Oh dear, I've landed myself and others in it once already this year for saying this, but there's no avoiding the fact that Draconia is a quite brazen rip-off of R-Type oh, and probably a couple of dozen other coin-op classics. It almost holds up its hands and screams 'sue me, sue me!'
Draconia has six worlds and these form six levels of shoot 'em up mayhem for 16 bit owners everywhere. You fly your ship, once it's been spat out of a huge flying louse, through a series of tunnels, with superstructures of various kinds above and below. Here's where the fun begins, each level has the name of a coin-op company contained in it (Irem Battlestation, Konamian Graveyard, Jungles of Capcom) and showcases graphics in the form of backgrounds and aliens which remind you of a number of arcade games. Level Three for example, is a Darius underwater encounter. Maybe they ran out of classic coin-op blasts because there's one of their own in there at the end.
After all that someone better hope the arcade manufacturers have a sense of humour, something I haven't seen much evidence of in the past. Forgetting the cheek of Draconia for a moment (it's not easy) and judging it on its own merits, this is a good blast but not a great one. Graphically it's neat, with witty, colourful backgrounds, some great aliens (check the Xevious-like mirrors) yet perhaps because of its conventionality something is missing. You're flying well-charted territory here.
Sound too is disappointing, a couple of words of sampled speech and a messy Xenon-style soundtrack is simply not enough. The over-riding factor is gameplay. Draconia is a little slow for my liking, and the method of collecting extra weapons (by continually shooting bonuses when you've destroyed an attack wave) is fiddly. That said Draconia is still one of the better shoot 'em ups to have appeared on the Amiga. Not saying much I know, particularly when the current numero uno is a cheapo (Sidewinder). Still, you'd better buy it, if only for its outrageous insolence.
Ancient style, old shoot game, with tons of monsters, and levels. Fly, shoot, don't think about anything, just relax and shoot.
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