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Dragonriders - Chronicles of Pern (DC)

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      13.09.2001 22:18
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      Please note. This is an import version and I am only about 7 hours in. To ride a dragon, that’s got to be good fun. Well you can in this graphically pleasing adventure, based on the books by Anne McCafrey. Your name is D’Kor (a tad klingon sounding me thinks) and you have a dragon called Zeneth. There is a link between the two and they can feel what each other feels, experience the same thing, even when separated. Best to start at the beginning. Once the game is loaded, you will see a rather large dragon land and be given the usual options (new game, load game etc) Now this is the first time you hear the wonderful music that accompanies this grand game. The music is very good, but more on that a bit later. So you start your new game and the dragon takes off. Then you see the first screen. After about 25 seconds you get a birds eye view of the world as if it was in flight. Now it’s the graphics turn to impress you. They are some of the best on the Dreamcast. After the intro to the land, another loading screen appears. You are now into the game. Again, graphics impress with the photo realistic faces. You wake up after a heavy night and have a sore head. This is where you start to learn of the plot. The weyrwoman has died and a replacement needs to be found. Suspicions are caused as she had just returned from a trip. Ok, I had no idea what a weyrwoman is, till I wondered to the library and had a read. A lot of the terms used will be completely alien to those not clued up on the books. That’s not a good thing really, but at least you can find out what all the strange things are, by using the library. So I guess they got around that problem… The controls are a cross between Resident Evil and Tomb Raider (from what I can remember I hate the TR games). This is a bit fiddly and annoying, but after awhile you do get used to it. The combat system is a pretty straight forward – hold the action b utton down and press up on the analogue stick t attack, press down to defend and left and right allow you to circle the enemy.) The inventory system is like most. There is one very annoying thing that I have to mention. It’s the Journal. You obtain your journal after you complete one of the first quests, but the thing is, it appears you are a bit thick and can’t write. You can fly and fight on the back of a dragon, but you didn’t seem to grasp the writing thing! Its really annoying as you have to find someone to teach you to write! The one good thing about the skill system is the use of weapons. You can only use what you have been taught – I like this as in a few games you can pick up the worlds most powerful weapon and instantly be a master of using it. My one last little niggle about the game is the camera angles. They are very annoying at times. There is also no way to adjust the camera, they are all pre-defined. To sum up, this is a very good game for the dreamcast. You will spend a lot of time at the start running around doing simple quests, but these are to build up your skills. It’s a pity a game like this has come out as the machine is almost dead. If this (and other greats) had been released earlier, the Dreamcast would still be going strong. Good graphics, good music and most importantly a good story.

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