Dragon Strike. (game software) (evaluation)
by Jeff Seiken
Easy to learn, fast-moving, and action intensive, Dragon Strike is the perfect game to pick up when you're looking for a few hours - or a few minutes - of diversion at the computer. Dragon Strike is a game calculated to please fans of both the fantasy and the flight-simulator genres.
Set in the climactic stages of the War of the Lance, Dragon Strike pits the good dragons of Krynn in a desperate counteroffensive against the evil dragon armies that have nearly subjugated the land. You play the part of a lancer, one of the elite knights that ride the good dragons into battle.
Test your mettle in 22 different missions, flying them on an individual basis or in chronological order as part of a campaign. In the latter mode, your continued success and survival bring you honors, new magical equipment, and better mounts.
Predictably, you also face more powerful foes as the campaign progresses. But the mission are cleverly crafted, and their escalating difficulty stems not only from the presence of stronger and more numerous adversaries; the situation you face also become more intricate.
With no electronic gadgetry or crowded instrument panel to worry about, piloting a dragon through the air is a very simple affair. A dragon maneuvers somewhat like a horse, albeit one able to move in the vertical, in addition to the horizontal, plane.
Combat typically takes place up close, waged with tooth and claw, sword and lance. Of course, a dragon's most deadly weapon is its breath, but even this armament loses its effectiveness at anything other than short range. Overall, through, flying a dragon into battle is not as primitive a business as it sounds. Magic replaces technology in the Dragon Lance world. If you think of your crystal ball as kind of radar and your arrow of enemy detection as a crude weapons guidance systems, you should have no trouble making the transition from the jet cockpit to the dragon saddle.
Joystick jockeys burned out on Migs and Messerschmitts should find battling Death Dragons and Draconians a whimsical and welcome departure. And dungeon-crawlers who have lost their enthuasiasm for 100 +-hour quest should also be satisfied with the game's fast-action thrills and rewards. Dragon Strike blends the first-person viewpoint and immediacy of the simulator with a sense of the exotic adventure of the fantasy game, in effect giving players the best of both worlds.