Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch
Reviewed by Kieran
Category: Arcade, Action Shmup
Release Date: 04.05.2018
Sometimes I honestly wonder why I do this. A game comes along that I absolutely suck at and I question my abilities as a gamer. How can I review something that I struggle so much to beat?
Then I realise that you’re not here to hear me gloat about how awesome I am at playing video games. You just want to know how good the game is. Luckily for all of us, despite my clear lack of prowess, I can still talk a good game.
So, without further ado, lets get to it.
The Brave Men Did Not Kill Dragons, The Brave Men Rode Them
Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch is an absolute blast to play. It requires skills, quick reflexes and above all, patience. The entire campaign, of which I’m still unsure what the plot is, can be completed in half an hour or so. Well, that is if you’re even remotely competent. There are 7 difficulties, ranging from ‘Monkey’ to ‘Very Hard’. I found that, even on the lowest difficulty setting, there was a fair amount of challenge. As I alluded to before, I’m really quite bad at this game.
You can choose to play as any of 4 characters, all of whom have a unique dragon to ride. Quaid rides a Fire Dragon, Sonia a Water Dragon, Rob has a 2 headed beast and Ian has a skeletal steed. Each dragon has unique abilities that benefit their rider and offers a different way to play through the game.
For each character there are individual lines of dialogue, as well as different endings.
Purple Haze, All In My Brain
Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch is an arcade action shmup at heart. However, at times it enters the realms of ‘bullet hell’. Enemy fire is displayed in purple, and there are moments when the screen can be overwhelmingly suffused. The game offers a mechanism to deal with this in the form of magic bombs, however they are limited so it’s is advised that you use them only when the need absolutely demands it.
If you can navigate the sea of purple, at the end of every level there is a boss fight. These are always imaginative and have at least 2 stages.
Enter The Dragon
Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch was originally released in 2000 as an arcade game by the now defunct developer and publisher Psikyo. If the name sounds familiar, that’s probably due to their rich history producing arcade games. Or perhaps you played one of their previous Switch ports, such as Tengai or Sol Divide.
For a game that is old enough to legally vote, Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch holds up very well. The environments are all lovingly animated, colourful and concise. If it wasn’t for the constant barrage of frantic action, you would probably have time to appreciate the attention to detail happening in the background.
The soundtrack is epic and fantastical. It’s the sort of soundtrack that really makes you feel as though you are embarking on an epic adventure, the kind the Tolkien would write about.
Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch utilises a few of the consoles features. To play with a friend, simply separate the controllers from the console and share the Joy. Playing with another person certainly helps to lighten the load, taking down waves of foes was certainly easier with an ally as was collecting coins. Which in turn help to increase your high score.
As well as a solid 2 player mode, there is also an option to rotate the screen 90 degrees. Whilst not ideal when playing in handheld, it certainly made better use of the display space available, If you own a stand for your Switch, or if you are happy to lean it against an inanimate object, then it is certainly an interesting way to play.
As always, it is nice to see the publisher, Japanese company Zerodiv, take the time to fully exploit the hardware on offer, rather than simply offering a lazy port.
It is also possible to alter a large amount of settings. These range from the amount of continues that you have to the number of bombs you can carry. There are also options to change the screen filter, providing a more traditional CRT experience. As to why you would want to do this is beyond me, but it is always nice to have the options available.
Dragon On, Time To Wrap
Dragon Blaze for Nintendo Switch is an example of why we love to play video games. You might not always be that good at them, but they can still provide a lot of fun and at the end of the day, that’s the point right?!
While Nintendo dilly dally over offering Switch owners a dedicated Virtual Console service, you could certainly do far worse than this title to fulfil your retro itch.
Addictive game play that can frustrate and delight in equal measure. Presentation that holds up surprisingly well. Lots of replay value. Customisation options galore.
Buy Dragon Blaze For Nintendo Switch $7.99