Retro-Review: Dragon View (SNES)

Dragon View

Overview:
Dragon View, made by Kemco in 1994, is a single-player RPG that features the main character, Alex (the default name, you can rename him at the start), as a swordsman in a village. It starts off with Alex doing some sword thrusts. 100,000 to be exact. After finishing his sword exercises, a girl comes up to Alex and starts screaming about her Grandpa missing. Alex agrees to go find her grandpa, and the adventure begins…

Review:

(Post-Review update: I found the map, it was on the L/R buttons, which I seem to forget about regularly, but in the end, the map is pretty useless.)

Controls:
The controls are a bit clunky. Normally you’d expect the main buttons to be A and B. Instead, the main buttons are B and Y. Takes a while to get used to, but not a major downfall. The response time is very, very good. It’s pretty much the same as some other top-sellers such as Zelda: Link to the Past. The controls for travel, however, are very bad. If, for example, you want to turn right, you have to move right, move back, move right, move back, etc. It’s also very easy to get stuck on a wall or tree.

Graphics:

Dragon View graphicsThe graphics in this game are honestly pretty good, considering it tries to be 3D. But the 3D is fucking horrid. It is admittedly kind of difficult, though, to merge a side-scroller with 3D. Some of the doors are difficult to see or find. Some things you have to go through don’t look like you should be able to move through them. And fighting monsters in this environment is a bit awkward as well. You have to be pretty much on the same level with them (depth-wise) to be able to hit them. There is a bit of wiggle room, but not much. I’ll get more into the combat stuff later.

The main travel screen is my biggest gripe about this game. It is, again, in 3D. This really wouldn’t be too bad if you had a map of the area, but of course, you don’t. The graphics remind me of some of those old landscape programs back from Windows 1995, which is about on par with everything else of its time.

Sound:
The audio in this game is pretty good overall. It’s a bit low quality, but it does alright. The weapon sounds are done pretty well.

Gameplay:
The very first area you’re in isn’t too bad, as it’s a small place. You can just run around and eventually run into what you’re looking for. After defeating the first boss, which is some giant scorpion or some shit, you have to go back to Hujia, the second city and the main city of the first area. Then this dude has to make you some bombs, and tells you to go buy equipment. When you think of equipment, you think armor, swords, etc, right? Well, you go to the shop and the only “equipment” you can buy are some arrows for a bow you don’t even have yet. But what this tard really means is potions. So you buy a potion or two and go back to his shop, where he has the bombs waiting for you.

You go through the mountain to find that you actually needed the potion(s) you bought, because there are a bunch of annoying rocks falling on your head along with holes that you fall in because of the 3D. After passing the mountain, you get to the second area, which is a cockblock. I found two places I could go in here: a tree stump, and a ruined village. The village doesn’t offer a damned thing, other than saving and healing. There’s also some random note about you that doesn’t help whatsoever. I go into the stump and there are the watery things. Considering all the other enemies in the second area are just as easy as they were in the first area, I thought I’d be able to kill these things. I was wrong. They hit me once and just about kill me. I hit them once and barely make a dent in their health bar. So I high-tailed it out of there and started to just wander around the area, and found a desert with more badass mobs that I can’t kill.

This is about as far as I got in the game, since I couldn’t seem to find anything else to do. After killing mobs in this game, they drop either hearts which refill your health as you might expect, some little gem-looking things which are Jade (the currency in the game) and the amount varies depending on the color, the most common is blue, they also drop these little star things, which for a while I had no clue what they were for. But eventually I found this Lightning Ring, which is some magic ring that lets you conjure a bolt of lightning down on your enemies. The amount of damage this does is pathetic, so I wouldn’t even bother switching from your potions to the ring. As the ring levels up, I assume it does more damage, but I’m not gonna bother with it. The ring, among other “magical” items, uses these stars for their power. The stars on the screen represent the “MP” (Magic Points).

Since I didn’t get very far with this game before giving up, even after playing it for several hours, I’m only
going to give a review of the first boss I encountered: Piercia, the giant scorpion I mentioned earlier.
This boss fight is actually very easy if you know how to do it, like most boss fights. The problem is, if you don’t have a walkthrough (I didn’t), it takes a few tries to figure it out. And there is no “Try Again,” so be prepared.

The main vice this boss has that you have to overcome is after you attack it, it decides to charge after you. The way I got around this was right from the start, head back over to the entrance and let it come to you. Hit it, jump up when it charges, repeat. This isn’t the way most people went about it, from what I’ve read on GameFaqs or seen on Youtube. The way everyone else did it was bring her to the top of the screen (yay 3D!), hit her, move down to avoid the charge, repeat. Either way works, really.

Final Words:
dragon-view-2Overall, this seems to be a pretty fun game when you can find where you’re supposed to be. I’m gonna continue to play the game and see if I can find some place that I haven’t searched yet. I wouldn’t suggest paying for this game, so don’t go all over eBay trying to find it. If you can get it really cheap (less than $5), go for it. If you ever get a chance to play it, I’d suggest trying it. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but it’s not too bad. You can save in this game, but it’s not a ton of help since you have to find the place you died again (assuming you were supposed to be there in the first place). There was also this random blue tri-force looking thing that didn’t seem to have any use or effects.

Pros

  • 3D
  • Audio
  • Level System (like a lot of RPGs)

Cons

  • Controls take a while to get used to
  • Travelling is retarded
  • No continue/try again

dragon-view-3

Scores:

Overall: 7.0/10 (Average)

Gameplay: 7.0/10
Audio: 8.0/10
Graphics: 6.0/10 (would have been better if 3D was implemented better)
Replay Value: 7.0/10 (game is probably easier/better second time around)
Dimensions: 3D/10

4 thoughts on “Retro-Review: Dragon View (SNES)


  1. Wow. I’ve never played this game. Never even heard of it, really. Obviously not a huge loss, on my part though. Nice review!

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  3. There is a map, I think you must have missed something. You get it from somebody, it’s still hard to follow the game but it would be impossible without the maps. I love DV man, Drakkhen was good too!

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