D3 Publisher Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire

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D3 Publisher Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire

Pros

  • Responsive controls, good sound, good strategy involved in finishing off bosses

Cons

  • High difficulty and constant retries will really grate on your nerves

Bottom Line

Dragon Blade may not be the game you've been waiting for all year, but it's definitely worth a weekend rental in the meantime.

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While Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire may at first seem like the Wii Remote-flailing equivalent of a hack 'n slash button-mashing extravaganza, if given the chance you might find that there's quite a bit of finesse involved in finishing off bosses, conserving magic power for the right moments, and timing your dodges to yield health pick-ups.

The story goes like this: after his village burns, young Dal takes up the fight against the evil Vormanax. His partner is Valthorian, an ancient dragon who is trapped in a sword. Fighting to unlock various dragon powers like claw attacks, tail whips, and wing-powered double-jumps is tough, but each of the mini-bosses in possession of them stick with definite patterns that you can master.

It just takes time, patience and many trials -- upwards of 15 in some cases. Keep in mind the fact that you'll only have five lives before you'll have to redo the entire level, and the frustration increases. Then you'll have to deal with other dragons, who each have multiple life bars tied to three crystal weak points spread around their bodies; the challenge seems impossible at times.

Luckily, the controls are fairly responsive. Each sword strike is mapped to the direction you wave the Remote. You may not always get exactly what you're looking for, but if you gesture in the generally correct manner, something will happen, and more often than not -- if you're using dragon power -- that something that will kill quite a few enemies.

While the graphics are rather plain, the sound is quite good. We never got tired of the main adventure theme, and the thunderclap of your magical dragon appendages displacing the air with their glowing energy is the perfect effect.

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