Hidden Dragon Legend is a side-scrolling platformer that is half action-based and half hack-n-slash. The game takes place during Imperial China where you take on the role of a warrior who has been put under a dark spell to assassinate and other horrible biddings during a period where several rival clans are all fighting for the power of an object called the Dragon Cauldren. The cauldron is said to give you imperial powers, but in turn, you must sacrifice your own sanity, so in the wrong hands that is some dangerous power. It is up to you to seek out this power while simultaneously getting revenge for the deeds you were forced to undertake.
The gameplay itself reminded me of old arcade fighters with a bit of Sninobi and Ninja Gaiden thrown into the mix. You’ll be making your way around with a set of abilities and combos at your disposal to take down enemies in your path. There are literally dozens of fighting combinations you can pull off, as well as special abilities that will give you an advantage in the middle of battle. However, the game catches on quickly to people who spam the controls, so you’ll need to change up your tactics every so often just to stay ahead.
The most annoying aspect of the gameplay is the fact that you’ll need to do pattern hitting in certain areas. A good example is jumping from one flying dragon creature to the next, each requiring a specific button to be pressed in one second or you fail. If you fail, you have to try again, and the buttons change. So there’s this constant annoyance coming by when you least suspect it, and it could cause you to stay there forever. The graphics aren’t too shabby and the sound really adds to the epic fighting you’ll be going through. However, a lot of that fighting seems repetitious and unless you get their massive combo system down, you’re probably going to be doing certain stages a dozen times over.
Hidden Dragon Legend is a decent game, but there are areas where it tries to do too much and falls short of the goal. There were genuinely times where I hated playing levels and I wanted to throw my controller, and when you start getting salty over a game that isn’t supposed to be that difficult, you start questioning if it’s you or the game. In this case, it’s definitely the game.
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