Drake of the 99 Dragons
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|Drake of the 99 Dragons|
|Director(s)||Joseph Sutton (creative)|
|Designer(s)||Stefan Ljungqvist (lead)|
|Genre(s)||Third person shooter|
Drake of the 99 Dragons (also titled Drake) is a cel-shaded third person shooter video game for the Xbox video game console and Windows. The game stars Drake, an undead assassin who is on a quest to avenge his murdered clan (the 99 Dragons) by recovering their ancient "Soul Portal Artifact", battling a vast array of enemies along the way, including business partners Serpent Eye and Tang, the latter of which is intent on using the artifact to harvest souls from the spirit realm. With the power of these souls, Tang will be able to power a large cyborg army created for the purpose of conquering the world.
Drake has a number of special moves, such as the abilities to double jump and to run up walls. He also has the ability to slow down time for better accuracy, though this feature could be triggered by accident fairly easily during normal gameplay, which can quickly throw off a player's focus. Drake's health depends primarily on absorbing the souls of his fallen opponents, although there are also red "lost souls" which deplete Drake's health.
As a means of defense, Drake uses a wide arrangement of guns and firearms. The player is able to control two guns by using the left and right triggers. In the Xbox version, an aiming reticle (a common staple of third person shooters) is excluded; instead, an auto targeting feature is implemented to help Drake aim and fire at the player's enemies. In the PC version, however, an aiming reticle is used.
Drake is the premier assassin of a Hong Kong-based clan known as the 99 Dragons. While training in the Kwoon, he sees a TV commercial for a cyborg built by Tang Industries. Just then, one of those cyborgs enters the Kwoon and attacks him. Drake manages to fight it off, but senses the presence of a soul within the cyborg. He is interrupted, however, when he hears a break in. He makes his way to the Master, where he finds that the Soul Portal artifact, given to the clan over 3000 years ago, has been stolen by a mysterious ghost assassin, with the rest of his clan slaughtered. He pursues the Ghost Assassin, shooting his way through waves of enemies, but is unable to stop the Ghost Assassin when it phases out of a 20-story window. He returns to the Master's chamber, only to find him and the Master's corpses.
In a flashback, Drake is given the tattoo of the Undying Dragon by The Master, which will "protect him beyond death" or resurrect him. The tattoo glows, and Drake gains the ability to run up walls, slow down time, and freeze time. He runs through the penthouse and collects the 30 souls of his fallen comrades and enemies. After leaping out of a window to his death when the powers get to his head, he awakens in the Spirit Realm, and is scolded by the five Spirit Gods. They tell him that he must collect more souls for the Undying Dragon and recover the Soul Portal artifact. They give him a new body and return him to the mortal realm. He pursues a courier and follows his blood trail to a fireworks factory. Drake shoots at him, but is killed in a sudden explosion.
Drake of the 99 Dragons received generally negative reviews from critics. The game was criticized for its badly implemented controls, along with frustrating and poorly-implemented gameplay: the game's dual-wielding system—in which players could control two guns independently by using the trigger buttons to shoot and an analog stick to aim—was notably criticized for having a poorly-implemented targeting system that made it difficult to aim. Drake was also panned for its low quality graphics, character animations, and sound design; in particular, GameSpot 's Alex Navarro felt that the game was a "cacophony of terrible effects and voice acting"—noticing the re-use of stock sounds notably used in AOL Instant Messenger, and comparing the title character's voice to a cross between a game show host and "the Moviefone guy". He also felt that due to the game's "disjointed" cutscenes and narration, the storyline of the game was nearly incomprehensible.
IGN 's Aaron Boulding gave the game a 2.9 out of 10; while praising the game's unique visual appearance and presentation, along with the "bullet time" audio effects whilst slowing down time, he concluded that Drake of the 99 Dragons was "a good idea that went horribly astray and ended up disastrous" and that "there's no need to rent, purchase or entertain the thought of playing this one." GameSpot would give the game an even lower score of 1.6, considering it "an out-and-out failure in every single discernable category."
Drake of the 99 Dragons holds an aggregate score of 22 on Metacritic, ranking it as the second-worst game for the original Xbox.
- "Drake of the 99 Dragons Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Drake: Interesting premise and style are totally betrayed by shoddy control and design.". IGN.com. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Drake of the 99 Dragons Critic Reviews for Xbox". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-17.