Revenge of the Wounded Dragons – The PS3 Attitude Review
With an outdated formula that was successful in 1987, will Revenge of the Wounded Dragons keep you interested and entertained from start to finish?
The story is simple. There are a group of bad guys that kidnapped your sister and you have to rescue her. The gang’s leader also murdered your Sensei and now you want revenge as well. The story is weak but it’s not like that matters. The cutscenes are short and don’t have any words to them, but the artwork is nice to look at.
The Story Mode is separated by four chapters which each include six areas to explore with dozens of enemies to defeat. Revenge of the Wounded Dragons can be played cooperatively, but it’s unfortunately an offline only experience. The game does have an online leaderboard which will track your hi-scores, but it doesn’t add much replay value.
The controls are standard for this type of game. You can jump, punch, kick, and pick up tons of different weapons. There are bats, giant fish, guns, knives, sticks, and even garbage bags to brutalize your enemies with. It’s this type of variety that really makes the game fun to play. There is no block ability but you can roll and backflip out of harms way. Each time you give an enemy a thrashing your Dragon Rage meter rises. Once the meter is full there is a temporary speed and power increase that allows you to further devastate your foes.
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons isn’t much of a button masher when compared to the TMNT: Turtles in Time remake. You can do high punches and low punches with kicks thrown into the mix, and if you hold Up on the D-pad you can strike the thugs behind you too. Even though this game has more of an arsenal than many in the genre, by the time you’re finished with the first chapter all the moves have been performed already.
Thankfully there are finishing moves to help spice up the gameplay even further. When enemies are dazed or on the ground, you can grab them and do a few different maneuvers . This is the only time in the game when you can actually grab an enemy. There isn’t enough control to these situations though and that can be frustrating. Each time you do one of the finishing moves its name is announced in an overly dramatic fashion. It becomes irritating after hearing BAMBOO BREAKER more than ten times just at the start of the game.
The bosses are a bit underwhelming but they are each given ridiculous names and that adds to the nostalgia. The boss battles are too easy when playing alone and if you have enough lives there is really no way to lose. When playing cooperatively you will want to be more cautious because lives are shared. If your partner dies and you have zero lives, the game is over. There is an ability to share health as well and that can certainly help when in a tough situation.
Unlike Double Dragon, this game only allows you to move from left to right. Even though you can’t walk into the background or foreground, there is a lot going on in each level. There are buildings to go into, secrets to find, teeth to collect, and lots of platforming to be done. The controls almost seem to be unresponsive when trying to climb up a ledge, but that’s only until you figure out that you need to be holding Up on the D-pad in order to actually grab on.
The great thing about Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is how each area feels different due to the superb level design. While the platforming elements make it impossible to just hold Right on the D-pad throughout the whole game, the scenery itself also goes through dramatic changes. You’ll find yourself zigzagging through streets, temples, caverns, and even forests. There is a level that forces you to travel on a log that is floating on water, and if you fall off you will be eaten by an alligator.
There are minigames that unlock as you progress through the game. These timed missions include catching chickens, grabbing lanterns, and navigating through a labyrinth until you find a mystic urn. It’s exactly as exciting as it sounds and you won’t want to play the minigames outside of the story. Each game can be played competitively with a friend but it’s boring. There is no actual sense of competition due to the poorly constructed level design in these modes. There is player versus as well but it’s really just not fun to play at all, don’t even bother.
Graphically, the game isn’t really impressive. The visuals are 3D and whenever objects are in the foreground they look noticeably smeared and it’s distracting. The game is very colorful though and there is a lot going on in the background, which gives life to each area.
The game supports custom soundtracks and you’re going to want to utilize the feature. Being able to listen to your own music in this game actually adds to the experience. Throw in some epic fight themes and the game magically becomes more intense. Sure, this is just an illusion, but it’s one that made the game better and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a shame that the games soundtrack is so flat and it sometimes sounds like porno music.
Despite the shortcomings, Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is very enjoyable, especially when playing cooperatively. There are a few double team moves that can be done but there should be more. Vaulting over your buddy to super kick a monk in the face is pretty awesome. It would have been neat to see what else the developers could come up with.
So what’s the verdict?
Revenge of the Wounded Dragons is a good game, but we can only recommend it if you’re a fan of the genre and if you can play with a friend. The cooperative gameplay is exciting and online multiplayer could have easily made this a must-have title. The collectables add replay value, but after you beat the game once you might not play it again. The game only lasts about three hours and it’s not very difficult. There is no real penalty for losing all your lives. This is not a quarter stealing arcade game and you won’t have to restart from the beginning each time you die. There aren’t many beat ’em ups on the PlayStation Network, and for $9.99 you can certainly do a lot worse.