Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Mar 31, 2007
Platform  :  SEGA CD
Rating  :  3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars

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You're so... green

The Good

The year is 2053 and the setting is dirty Los Angeles. Former private investigator, William “Blade” Hunter, is asked by Mayor Vincenzi to find out who or what killed his daughter, Chandra. It happens to be an election year, so Vincenzi doesn't want the investigation to be leaked to the press. He gives Blade several leads to get started: Chandra was last seen in the Pleasure Dome, hanging out with some guy known as “The Jake”. Blade should talk to The Jake and show him a “vid-transmission hardcopy” of Chandra.

There are at least three versions of Rise of the Dragon, and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. The Sega CD version has full speech, which is what the other two versions lack. The different characters are voiced by professional actors, including Cam Clarke, who plays the part of Blade. Like in other versions, you are likely to choose some responses when you are talking to someone. Whether you choose the right responses will determine if they are kind afterwards, or are angry at you. I enjoyed getting an angry reaction from them. Having completed the Sega CD version, I have to say that the speech very much adds to the game's atmosphere. The voices that I like include those belonging to all the Chinese characters, especially Jonny Qwong and Deng Hwang.

Another advantage over the DOS/Amiga versions is the use of great sound effects. These can be heard in scenes when lightning strikes, when someone fires a gun, or when a bomb is exploded. And you can hear machines doing their shit when you spy into the enemy's warehouse. I mostly heard them from playing the arcade sequences, dealing with the different hazards that block your way.

The Bad

There is one scene where Karyn and Blade go out for dinner, but that scene is censored. This is despite the game given a MA-17 rating by the VRC. Anyone who has played the DOS or Amiga version will surely know that both characters don't just go out for dinner, they sleep together as well.

Due to the Sega CD's limited color palette, the graphics have a green tint to them. Although that is bad, I like to think that the game deserves it due to its “MTZ” drug theme. Before Dynamix went ahead of the game, they should have waited one more year when the Saturn came out. By then, they would have incorporated graphics that have more colors than the other versions, making it look more like a futuristic thriller. As well this, they would have made further enhancements to the game.

The Bottom Line

Despite the censorship and the green graphics, the Sega CD version of Rise of the Dragon has one notable advantage over other versions before it: full speech. This adds to the atmosphere of the game. Other advantages include great sound effects, that can be best enjoyed during the arcade sequences. So if you have already played either of the other versions, I would recommend getting hold of the Sega CD version and see how good it is.