SSpace ships? Thing of the past! A new breed of shoot-em-up has riden and at the arcade forefront is Dragon Breed. Coming from IREM corporation - those nice people wo brought us R-Types I and II - it has a massively violent pedigree featuring more power-ups than you can eat and huge, flying-
The game stars an everyday prince and his pet dragon. The creature is impressive, well animated and smooth moving. They are the last of the Dragon Breed, fighting for survival in a horizontally-
How Green is my Dragon?
The dragon at the start is your average, ho-hum, run-of-the-
Each level features a different graphic theme and sports its own peculiar hazards. The aliens come at you in reasonably vicious waves and threaten to overwhelm you on every level, even though they are easily killed. It's positioning and timing that will see you through rather than firepower. Like R-Type, this is a shoot-em-up that can be progressively learnt and beaten.
The above factors all bode well for this dragon bash. There are, however, enough demerits to keep Dragon Breed relegated to the shoot-out second division. The levels are too short, a factor that is only offset on three of the six levels by reasonably tough guardians. The other three - especially the final boss - are wimps. The game design too, appears flawed in certain areas with blatantly obvious safe spots. As for design faults, the blame for them lies with IREM.
Deadly, but Safe
The safe spots problem is highlighted by the occasional detection hiccup. Particularly on the second level, creatures have been specifically placed to make an apparent safe-spot deadly, but then it turns out they don't do you any damage.
Dragon Breed is a good conversion, duplicating the feel of the arcade original. Certain levels are prettier and harder than others. The guardians vary, resulting in the game switching from heart-