Derirative but well done questing thrills
No prizes for guessing that Dragon Wars is an old-school top-down RPG in the vein of Bard's Tale or Excelsior or that it's a fantasy tale full of wizards, warriors and, you guessed it, dragons. Despite its familiarity though, it remains a charming and enjoyable slice of retro fun that makes for an entertaining adventure. The story is the usual bunkum about evil warlords attempting to turn the land into chaos for their own unpleasant satisfaction and sees players forming a party of four bold heroes and embarking on an epic quest to ensure peace reigns. To be fair, the story does evolve in a fairly interesting way, with some good characters and a few surprises along the way, so if you enjoy fantasy tales, then this should keep you entertained. The main gameplay is the usual mix of top down adventuring, first person dungeon exploring and turn-based combat, with all the classes, skills and EXP points that you've come to know and love from other similar games but while Dragon Wars is certainly familiar, it scores a lot of points by simply being well done. There are plenty of puzzles thrown into the mix, which although simple enough make a pleasant change from the combat, but this aspect too is well implemented and satisfying. The enemies on display here are varied and challenging with a few original designs for good measure, while there are plenty of opportunities for strategy and customisation, with heaps of weapons and other assorted items to play around with. Visually, as long as you don't expect too much, you won't be disappointed but there's certainly a lot of retro charm to be enjoyed so when you add this in to all the other elements, you have a fine and epic RPG that makes for an entertaining ride.