730 words. Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 39 Seconds.

tl;dr: Dragon Breed is a shooter from IREM, which runs fine under current versions of MAME. It is hard and different, and I like it.

Dragon Breed Title Screen

In terms of CAR (the three main needs which are satisfied by gaming: Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness. Good Video on the subject here) some of the best representations of high Competence gaming are the shooter games (also called shoot’em ups or shmups).

I have always had a fondness for shooters; one of my first memories in video games was a game called Stargunner, published by Apogee. However, my current library was lacking a strong representation of these games… so I went looking for new ones recently.

I found Dragon Breed. Dragon Breed Action Image

Dragon Breed, by IREM, is a horizontal shooter which has a major difference from most other shooters in that You are riding a large, invincible dragon instead of being in some kind of ship. This makes Your own hitbox relatively small and well-protected versus most other games, and at first glance, You may think that this makes it too easy.

But that is the opposite of the truth.

The game is designed to mitigate this invincibility by making the enemies aware of this. The enemies will never directly attack the dragon, instead shooting directly for You. This makes the game interesting, as You can block shots with the dragon, but rarely will a shot be accidently blocked because of the way it was shot.

And yeah, You die a lot in this game. Dragon Breed Dragon Birth

I am very interested in beating this game, and I might post a more thorough look at it when I have done so, but my first impressions with this game are very positive.

The difficulty is high without being impossible, and for a non-bullet-hell shooter that is a delicate balance to achieve. The dragon mechanic, by far the most notable aspect of the game, provides a different experience than most shooters in that You want part of Your “ship” to get hit instead of trying to always avoid every shot. And the art and music are both very well done.

Good thing I don’t actually need to feed the machine quarters… I wonder how long it will take me to beat this?

Let’s see.

  • Christopher

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