Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is a Playstation Network exclusive downloadable game. It follows the old arcade style side scrolling beat-em-up with a few platforming elements tossed in for added depth. Players assume the role of one of two brothers, differentiated by blue and red shirts, who are out for blood after the brutal murder of their father and the abduction of their sister. The Playstation Network has had some wonderful exclusives ranging from the beauty and simplicity of Flower to the outrageous humor in Pain. Can Revenge of the Wounded Dragons distinguish itself among the other top notch exclusives? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs.
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons’ gameplay mechanics are definitely old school, but it is a welcome return. The action plays out in the basic side scrolling fashion, but the game adds some platforming moments along with puzzles. Theses additions help carry the game along by mixing it up a bit. The hidden areas and statues also allow the player to take a break from snapping necks (Bamboo Breaker). The mini games are present throughout the story, but can also be played by themselves at the main menu. This gives players a little more variety as well.
After progressing to the final area of a chapter players are pit against a boss. Obviously they are harder than the average enemy and require some strategy. The tactics are never anything extremely difficult and just have to be repeated until the boss is defeated or they change their attacks. Overall they are entertaining to battle with. The combat is simplistic, but it gets the job done. You have the stand alone punch and kick which can be modified by pressing up or down with it for high and low attacks. The dodge button is mapped to the right analog stick which was a good call by the developer. If you get tired of just punching and kicking your enemies to death, then get your hands on one of the many weapons laying around. Not enough for you? Try and stun enemies to execute a finishing move. There are eight of them to enjoy. The gameplay aimed to please with its arcade style and it succeeded.
The graphics are very colorful and varied. Even though it is a side scroller the levels show depth and a good amount of detail. Although you are on a set track and can not move further back into the scenery it is still a nice visual component. The level design is another plus. Each chapter illustrates an entirely new environment. This makes each new area feel fresh and separates them from previous levels. The diversity keeps the game from getting stale quickly.
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons features cooperative and competitive play. However, you are limited to local play. Two players can take part in competitive mini games or progress through the story together. If you take the cooperative route you are given a few extra moves to add to combat. There are four co-op moves that can be done. Three are used to take out enemies with my personal favorite being Ping Pong. The fourth move is Soul Transfer. To further reinforce the co-op style players can transfer part of their health to their partner. When facing bosses on a higher difficulty this move comes in handy.
The game consists of four chapters which include six areas. Viewing it from an arcade style perspective the levels are a good length, but when put up against the content in other downloadable games today it has a hard time holding up. If you play on easy or have a friend joining you the game can be completed in no time at all. Unless you are a completionist who needs every trophy then chances are you will not be searching all over for hidden areas and statues. Even adding in the time it takes to find them all is not much.
Given the small combo list you will most likely try out every possible combo and finisher within the first chapter. The game is best played in short bursts. This helps extend its life a little and keeps the player from becoming too aware of the limited fighting moves.
As with most arcade games Revenge of the Wounded Dragons has an extremely weak story. The game opens with the father being killed and the sister being kidnapped. This leads to the predictable search for vengeance and rescue. It is just enough story so that the player can justify beating up wave after wave of enemies.
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons reintroduces the old beat-em-up style that many have enjoyed in arcades over the years and adds a few small things of its own. The collectables, mini games, and co op add some replay value and the level design keep things fresh. Unfortunately, the legnth of the game and basic combo list bring the game down a bit. All in all for $10 it is not a bad buy, but it definitely has some competition that could easily draw a potential buyer away at the same $10 price.