hit’s the spot if you’re looking for a game that matches the gameplay and difficulty of old-school beat-em-ups from the NES and SNES eras. There is, however, very little replay value here. Maybe if you could unlock more characters at the end of the game or play on a harder difficulty, the drive to replay the game would be there, but as it is now, you'll play it once, and probably end up deleting it.

Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms is getting a score of 7 out of 10.



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