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Drake of the 99 Dragons: Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies


I was warned numerous times how bad this game was and how it would make you want to end your life. In the end, luckily my XBOX (original) saved my soul from the evil that is Drake of the 99 Dragons.

Quite a while back Cronosblade had an idea for a community project. Buy a cheap used game that a lot of people could play and put in their two-cents about. The catch was, that each game in the series would be one of the worst games ever produced. Enter Drake of the 99 Dragons.

Drake actually had a lot going for it when it was released on the XBOX. It used cell shading and took on a Comic-like appearance. In fact when I first booted up the game I thought for sure it was an adaptation of a comic series that I had never heard of. This would not be difficult because I know very little about comics... The concept of the game was pretty decent too. A warrior trained in the art of gunplay gets killed and is brought back to life to recover a mysterious stolen artifact. It has mystery. It has adventure. It has... Guns? Also, included in the game was a Matrix/Max Payne-style time distortion effect for you to take out enemies before they can pull their guns out. It's a shame that the developers didn't see fit to actually write up a good story with decent voice acting and design a control scheme that actually works.

Essentially, you awaken to find that your clan (99 Dragons) is under attack. You (Drake) come to the rescue with guns Blazing. But, first there is a training exercise you can go through so that you can learn the controls. This is always a welcome edition in my book as I typically don't bother to read the instructions. Besides this was a used copy and didn't come with an instruction booklet. The problem with this is, that it doesn't explain how to do everything. Why even have a training section of the game if later you're just going to introduce the other buttons later in the game anyway?

This is by far the biggest problem with Drake. The controls. They really are bad. Drake auto-aims, but as Cronosblade pointed out, the aiming system is really gimped. Essentially you just hold down the triggers all the time and kind of hope to kill something. After a few levels you also have to collect souls of the slain to feed your dragon tattoo... Uh... yeah. Essentially, the souls serve as hearts would in Zelda. They add to your health and recharge your time controlling abilities. Unlike what Bahamut found, I found that Drake will auto aim up and down between floors if you have enough distance. The sad part is that, despite your ability to move the camera, Drake just shoots at whatever the auto-aim tells him to. So if you want to kill something up close and it's auto-aiming for something far away the close guy will kill you quickly. This happened to me about 20 times. Another thing is that, despite Drake's badassedness, he only shoots his guns. There are no melee attacks for up close destruction. Laym.

Here's a pretty good example. I went into this cubby hole to cap a bad guy's ass. The blue door is timed and it closed on me when the guy was still alive. And, when I finished him off, the door stayed shut... O_o

More control issues? Yes Please!

At about the 3rd or 4th level of the game, they introduce the ability to walk on walls. As soon as I heard this I thought, "Wow, that actually sounds pretty neat!" Needless to say I was extremely let down. You can walk on walls, but only for about 3 or 4 steps at a time, that is, if you can get Drake to actually plant his feet on walls. The instructions only say to jump at a wall and all will be good. Not so my friends... Not so. When I got to the 7th level at the end of the room you have to run up a wall to get to the floor above you and move on to the next room. I jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped to get Drake to stick to the wall. He would only do it about 15% of the time, and when he did do it he would run off of the edge of the wall or simply fall off of the wall before reaching the next floor.

Needless to say I was getting fed up at this point. I'm pretty sure I put in more time than Bahamut and Cronos at this point, but I thought I'd push on and see just how far I could get before I had suicidal thoughts. So, I'm on the 7th level and I get to what is probably the end of the level and these freaking ghost dogs come out of no where with a couple of guys who seem to have a lot of life and are more accurate than the goons who occupied the rooms before. I died. Made my way back. Died again. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. I even upgraded to uzi's and took cover, but, I couldn't shoot down at the bad guys from up there. So I died again. Finally, my XBOX had, had enough...

My old XBOX saved my soul from the depths of hell. Probably the first time ever I was happy to see a disc read error. The funny thing is, that the disc is damn near perfect. Either my disc drive was dirty or the game was just such filth that my XBOX rejected it.

Amen XBOX. Amen.
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About bhive01one of us since 8:50 PM on 12.07.2006

I've been gaming since before I got my NES on Apple II's and an old IBM 8088. Never had an Atari or Odyssey. I got an NES for Christmas in the 80s and have been a gaming nut ever since. I love Nintendo's IPs and because of this I've bought every systemm to date (including VB). In addition to every Nintendo system (-Wii), I've also own a Dreamcast, XBOX, 360, and PS3.

PSN: bhive01
XBL: bhive01
Wii FriendCode: Sold my Wii... damn thing was gathering dust.
Xbox LIVE:bhive01
PSN ID:bhive01
Mii code:5053 9558 1072 5496


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