You have to kind of admire this for trying to do something different with the fighting genre. Unfortunately, though, in trying to produce something that has a little bit of everything ("Flying Dragon is ALL fighting games in one!" proclaims the press release), Culture Brain has somehow managed to instead produce something which fails to excel in any area. It's a 3D fighting game, and a 2D fighting game...only both modes look virtually identical. It has "proper" characters and super-deformed characters. It offers Tournament Modes for up to eight players (also team play) and a Story Mode...and each of these offer more features than most fighting games. The most important and ambitious feature of the game though is the Monster Maker-esque character development found in the Super-Deformed game. Winning fights provides credits which can be used to purchase and upgrade more than 200 pieces of equipment. Building up this gear makes a fighter more powerful...and a more formidable fighter when taken back to the tournaments (by saving to a Controller Pak). You can customize controls, you can use combos, specials and counters...you name it. Shame it looks, sounds, and plays like a real dog. The animation is appalling, and gameplay-wise--this really ain't no Tekken or VF.
Flying Dragon's "all things to everyone" idea has fallen on its face. The 2D Mode looks just like the 3D Mode! The fighting is imprecise and sloppy with lots of cheap stuff, little technique and a lot of button mashing. The SD Mode is standard fare, only slighty more tolerable due to its building appeal. But the treasures are inane--special headbands, loin cloths, etc. that enable better throwing!? C'mon. A so-so fighter for the N64.
I hate to dump on Flying Dragon, since it adds new tricks to the fighting-game mix, but the game plays, looks and sounds so dam terrible. The simplistic fighting engine is a cinch for button-mashers to master. Aside from a few counters, there's not much technique here. And while control is precise, the awful collision detection makes some attacks seemingly a matter of luck. Too bad; many of the game's modes are cool ideas.
The idea of building up a fighting game character RPG-style is certainly ambitious and I'm surprised no one has tried it before. Flying Dragon has to be commended for trying something new, but at the end of the day this really isn't an enjoyable game. The controls are bad, the presentation is terrible and when all is said and done the whole thing comes across as being something of a joke. Another bad N64 fighting game. Sigh.
Download Flying Dragon
- Manufacturer: Nintendo
You'll face the toughest challengers from six different styles of fighting, at the World Tournament of Contact Sports. The gong has sounded. Now it's up to you to become the World Champion.
The refined game play and sophisticated action will leave you breathless with excitement. When it comes to realistic kung-fu games, there's only one champion - Flying Dragon
Many secret await you!
Set forth on a journey to regain the Secret Scrolls and the hidden techniques they hold.
The power of justice
Only by completing the mandara seal can you gain its mystical powers and defeat Dargon, the lord of the Tusk Soldiers.
Start your training at Shorinji, the legendary birthplace of Kung-Fu.
Defeat the soldiers from darkness
It's Dargon, and he's transformed into a deadly opponent! You'll need the ultimate move, the Hiryu-no-Ken kick, to knock him down!
You will be a hero!
Fight your way through the World Tournament of Contact Sports. Victory will be in your hands.
In Japan, Natsume is battling for Nintendo 64 mind-share with its first N64 fighting game, Flying Dragons. This head-to-head fighter features at least four basic competitive modes, including Circuit, Versus, Tournament, and Team. You can play with eight Super Deformed Japanese-style cartoon characters, or eight other combatants modeled in the more familiar 3D style of Tekken-like games.
Dragon combatants will build up abilities as they progress through the game and earn credits for their performances, which they can cash in for weapons, defensive gear, or special moves. Natsume is also hoping Dragons will take the Digimon fad a step farther: You'll be able to save your fighters on standard N64 memory carts, then match them against your friends' best fighters with either you or the A.I. at the controls. Given the sparse field of N64 fighting games, Flying Dragons could heat things up.
Flying Dragon aspires to appeal to fans of all fighting games by dabbling in just about every fighting-game off-shoot ever devised, and the result is obvious--a mediocre game that spreads itself too thin.
Flying Dragon offers a Virtual mode, where realistically designed fighters face off in tournament, group, head-to-head, or circuit action, all with or without BD movement. You can also battle it out in a tournament-style Super Deformed mode with anime-style fighters to win experience points and credits (which you then use to unlock the game's secrets or to buy RPG-like items). The visuals of both modes include some nice touches, but they suffer from too few frames of animation (and the Virtual mode's fighters are just way too small). The camera angle is also too static for a 3D fighting game.
Sonically, Flying Dragon's crash-n-bash effects are brutal, but there's nothing particularly dazzling there. Ditto for the controls, which leave three buttons for special items, one for a special attack, and just one button each for kick and punch. You'll find yourself resorting to one or two moves very quickly.
By trying to stand apart from its competitors, Flying Dragon opts for quantity of modes over quality of gameplay. The final product is a competent, expansive game--which will be quickly KO'd by heavyweight champions like MK4.
- To earn a lot of experience points and credits very quickly, set the options for one-round battles with a 30-second time limit.
- Flying Dragon is not a very defensively oriented game, so the best treasures are ones that help you increase your attacking ability.