First I'd like to say sorry for the delay in this Unloved. I had a family emergency a couple weeks ago and NES_Rules was kind enough to let me slack off for a bit and just take some time to relax. Thanks Mike I really appreciate it!!
Now onto the review.
I'm stepping slightly outside my comfort zone again this time. I'm featuring another game on a Sega system that I'm not entirely familiar with and also a genre I'm not overly familiar with. Bear that in mind as you read on.
Rise of the Dragon initially struck me as a PC style point and click mystery, which makes sense because apparently it is one. PC style games don't always translate well on consoles (as I'm sure many of you already know), but because of the relatively slow pace of the game it actually plays very smoothly.
RotD follows the story of a former police officer turned private detective whom is investigating the death of the Mayors daughter. Because of political scandals and the Mayor (and his daughters) seedy reputations everything is being done under the table. Because of this you often find yourself with very little "desirable" assistance during the case. The plot takes place in a slightly futuristic, drug/prostitute infested, bleak city corrupted by political scandal and powerful gangs. After stumbling across some info on the Mayor's daughters death you realize that someone has murdered her and the murderer has ties to a very powerful gang.
RotD plays by moving a pointer around the screen and clicking on people or items. This allows you to pick up or drop items, talk to people, manipulate objects or even shoot your gun at certain points in the game.
My favorite aspect of the game is the dialogue. The voice acting is really good for the time. There are a few characters that could be better, but overall its top notch (especially your main character, which is great since he easily has the most dialogue). Each character interaction has tons of different options as to how it can play out, and different choices can vastly change how easy/difficult that game can become. You can save the game at almost anytime which is nice since you can redo conversations if you're not happy with the outcome.
I found about half the puzzles to be mostly common sense, but the other half to take a bit more thought and a few to be quite challenging to figure out. There is a nice mix between easy and hard puzzles that kept the game flowing and not frustrating throughout. After learning a few facts about the case you realize that there is a time limit, but fortunately there is more than enough time to solve the case. In fact I believe I had enough time to solve the case twice (maybe two and a half times) in the allotted time on my first play through.
Even though RotD takes place in a dark and bleak environment its got a great sense of humor to keep things from getting to heavy. From cracking jokes about the mess that is your apartment, to getting your items stolen from sleeping on the streets, to losing your girlfriend (and public record informant) after she catches you leaving the "Pleasure Dome" with a hooker RotD never had a dull moment. Also some of the ways you can die were just plain hilarious also. When I first turned the game on I ended up falling out of my apartment complex about 2 minutes into the game. Who accidentally walks off their apartment? Classic!
My biggest flaw with the game is the replay value. It can be beaten incredibly quickly the second play through and with very little extra stuff to do and no incentive to do most of it there wasn't really a reason to play again anytime soon. Also like any story driven games its just not quite as fun when you know whets going to happen.
Another flaw is the inclusion of "Arcade" style combat. For a couple brief moments in the game you actually play a side scrolling level where you get to shoot and dodge enemies. They are fun at first since it seems new and exciting, but it becomes apparent quickly that its super easy and not really necessary.
If you're looking for a quick, cheap, humorous, fun game to play for your Sega CD I'd definitely say grab RotD if you see it. I don't regret it!Final Score 6.510