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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Suishou no Dragon (水晶の龍)

After Alpha, Square published some shooters (meh) with Thexder and King's Knight. But we all know their true soul is in adventure games so I'll be skipping those. Which brings us to their first console debut on the Family Disk System: Suishou no Dragon (again not counting Thexder cause it was licensed).

Yeah fuck Kanji, "Ryu" is so passé
Not sure why they used the Kanji for "Ryu" and yet read it in English as "Dragon". I guess it's because English is "cool". Anyways, does Suishou no Dragon live up to the high standards of Alpha, despite being crippled by outdated console technology? Let's find out! (totally unbiased)

Loading... loading... please wait... ok... WAIT load some more... aaaand... loading again
The game starts out with an interesting premise. Right away, your ship is shot down by a flying dragon IN SPACE. Yeah, a space dragon (cool) and then....please wait.

As I explained previously, I didn't grow up with the luxury of importing every (any) piece of fancy gaming hardware back in the day so this is actually my first time playing a FDS game and man, the loading time is a big bummer. The emulator I was using unfortunately pauses when I try to multitask so I had to actually watch it do its fake emulated loading shit. At least I didn't have to get out of the chair to flip the disk, something that happens annoying while moving around in the middle of town.

Her name Yujin ironically also means "friend" (spoiler... not really)
The character design is pretty good even though it definitely has that family Famicon look to it. The control sceme is a bit awkward in that you first have to move your cursor BEFORE you select the action but I got used to it. Oddly enough, you never need to use the"throw" command in the entire game (the flying rock command on the upper right). I especially liked the fact that when you die, it automatically starts you a few actions before, removing the need to save incessantly. That's some next gen Call of Duty shit right there.

Aaaaand the game is over. No seriously, this game is probably about the same length as WILL Death Trap 2 and can be beaten in under an hour with a guide. Yes, I did waste some time aimlessly wandering around in space and desert but there's no map so it's not like you can enjoy even manually mapping anything. The story is slightly better than Death Trap 2 but not by much. You barely interact with any characters and the plot just barfs all over you in like 5 seconds. In fact, I can probably write more about the scandal surrounding this game than about the actual game itself.

The infamous scene with Shinshia (whom you barely interact with)
The first thing that shows up on a google search for this game is the whole Famitsu fake article "scandal" hinting at... um, I don't really know given my cleansed, pure soul. Of course I'm talking Jhipster google search as an English search just turns up roms and translation patches. (English, English, English is that all you guys care about? Geesh!)

Apparently "Family" Disk System also caters to the masturbating teenage son (or daughter, no need to be sexist)
Apparently a lot of hopeful boys (or girls, or fuck it let's just include gender-neutral and gender-curious, it's fucking 2017 after all #trump #armageddon) were dissapointed to find out the rock-paper-scissor easter egg mini game was just Famitsu's ploy to trick its competitors. They flat out made up shit with elaborate fake screenshots apparently just to figure out which competitors were wholesale copying their content.

Now, non-jhipsters may say you'd be stupid to think there would be nudity in a Nintendo console game but that's for Reggie-Puritan-OMG-Congressional-Hearing-Time NoA. After all, your beloved DQ father Horii was a perv back in the good ol' days.

The good ol' days before all that squeeky clean DQ mainstream shit (no nipples though)

Other than that interesting bit of history, I don't think you would be missing much by skipping this one. While it started out interesting, the story is short and dead simple, there's pretty much zero character development and the puzzles were nothing special. Compared to Alpha, this is a pretty big downgrade. Even Alpha had at least music for both the intro and ending, this game only has ONE song at the end and the rest is either silence or super annoying sfx. At the very least, I got a kick out of the space scooter that you putz around in space with.

Don't worry, your space scooter will be upgraded to a space motercycle later
Score: 1.5 yes, a scooter sounds like the perfect engineering design to explore space!!! out of 5

At least now I'm a more learned gaming historian and "in the know" for future references and parodies. I'm sure that'll totally come in handy in real life.

Oh, I GET IT NOW AHAHAHAHA!! Ok, where's my paycheck? I've got bills to pay!
Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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