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There’s some nice action and unique gameplay here, and the different objectives on the levels keep it fresh. It’s just too bad the ﬂying gameplay is simplistic and lacks any real strategic depth.
Although this game is not exactly what you might expect, the game's theme and overall goals do provide a few thrills.
You fly around, you shoot stuff, that’s about it. The dragon controls like a computer game. He can fly around anywhere on the screen, but his movement feels like it should be controlled by a mouse, not a chunky D-pad. Sometimes when you shoot projectiles at ships, people, other dragons, your attack hits them; other times, what projectiles? For reasons unknown, the dragon begins the game with a partially-filled life bar, and it only takes a couple bullets or neanderthal-heaved rocks or an over-sized rock wall to take you down completely. Never mind that you’re a dragon. Playing on the Easy setting helps quite a bit. Your health doesn’t go down as quickly, and enemies don’t take as long to shoot. It actually makes DragonStrike, dare I say, entertaining for a brief period of time. If Gary Gygax were to appear in a dream, roll a die, and command you to play just one of the Dungeons & Dragons games for the NES, make it DragonStrike. Trust me on this.
Overall, I think any gamer or NES fan will have the same reaction I did when playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: DragonStrike. At first you'll think, "Hey, this is a pretty good game." And then, as you go further and further and get more and more frustrated will discover the same thing I did, this game presents well and then ends terribly, which makes for one of the worst experiences in video games. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy playing through games before reviewing them, because sometimes what appears to be classic ends up tormenting you beyond belief. There are various levels of suck in the 8-Bit era and beyond, but one of the worst cases of suck is the game that pulls you into its web, promising entertainment and seemingly offering it at first, to only wear you down with unnecessary toil and hardship. DragonStrike is an overwhelming disappointment when it comes down to it, and I can't really say I recommend it to anyone.