At a Glance: Dragon Power is based on Dragonball Z, a show where people talk about how they're going to kick each other's asses until the episode uses up its 20 frame animation quota and ends with "To Be Continued". That isn't important right now, though. In fact, throw away everything you know about Dragonball Z, because this is a whole new fucking ball game. I hope you like punching lots of repetitive palette-swapped enemies, because guess what you'll be doing for most of this game!
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 98k
Bombs that explode into food are a recipe for awesome!
Dragonball Z is a huge hit with various people at my college who wear oversized anime shirts that look like they were designed by someone on a bad acid trip. My theory about the show is that it's intended to serve as a gateway drug to much worse anime videos. Today's Dragonball Z fans will be tomorrow's Peacock King fans.
Game Plot: Goku is on a quest for 7 crystal balls that will make the dragon emperor grant him one wish, though I'm not sure if any wish is worth the hours of torment required to finish this game.
I am attempting to review Dragon Power without getting flamed into oblivion by DBZ fans, and to that end I will use this paragraph to state three positive things about the game. First of all, true to its title, Dragon Power contains dragons and requires electricity to play. Second, the cartridge is ultra-durable and great for throwing at people when they ask you why you're playing Dragon Power. Third, if you like the Dragonball Z cartoon, you'll be blown away by this game, since it contains more animations than every episode of the TV series combined.
Goku's sprite looks like a moron cousin of Ernie from Sesame Street. On the game over screen he does a spiteful dance of pure hatred, mocking you like some kind of 8-bit albatross. It's the most evil thing I've ever seen in an NES game, including Barbie Super Model.
The most annoying thing about Dragon Power is that as you're playing, your health constantly decreases. You'd think that if Bandai wanted to make the game impossibly difficult, they'd have at least come up with a more creative way of doing it. Snowboarding ninjas, anyone? Or how about some pirate ghosts?
Enemies: In the proud tradition of marvelously screwed-up NES games, Dragon Power's enemies include dogs with hands sticking out of their heads, flying cats, and a crazy lady on a hovercraft. Sometimes when the enemies die, they drop bombs that explode and turn into food, and if you need me to tell you how awesome that is, you shouldn't be reading this site.
Number of Levels: 10 levels of pain and suffering in a barren 8-bit wasteland. "Brown" seems to be the theme of choice for this game, giving you the feeling that you're walking across a landscape made out of giant turds. The intermission text between the levels looks like it was composed by throwing a typewriter down the stairs.
Goku punches evil in the balls!
Punch - Goku rules the streets with devastating combo moves and secret martial arts techniques! Or not. Actually, it's just a punch and half of the time it misses.
Wind Wave - To use this attack, you have to stand still for a second and let it charge up, which isn't good when you're facing mutant dogs that want to stab you in the face.
Power Pole - When Goku's fists of fury just aren't enough, the Power Pole will extend his attack range by 2 millimeters. "Power Pole" may sound a little sexually suggestive, but Bandai decided it was better than the weapon's original name: the Mega Dick.
Jump - Well, it's a jump. What more is there to say? I guess I could pretend this is Unreal Tournament and give it a gimmicky name like "Gravitational Disruptor". Protip: Be careful when jumping over pits or you may find yourself in the advanced state of Gravitational Disruption reserved for things that fall off the screen.
Number of Bosses: The two bosses I saw were a giant samurai and a giant samurai accompanied by a bee. Both fell victim to my complex strategy of standing next to them and pressing punch until I had broken my B button. All of my punches seemed to land at about groin level, which was the high point of this game's entertainment value.
Defining Moment: The dialogue, the enemies, the bosses, take your pick. This game is so utterly insane it could've been used as the virus that blew up the alien spaceships in Independence Day.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
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