Whole lot of wangin’ goin’ on.
PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating
RELEASE DATE: 1985 (JP)
Yes, I know: Dragon Wang. I’m having a laugh right now! It’s ok, you can have a laugh too. We’re all adults here.
Ah, but if only the game was as brilliant and juvenile as its title. You play The Man With No Shirt otherwise known as a Mr. D. Wang (that would make his surname Wang then, I suppose – there’s nothing funny about that), and your mission is to rescue some chick you met while practicing Tai Chi on a mountain. Legions of shirtless bad guys run up to you, longing for your fist or foot to meet their face or ankles. Sometimes the “Sans Shirts” (my name, not the game’s) will get a hit in, especially if they’re chucking knives at you. Rude and dangerous? That’s the name of the Wang.
The amount of shirtlessness on screen varies per playthrough, though. Sometimes D. Wang will walk through an entire level and only see a couple dudes. Other times, you’ll be swamped by bulging chests, flabby stomachs (‘cept yours, natch), and pit sweat. Reach the end of the level and you’ll fight a boss who has a weapon, an obvious advantage over your weapon-less state. Keep Wang’s life up and you might beat the boss, but more likely, you’ll be bludgeoned to death by cheapness. And so it goes, for four mindless floors.
“C’mon bros, I’m trying to get my swagger on.”
Dragon Wang plays very much like a poor man’s Kung Fu. In the latter, you could time your attacks perfectly to dole out damage to the underlings. Sure, the controls were a bit clunky, but success was achievable with time. Dragon Wang‘s crappy scrolling abilities ensure that your hit timing has to be perfect; otherwise, you’ll be absorbing all the pec sweat you can handle, which just happens to be your entire life bar. Also, according to Hardcore Gaming 101’s generous writeup of Dragon Wang, there’s trap doors in higher floors that take you back in your progress. Congratulations, Sega, nothing could make me hate your game more.
Beloved title aside, what a terrible way for Sega to begin their exclusive Sega MyCard line. All other MyCards released prior to this one had been ports of previously released SG-1000 games. Dragon Wang was the first of many originals to come and was, in fact, packaged in with certain waves of the Card Catcher. No, Sega, you should not have had such confidence in Dragon Wang. No game should make me long for the shirt-filled vistas of Kung Fu.