Alisia Dragoon (Genesis)

Genre
Perspective
Visual
Gameplay
Setting
83
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Alex L (347)
Written on  :  Feb 02, 2018
Rating  :  3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars

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Summary

Pansy Dragoon

The Good

Looking at the box art you would think this is another Golden Axe clone. The game has a unique atmosphere and a sort of steampunk feel, before that was a thing. The game has an auto aim lock-on system which was later used in Panzer Dragoon, but was incredibly unique at the time for an action platformer. Alisia has dragon (or is that dragoon?) sidekicks. A sun that acts as a shield, a dragon that shoots a fireball, a griffon\eagle dragon that has a lightning attack that clears a whole screen and Boomerang Lizard. This was a great feature at the time. The graphics are also nice for the time, easily as good looking as any Golden Axe game, but not as nice as the Streets of Rage series. The music is also decent if forgettable, if it was CD quality it would be on par with most B-Grade PC Engine CD titles.

The Bad

The game is harder than it needs to be. It suffers from the same mechanics as R-Type: once you lose your power it is incredibly hard to progress. You can build up your levels by collecting power-ups, lose a life and it resets to level 1. I managed get the highest level and the attack still felt underpowered with bosses taking 20 or more hits. The dragon beasts while looking cool are pretty weak on later levels. These have 3 levels and the levels are lost if they take too much damage, on later stages they are pretty much useless even at top level compared to most enemies. The dragons also have a life meter and are killed off quite easily, the only way around I could find was to flip between dragons when they took damage to keep them alive. Alisia has a lightning attack with an energy meter while this is a good attack and can lock-on it is only effective when the bar is fully charged. The game features 8 long stages and given it's difficulty it would still be a challenge at 5; the game is too long.

The Bottom Line

Alisia Dragoon has a unique look and atmosphere. Several innovative features that became standard in the 32 bit generation are here (lock-on shooting systems, sidekicks with their own energy bars). The difficulty level took the fun out of the game, but not so much that I wouldn't recommend playing it. The game has become a cult favourite and a hidden gem. I can remember it being talked about and being quite popular at the time, but it is a bit of an also-ran. Give it a blast.