Alisia Dragoon (Gen) Review

Alisia Dragoon is a humble game. The box art is generic and boring to the extent that you’re almost surprised that there aren’t quotes on the back saying things like “it’s an okay game” and “can be somewhat enjoyable.” The graphics, while varied and high quality, have rather generic art designs and are somewhat lacking in the special effects department. The fact that you control a character who can effortlessly fry whole swarms of enemies with Sith-like webs of lightning from her fingertips did little to get people to notice this excessively modest game. And the fact that it’s one of the best games for the Genesis has somehow failed to elevate it to the same level of popularity as the likes of Gunstar Heroes and Shinobi III.

Your first impression might be a tad lukewarm, as you blunder through the the first couple levels, while monsters have their way with you from every angle (Alisia sounds like a mouse getting it’s tail stepped on when she takes damage). Luckily, you can take quite a bit of punishment before losing your (only) life, but the overall effect is one of sloppiness. Enemies appear out of thin air, incomprehensible items are collected, tiny bullets pelt you; it’s absolute chaos. Get used to it. While you can get a ways into the game just by trudging ahead and absorbing the enemies’ attacks, eventually survival will depend on controlling this chaos.

The difficulty ramps up gradually enough, giving you a chance to learn the basic mechanics, but eventually things gets insanely difficult, and you need to play flawlessly to keep going. I’m not kidding. This is one of the most difficult games I’ve played, and you’ll need every ounce of your skill, a shitload of persistence, and a fair amount of divine intervention to see it through to the end.

Luckily, you’re not alone. You can select one of four companion creatures on the fly, and they’ll do their part to keep the enemies at bay. You, in return, have to monitor their health bars, since they take damage and can die just like you can. You can also upgrade their powers, as well as your own, by scouring the levels for upgrade items. This adds an substantial element of exploration, which is actually pretty critical, since the enemies get significantly tougher in each level. If you fail to find the (often well-hidden) power-up in a level, you’ll really struggle against the hardy enemies in the next stage, who can withstand your lightning bolts for an alarming amount of time.

The bosses can get pretty harry too. Even powered up, it can take a long time to take some of them down (too long, in fact). The patterns that govern these bosses are usually pretty simple, so it becomes a matter of maintaining your concentration for an ungodly amount of time until they finally croak.

This one qualm aside, Alisia Dragoon is a top-tier Genesis game, and a nail-hard challenge (while still maintaining some semblance of fairness). It had a somewhat limited release though, so expect to spend slightly more than usual if you want the case and manual. But if you’re looking for some fast action, the price will be well worth it.

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on November 6, 2008.

2 Responses to “Alisia Dragoon (Gen) Review”

  1. I bought this off EBay because of this review alone. Very good so far.

  2. The Krooze Haunt is always doing it’s part to stimulate the economy, and here’s the proof.

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