Standard blasting action
Dream Warrior boasts an impressively detailed and complex backstory, in the way that many 1980s games did, but unfortunately much of this is lost in the actual game itself and it is quickly revealed to be little more than a bog standard side scrolling shooter, much like Xenophobe or Trantor but lacking in these game's appeal. The detailed plot sees players entering into a distant future where mega-corporations control the world and where wars are no longer fought in reality but in the dream world (hence the game's title). The corporations have control over the dream demons and use them to defeat their enemies but as in all good dystopian science fiction, resistance fighters are still hanging around to save the day and the player takes on the role of one such individual. It's your job on this particular occasion to venture into the dream world and rescue some of your chums, who have rather foolishly got themselves captured by the mighty Ocular, most powerful of all the dream demons. What all this translates into is a fairly ordinary side scroller, where you must simply make your way through wave after wave of bizarre creatures, blasting them back to wherever they came from with an array of powerups and weapons. Dream Warrior isn't a terrible game by any stretch, it just rather fails to capitalise on its admittedly intriguing premise. The shooting action is reasonably satisfying, if somewhat repetitive, while the visuals are decent enough, if a little lacking in imagination in terms of environments but with a nice array of weird beasties to slay. It's not a classic entry into the genre and you're better off sticking with Contra or Metal Slug for your blasting thrills, but if you're feeling in an undemanding mood, this might just keep you happy.