Alisia Dragoon review - Sega Megadrive
All hell has broken loose in Fantasy Land, where once again forces of darkness (headed up by the despicable Evil Overlord) have risen up from the depths of Hades to give the living a bit of a bad time. At this moment, undead legions march across the pleasant lands, dishing out generous lashings of death and destruction wherever they go - and having a great deal of fun into the bargain.
Only one person is hard enough to launch a counterattack against the rampaging legions of doom, and that someone is the eponymous Alisia Dragoon! She's probably the hardest girl in the known world, known for her thunderous magical bolt-throwing abilities amd her strange relationship with dragonkind.
It's her task to travel through the eight-way scrolling levels, using her magical abilities to beat up any undead minions who cross her path. Alisia can also call upon the terrifying capabilities of four different dragons she has befriended to cause yet more havoc.
You'd think that the Evil Overlord would be quaking in his boots at the sight of Alisia Dragoon dusting all of his undead slaves, but he might just have the last laugh. Using all of his incredible cunning, he's positioned evil creatures of vast power at the various points in each level. Only by defeating all of them does Alisia have a chance against the Overlord himself!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
This is what Turrican should have been! Alisia Dragoon is an excellent platform-based blaster and sports challenging gameplay and some pretty unusual features. Although it doesn't seem like it at first, the different dragons are very useful, especially on later levels where they can be used tactically to make the going easier. Another neat feature is that the game is packed with secret screens and bonuses which, when combined with the tough gameplay, results in plenty of long-lasting appeal. With its excellent graphics and sound, Alisia Dragoon is a game that's highly recommended to shoot 'em up and platform addicts alike!
At the beginning, I thought that the homing lightning beam would make this too easy, but as soon as I reached the end-of-level boss, my preconceptions were horribly dashed. Alisia Dragoon is a tough mother of a game, throwning everything but the kitchen sink at you in an attempt to end you game! In fact, conserving enough energy for your confrontation with the first boss is quite a task. Normally, this sort of caper puts me off, but the gameplay isn't all that frustrating - apart from when you continue, where you are mercilessly put back to the beginning of the level (argghh!). There are plenty of original ideas in here too, like having to look after the four different dragoons and power them up individually. Graphically, Alisia Dragoon is tops with plenty of variety between each level and some beautiful sprites and amazing backdrops, with enough challenge to keep you coming back for more for quite a long time.
As much as I love this game, there's just something keeping it from true greatness. The graphics are excellent, the sound is nice and there's plenty of challenge, but it doesn't have the same instant impact that some of the better Megadrive platformers have. That's not to say it's a bad game, but I'd certainly consider some of the better-known titles before picking up a copy.
Have your say about this review
Dan - 18 Mar 2009, 09:41 GMT
Yeah, it was a cracking blast and defo worth a place in your collection, but it didn't have that X factor that would've taken it to greatness.
The Angry Mage - 27 Sep 2009, 08:17 GMT
This was a classic game. A total must have for any MD owner and still one of my faves of all time. I think the reviewers got their opinions bang on the mark though - much better than todays game reviewers
James A - 11 Oct 2010, 17:58 GMT
This game had one of THE best sound tracks on the MD. Perfect.