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Ballern Deluxe

Saint Dragon logo

Saint Dragon Das brandneue Action-Spektakel verdanken wir den Jungs von Random Access, also jenem Programmierteam, das uns schon die gut spielbaren „Ninja Warriors“ und den Beinahe-Klassiker „Silkworm“ beschert hat. Auch ihr jüngstes Game ist ein wahres Meisterwerk an Spielbarkeit, der Vergleich mit dem großen Vorbild „R-Type“ ist hier mehr angebracht! Bei so viel Klasse ist es nur gerecht, wenn wir auch der Vorgeschichte ein paar Zeilen widmen (so überflüssig sie auch sein mag). Eine bitterböse Rasse von Monsterrobotern hat die Galaxis und alle friedliebenden Völker versklavt. Das Universum sucht also wieder mal einen Retter und findet ihn in einer Kreuzung aus Raumschiff und Drache. Der bibelfeste Leser erkennt in Story und Titel unschwer die Anspielung auf die Legende vom heiligen Georg.

Amiga Joker Hit Mit seinem schießwürigen Metalldrachen fliegt man durch fünf Level astreinen Paralax-Scrollings und heizt den durchgestylten Gegnern tüchtig ein. Auf der Reise über wundersame Planetenlandschaften begegnet man gepanzerten Raubkatzen, mechanischen Kobras, Cyborg-Bullen und ähnlichen Ungetümen. Wie gewohnt, versperrt am Ende jedes Levels ein besonders garstiges Monstrum den Weg, das sich erst nach vielen Treffern spektakulär in seine Einzelteile auflöst. Um mit der gegnerischen Vielfalt fertig zu werden, sammelt man kapseln mit reichlich Extrawaffen (Firepower aller Art, Schutzschilder, etc.), die – und das ist ebenso neu wie lobenswert – nach Verlust eines der fünf Bildschirmleben nicht verlorengehen. Mehr noch: Nimmt man die vier Continues in Anspruch, so darf nicht nur am „Sterbepunkt“ (statt am Levelanfang) weitergemacht werden, auch die mühsam zusammengestellte Bewaffnung bleibt erhalten! Wer alle Level erfolgreich hinter sich gebracht hat, bekommt noch eine hübsche Endsequenz zu sehen, in der der Drache wieder in die Welten des Alls abdüst.

Die Grafik erinnert zwar recht deutlich an „R-Type“, ist aber eigenständig genug und sehr gelungen – vielleicht hätte man an den Hintergründen noch etwas feilen können, aber die Sprites sind eine Pracht. Und was sich da oft alles gleichzeitig an Gegnern und herumschwirrenden Schüssen auf dem Screen tummelt, das muß selbst gesehen haben! Der Sound geht gleichfalls voll in Ordnung, ebenfalls Musik plus kernige Effekte. Die Krönung aber ist das überragende Gameplay – die Steuerung ist exakt, es gibt nicht eine unfaire Stelle, und der Schwierigkeitsgrad steigert sich bedächtig von Level zu Level. Negativ sind eigentlich nur zwei Dinge aufgefallen: Zum einem umrahmen sehr breite NTSC-Streifen den Screen, zum andern hat Saint Dragon „nur“ fünf Level – ein Spitzengame wie dieses kann aber doch gar nicht lange genug dauern!
(C. Borgmeier/ml)

Amiga Joker, November 1990, p.?

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Ballern bis der Joystick bricht: Saint Dragon ist der blanke Action-Wahnsinn!"

amiga joker
Saint Dragon
Grafik: 80%
Sound: 80%
Handhabung: 93%
Spielidee: 27%
Dauerspass: 88%
Preis/Leistung: 80%

Red. Urteil:
Für Fortgeschrittene
86%
Preis: ca 84,- dm
Hersteller: Storm
Bezug: Korona Soft

Spezialität: Ein kleiner Wermutstropfen: Die Highscoreliste wird nicht abgesaved.



Saint Dragon logo  zero hero

After Paul Lakin had spent two weeks clanking round the office in a suit of armour chopping up lizards with a sword, we finally took the hint and let him review Saint Dragon.

Saint Dragon Traditionally dragons have had a pretty bad press. Let´s face it, fat, scaley pyromaniacs do not make good fairy/tale heroes.

Recently, however, dragons have been working hard on their PR. Celebrities like Clifford have given the dragon image something of a revamp. In the far off future, where life is a computer games scenario, dragons have become such all round decent chaps that, when the Galaxy is attacked by mechanical nasties, only they stand between the nasties and Galactic domination. But by now the beasties are too nice to be tough.
When Saint Dragon gets underway the last of the dragons has been captured by the cyborg monsters and threatened with destruction.

But a hero arises, albeit in an unlikely form: part dragon, part cyborg, all scenario. Having misread his Mother Goose’s Book Of Fairy Tales (Vol II) the hero sets off to rescue the dragon and incinerate the girl. (Actually the last bit was a lie).

Our hero does have one very big advantage in the form of his dragon ship. Not only capable of firing off such useful weapons as fireballs and bouncing-bombs, it also has an armour-plated tail, which can be used to protect the ship. In fact it’s even more use than a sticky bun at a bee keepers’ convention.

