My Played Video Games Review: The King of Dragons for the Super Nintendo

in blurt-152875 •  14 days ago 

Image source

The King of Dragons is a beat-'em-up video game developed by Capcom, originally released in arcades in 1991. The game was later ported to the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom in 1994.

Remember Final Fight? That was a great game. Capcom perfected its side-scrolling fighting style and went on to create several "clones" that used the same basic engine, with different graphics and stories. The King of Dragons is one such game, and it gained considerable popularity in the early 1990s arcade scene.

Japan only box cover art. (Image source)

The Story

Darkness has fallen over the kingdom of Malus. Gildiss has risen from his slumber and seeks to become the The King of Dragons. With the armies of Malus defeated, a new band of adventurers, including you, has emerged to challenge Gildiss. Choose from five different classes—fighter, dwarf, elf, wizard—and battle through 16 levels of medieval action. A friend can join you in the two-player simultaneous mode. Defeat Gildiss and save the kingdom as The King of Dragons.

Box, manual and cartridge of the game. (Image source)

The Graphics and Sound

The graphics here are typical for Capcom's style. The backgrounds are colorful and interactive, such as the boss fight in stage two where the floor falls out. Special attention was given to the visual upgrades of equipment, which are visibly reflected on your character. Despite the small size of the character sprites, they are detailed and colorful, with smooth animations that flow well together. Overall, the graphics provide a classic feel for dungeon adventure.

The sound effects in the game are minimal but effective. The music is prominent, and the groans of defeated enemies are clear. However, all characters share the same war cry, which can become annoying, especially in areas where frequent deaths are likely. Some sounds, like blocking, are reused, but they fit well within the game's context. The music is also reused in various parts of the game, but this is hardly noticeable.

Gameplay video sample of The King of Dragons on the SNES. Watch in 360p for near TV resolution of that time.

The Gameplay

The gameplay stands out from Final Fight in several ways. While it retains the side-scrolling format where progress is made by defeating waves of enemies, it introduces unique elements that give it a strong foundation. Players can choose from five different warriors: a wizard, a dwarf, a cleric, a fighter, and an elf. Each character has their own distinct weapon, which can be powered up by collecting items from treasure chests scattered throughout the various levels. These upgrades are visually noticeable, adding a fresh twist to the beat-'em-up genre.

Moreover, the game incorporates RPG elements by allowing characters to gain experience points from fighting enemies. As they level up, their strength increases, encouraging players to engage in combat rather than avoid it. Each character levels up at different rates; for example, the wizard levels up slower than the cleric but eventually becomes much stronger. This diversity adds depth and replayability, offering a variety of gameplay experiences depending on which character is chosen.

The challenge and replay value are quite strong. The game features multiple paths and a range of bosses that vary in difficulty. The two-player mode is particularly enjoyable, as it allows players to team up and explore the game together. With each character providing a unique experience, players are likely to play through the game multiple times to fully appreciate the variety and depth it offers.

My Verdict

From my experience, The King of Dragons is one of the better beat-'em-up games available on the Super Nintendo. It stands out for its moderate difficulty and its unique medieval fantasy theme, distinguishing it from the typical street fight scenarios common in other games of the genre. If you have the opportunity, give this game a try. You might discover an appreciation for classic games that prioritize quality and excellent gameplay over the eye candy and fan service so common in many of today's games.

Play it on the coveted Super Nintendo/Super Famicom or play it on a wonderful emulator. Play it with a friend.

Let's keep on gaming in the free world!

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  ·  14 days ago  ·  

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