Dragon Buster (Arcade/MAME/Namco Museum)

by PaulEMoz in , , , , , ,

There are a lot of games on the latest version of Namco Museum. Pity the interface is rubbish, because it puts you off playing any of them regularly. But this blog is not about regular; it's (mostly) about playing games that I've never played before. And there are a few on this compilation that I can say that about. Before today, one of them was Dragon Buster. Pity that's not still the case.

Oooh, where to go, where to go... I'd rather just go home, actually.

Dragon Buster is basically a rubbish cross between Rastan (which isn't that great to begin with) and Wonder Boy in Monster Land (which is). You wander around subterranean passages and get attacked by ghastly monsters. I say ghastly... they really do look horrible, but only in a drawn-by-a-five-year-old way. For 1984, these are terrible arcade graphics.

Hey you! Yes, you! I put it to you that you are a rubbish skeleton!

As far as the game goes, I suppose its ideas outstrip their implementation. You have a world map, with choices of route, which was probably fairly novel at the time. It's just unfortunate that, whichever choice you make, it sees you wading through a sea of cack gaming. It's usually a case of walk right, stop, do a Pete Townshend swing with your sword at a rubbish animal, and move on. Occasionally you might do something exciting, like drop off a ledge or something, but that's your lot. Every so often you'll come across a pathetic looking dragon, which you can smite with just two hits. There are bigger, much more impressiver dragons to be slain, but not a lof ot skill involved.

You're a dragon? Really? You're cute. Wanna be my pet?

And there we have it. Dragon Buster was, research finds, pretty well thought of in Japan, with conversions to home platforms, sequels and even a board game! I find that a bit odd... it's really not a particularly good game at all. I doubt I'll be loading this one up much in the future.