Zero, November 1990, p.57

HASSLE FACTOR: 0
Totally slick and hassle free

WHAT'S WHAT

TITLE
PUBLISHER
FORMAT
PRICE
RELEASED

Saint Dragon
Storm
ST/Amiga
£24.95
October

amiga review Paul: I remember trying to get hold of a screen shot of this game to go with a preview a few issues back. At first, we could only get hold of an arcade shot. “Don’t worry,” said someone at the Sales Curve, “the 16-bit screens look just like the arcade game.” Yes and my cat can ride a bicycle. Well it looks as if I’ll have to go out and buy a very small mountain bike because the screens are every bit as good as the arcade version and so’s the rest of the game.

I shouldn’t have been all that surprised (about the game that is – most people would be surprised to see their moggy pedalling off to Tescos to buy the supper). After all a Jaleco arcade game converted by the team who did Silkworm was hardly likely to be a duffer.

Each action-packed, colourful screen is crammed with large, beautifully animated sprites. The most impressive animation is on the dragon ship itself.
The ship can twist and coil its tail around its head (or cockpit) to give protection from wherever the attack is being launched. Without skilful use of his flexible appendage you’ll soon fall victim to death in one of its many forms.

As well as all the other Silkworm trademarks, (you know, things like parallax scrolling, smooth-scrolling, great sound, etc.) Saint Dragon also uses DLS (Dynamic Loading System): rather than load a whole level in one go, the game only loads the next few screens. This not only does away with long, boring loading sections but also means that more code can be used on each screen and that means more colour, more sprites and much more action.

Above all Saint Dragon is playable. Although the first level is (deliberately) fairly simple, the game gets more and more challenging and more addictive. This is one of the best shoot ‘em ups of the year. Possibly the best.

GRAPHICS 91

SOUND 88

ADDICTIVENESS 90

EXECUTION 93

OVERALL

91



Saint Dragon logo

Storm/The Sales Curve, C64 £10.99 cassette, £15.99 disk; Amiga £24.99
Saint Dragon The galaxy is under threat from a malevolent race of cyborgs: part animal, part machine, all co.. er, all out to be as nasty as they possibly can. Having taken control of most inhabitable worlds, they went on to conquer the planet of the golden dragon, the galaxy's last hope. Then, strangely enough, from amongst the cyborgs themselves rose a solitary rebel, a curious mechanoid dragon determined to halt its former comrades.

This awesome battle is represented by a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up with five levels, each ending with a huge cyborg ringleader (a giant bull, a flying saucer, the Mazefire, the Mallard and the Hive).

As well as spitting plasma bolts, the rebel dragon can use it indestructible tail to protect itself. Tokens can be collected to drastically improve firepower by adding extra torpedoes, or changing your weapon to a laser, fireball or bouncing bombs. And if your joystick doesn't have an autofire switch, the Amiga game has a built-in autofire option ('for one-handed play'!), implemented by pressing 'A'.

Zzap, Issue 72, April 1991, p.67

Stuart Wynne Knowing Sales Curve, Amiga Saint Dragon is probably a very close conversion, however it is questionable if their considerable talents should have been spent on such a derivative coin-op. The dragon looks like a snake, while the 'unique' tail sadly just trails along and can't be used to lash enemies as you might like. If you liked the coin-op, or simply can't get enough of horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-ups, the slick Amiga conversion could well find favor. End-level monsters are impressive and there's certainly some nasty attack waves (level two is hair-tearingly tough), but I was never hooked.
The C64 game is no less polished, only this conversion is too easy with level one being particularly dull. Technically the game is impressive, with attractive, fast-moving sprites, varied backdrops and good end-level creatures. The dragon sprite is well drawn, but small so the tail is of little use, and this only emphasizes the awkward shape of the dragon for this type of game. It is certainly not the nippy little spaceship you expect, and not big enough to be impressive in Dragonbreed fashion. Worth a look though.

Phil King A rather obscure coin-op, this one: even Robin has never played it. Still, if it is anything like the conversion I'm not surprised as it's a very derivative blast-'em-up. The indestructible tail is a good idea, but on the Amiga version you can simply wrap yourself in it for the first couple of levels and go and make a cup of tea. Then it becomes impossible! The 16-bit graphics are only ordinary and the simple blast-it-all-action is never exciting.
The C64 is similarly dull, mainly due to the incredibly low difficulty level – with a bit of extra firepower it is easy to slaughter everything on-screen. In fact, the main hazard is the glitch which occasionally kills your dragon for no reason whatsoever! A higher difficulty level could have made all the difference as technically this isn't a bad conversion. There's a pleasant (optional) tune playing throughout and plenty of large sprites zipping around the screen – I was especially impressed by the large end-level superbaddies with the screen flashing dramatically when they first appear.

64

PRESENTATION 75%
Lengthy multiload, high score table, toggle music/FX, four continue-plays. Packaging includes free badge.
GRAPHICS 75%
A smaller but okay dragon sprite, fast-moving enemies on fair scrolling backdrops. Impressive superbaddies.
SOUND 63%
Pleasant tune can be swapped for standard spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 60%
The first couple of levels are a little too easy...
LASTABILITY 52%
...and with a mere five levels it shouldn't take long to complete

OVERALL
55%
This dragon lost its fire.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 69%
Few options but four continue-plays and mini-intro. Continuous loading cuts interruptions to a minimum. Free badge.
GRAPHICS 72%
Lack of background detail and colours but plenty of detailed, very fast-moving sprites!
SOUND 58%
Reasonable if repetitive music and dreary effects.
HOOKABILITY 69%
The unusual dragon sprite spices up the standard shoot-'em-up format.
LASTABILITY 55%
Only five levels but they get tough pretty quickly – however, you're unlikely to be inspired enough to persevere.

OVERALL
59%
An okay conversion of a mediocre coin-op.