The King of Dragons (SNES)

The King of Dragons SNES Title Screen


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Written by  :  GreyCat (102)
Written on  :  Apr 15, 2013
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  1.4 Stars1.4 Stars1.4 Stars1.4 Stars1.4 Stars
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Poor Golden Axe clone with an RPG twist

The Good

This game clearly tried to compete with pretty successful SEGA's Golden Axe - a 2.5D platform brawler in a fantasy setting.

SNES's relatively big ROM size (2MB) certainly outperforms Golden Axe's 512KB or 1MB ROM, thus offering much richer graphic / sound experience. Lots of tiles, lots of characters, lots of maps. Somewhat superior video processor offers slightly more wow-factor effects.

Bosses are vivid and pretty diverse - almost no "recolor that sprite and use it again" encountered. Bosses personalities and attack techniques also vary a lot and it *might* have made them a little "above-the-average".

The Bad

Game is seriously lacking in terms of depth and gameplay. While technically there are more characters (5 in KoD and 3 in GA), they don't really differ much (except for an Elf, which shoots an endless stream of arrows and thus easily outperforms any other character).

Basically, the only thing characters can do is just strike their weapons. No special attacks, no intricate jump-and-hit-from-above, no running kicks, nothing. There's no separate and/or intricate "magic" either - special button just invokes fairly bland "auto-target them all with fireballs / lightning / whatever" routine and decreases player's health for this.

Levels are nice in terms of graphics, but pretty short and boring in terms of gameplay. Enemies don't differ much and don't use any intricate techniques beside straight forward "rush-and-strike".

Game tried to introduce as RPG twist (i.e. characters progressively mature with more completed levels), but it also looks pretty boring: generally, one gets a weapon / armor upgrade on completion of every level and that's all. New weapon / armor is just more powerful and doesn't introduce any new techniques.

Last, but not least - a subjective opinion - graphics are *way* too cheesy and cheerful. While original Golden Axe remains true to its bleak and harsh barbarian fantasy setting, KoD shines as a christmas tree with all the rainbow colors.

The Bottom Line

Nice try on Golden Axe, but, alas, a failed one due to almost completely ruined gameplay.