Silent Dragon


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6.5

Sound: 5.5

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 7

Ok, so your planning on taking over the world using some mutants you've managed to create using some DNA-type stuff. You've got a group of 4 guys looking to seriously take you out in a violent manner. What are you to do? Kidnap one of their girlfriends to tick 'em off even more? Yeah, great move evil genius guy...

There's nothing especially spectacular about Silent Dragon. It's story has been reproduced countless times, the characters are mundane, and the title screen is seriously misleading. Why does a helicopter come down firing missiles at the games opening credits? Because it's a shooter? NO! It's a side scrolling fighter! Regardless, fans of this overpopulated genre will find enough here to play through it at least once as long as they can overlook some problems along the way.

Up to 3-players can join in the battle to stop "Dr. Bio" and his diabolical scheme. The characters available are of the standard variety, though 2 of them are palette swaps of each other. The standard array of moves are available with an especially strong special attack (which of course drains your life meter). You can also turn your character's skin red for a brief period and use this move without penalty. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to actually activate this and managed to pull it off only by accident a few times.

Everything is this game scales as it moves into/out from the background. At times, the effect it done so well, you may not even notice it. Unlike other games who have tried this an failed miserably (See: Arabian Fighters), it's a welcome sight, but does cause some issues....slowdown to be exact. It actually makes little sense as there are times when the screen can be completely filled with enemies with no problems, but other times 2 enemies seem to tax the hardwares capabilities. Besides the scaling effect, the sprites would feel right at home on the Super NES with bright, vibrant color used throughout. Animation is generally smooth, but there's nothing of any major importance.

Though it may look good, listening to a game like this seriously causes ears to bleed. Each of the tracks is a complete mess, constantly mixing genre's of music to try and fit in. It never does. The sound effects remain passable throughout, but much like the animation, there's nothing terribly notable. It's games like this that make people appreciate arcades being so loud and drowning out games like this.

There are some enemies included in this adventure that drag it down more than a few points. Stage 3 introduces players to an infuriating armadillo-like creature that takes a stupid amount of damage to finally go down. Thankfully, you'll only contend with this thing once. Unfortunately the same cant be said for the bat/human-mix-thing that gets introduced in stage 4. You'll contend with this infuriating freak on a few occasions, none of them pleasant. Besides these idiotic inclusions, the game maintains a fair and balanced challenge level up until the final credits.

Silent Dragon was yet another casualty of the early 90's glut of brawlers. It's a decent game, more than worthy of a few quarters, but when you have Final Fight next door, there's no reason to plop coinage into this one (was that the worlds most well written run-on sentence or what?). If this is your style of game (and anyone who enjoys mindless fun should be) then this is one to track down. Ignore the occasional slowdown issues and annoying enemies and you'll be more than pleased with the overall experience.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:31 PM