An obvious callback to the River City series, The Legend of the Dragonflame High School doesn’t try to hide its inspiration. Playing as a high schooler, it is your job to pummel your way through single screened areas in and around a school, punching the faces of everyone you see. While it is not as polished as a River City title, it is has charm, offers plenty of stupidly simply brawling fun, and it only costs a few bucks.
Starting with a basic punch and kick that barely causes any damage, the addicting nature of gameplay comes from the grind. Each defeated enemy will drop money. This money can then be spent to buy new abilities, like crazy jump kicks or rapid fire attacks, or can be used to increase HP, defense, or offensive strength. There is always something new to unlock or a stat to increase even if you defeat a single enemy so the sense of progression is constant and wonderful. Dying in battle also doesn’t mean much since the respawning checking point is never more than a few screens back. So even though the entire approach is simple, there is just enough here to make the experience addicting. Completing each campaign only takes 20-30 minutes too.
The simplified gameplay also extends into the presentation. Visually, each environment is open and barren, animations are composed of only a couple frames, and character sprites are all the same basic overall size and shape. Yes, it is a very basic looking game but that is perfectly okay here as it has this ridiculous sense of charm. The downside of having a plain presentation is the lack of overall options. There is no multiplayer support, melee attacks have a very short range, and there are no options whatsoever. In fact, there isn’t even an option button on the main menu so players cannot adjust in-game volume levels (and the game is loud by the way) or adjust AI difficulty.
Still, even with the lack of detail and options, I still highly enjoyed the hour it took to complete both campaigns. The short length, the basic combat and presentation, mixed with the constant upgrading makes this a quality gaming experience front to back. Almost any River City title is better than this clone but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun or worth a playthrough.
Not As Detailed As: Streets of Rage 4
Don’t Forget About: River City Tokyo Rumble on 3DS
Wait For It: that upcoming TMNT brawler game
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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