Draconus (Zeppelin) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

Zzap


Draconus
By Zeppelin Games
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Zzap #38

Draconus

On a distant alien planet, the Tyrant Beast reigns supreme: controlling a creature who can transform from the land-based Frognum to the aquatic Draconewt, the player is on a mission to defeat him.

The Beast inhabits a flick-screen labyrinthine complex guarded by such creatures as giant rats, bats and sea serpents. All enemies are destroyed by punches or limited bursts of fire, the latter replenished by flasks of flame fluid found in the labyrinth. Contact with creatures or falling great distances reduces energy, total loss of which forfeits one of five lives.

Artifacts are collected to aid progress; for example, a morph helix allows transformation from one character to theother when on a morph slab, thus allowing access to locations separated by water. Other objects include a shield (prevents death by falling), a magic staff (needed to cast spells), and a dragon's eye (removes illusory obstacles); their significance is detailed when they are collected.

GH

Draconus

The amount of detail applied is very impressive. A beautiful use of colour and shading in the backdrops complements some superb sprite animation: the bats in particular are astounding!

The sound is equally polished, the effect of fire bursting from Frognum's mouth being typical of the overall standard.

The gameplay is basically a standard arcade adventure, but it's considerably enhanced by the number of useful artifacts to collect, the Record slabs and the ability to transform from one character to another.

Draconus

It's by no means easy reaching the Tyrant Beast, but there's so much enjoyment to be had before then that addiction is guaranteed. Buy it today!

PG

Once again, Zeppelin put paid to the budget 'tradition' of quality matching price. Nothing is lacking, and as an arcade adventure its aims are admirably achieved.

Superbly crafted graphics create a fantastic Gothic atmosphere, and the sound effects are perfect. Such smart touches as transmorphing into a draconewt, and the useful record slabs are gratefully received and are conducive to immediately captivating play.

The overall hugeness of the game means you'll be playing for ages, and it's certainly worth doing to see the fantastic Tyrant Beast on the final screen. Three pounds are seldom better spent, so do yourself a favour and buy this with all speed.

Verdict

Presentation 88%
The excellent screen display, instructions and impressive features such as Record slabs are only marred by the occasionally awkward control method.

Graphics 94%
Beautifully animated sprites complement the subtle use of shading and colour throughout.

Sound 80%
Appropriate sound effects and accomplished title track.

Hookability 90%
The ability to play two characters and freedom of movement within the landscape encourages progress.

Lastability 92%
A multitude of locations to explore, weapons to collect and creatures to combat guarantees further play.

Overall 92%
Another excellent release from Zeppelin.