Reviewed by Malc

Some days fly by without a whimper. Some days get noted in the Shmup history book. One of those days was when that young impudent upstart of an emulator RAGE added Dragon Breed to it's slew of supported shooters. I mind when Dragon Breed popped up in my favourite arcade in Glasgow (the Treasure Island, now a mere shadow of it's past glorious self) and I dutifully pumped my 10 pees into its bowels. Damn I miss those days:)

Anyway, they're back with the revitalised emulated version of a real classic Irem shooter, so fret ye not. Featuring a small boyish type character, sitting astride a huge dragon (the real star of the piece) the game eschewed shootemup convention (Watch out, I'll be using that other EDGE clichéd term in a minute, see if you can spot it UK fans!) by adding a much needed extra element of control.

Your dragon had several different powerups, each of which had significantly different weapon styles, even allowing you to curl up and protect your rider. Best of all was the control you had over the tail, which you could arse-bash the aliens with. This seminal title mixed the best elements of R-type (detailed bosses, holdie-downie blast shots and damn hard gameplay) with a more random, less strictly structured level design. The graphics are still pretty much unmatched today, with a unique fantasy/alien feel to them, and unlike some contemporary shooters, these graphics did not get in the way of the game.

SCORE: 9/10

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Jumping atop your pal the dragon at the beginning.

Note the special attack - yer dragon sheds an ectoplasmic head alienwards...

Level 2 monster - rather Gigeresque

Lovely graphics, shame the snakey things are fairly static.


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie