DragonHeart: Fire & Steel

Action 1996 Windows Acclaim Myth and legend Platformer

No fire in this one

The Dragonheart movie starring Dennis Quaid and the voice of Sean Connery may have skipped a lot of people, but that didn't stop Acclaim coming up with two games based on it. The first was for the Gameboy while this one came out for Windows, PlayStation and even the SEGA Saturn but unfortunately, whichever version you play, this is pretty average stuff. The game sees you in the shoes of the movie's hero, Bowen, a dragon hunter who must face down and kill the last dragons but who ends up making friends with one. Here, Bowen and his new chum Draco must go after King Einon, a former pupil of Bowen's who has turned to evil. What follows is basically a bit of a rip off of the classic scrolling fighter Golden Axe. You get to fight your way through nine levels of fantasy themed action, smacking up dragons, making friends with Draco then going for the bad guy, with Draco occasionally stepping to help with his fiery breath. While this could have been a pretty decent hack 'n' slash adventure, it all turns out to be a bit of a let down. The setting is good and lends itself well to some nice bone-crunching action, but it's all just a bit too simple to be very enjoyable. There's none of the freedom of Golden Axe, with a more restricted playing area like Barbarian 2, while the hacking and slashing is pretty simple and doesn't really require much in the way of skill. The visuals are ok, if a trifle dull, which can also be said of the level design itself. When you throw in some fairly ropy controls you're left with a less than memorable experience.

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