Ever played cupid with any of your friends?
Attempting to match up one pal with another can be more difficult than it looks: even if you think you've paired up two people with the exact same interests, often their qualities will cancel each other out, leading to one banal night for them and a couple less friends to buy cards for at Christmas for you.
Zed's 2 in 1 Dragons & Demons – which, as its name suggests, partners a game containing said winged beasts with one focused on all things demonic – would likewise appear to be the perfect pairing.
In practice, however, both games make the same kind of mistakes, doubling the disappointment.
The package's high point is undoubtedly side-scrolling shooter Dragon Hunter.
As Jon Mundy pointed out in the original review last year, though taking out the "armies of Devildom" by shooting down everything that moves appears to offer your typical mystical hokum, the gameplay isn't without its surprises.
"Each and every fiend has enough hit points to warrant being called a mid-level boss in most other shooters, with your vanilla attacks barely making a dent," pointed out Mundy.
"This is where the RPG elements come in, as you spend your hard earned spirit points - collected by finishing off baddies - on weapon and ability upgrades in between levels. While this makes Dragon Hunter far more interesting than most other shooters, however, it also makes it something of a grind to get through."
Dragon Hunter's moments of invention may fail to lift the package as a whole, but it's nowhere near as much of a slog as its bedfellow Demon Killer.
Hack and trash
Here, the side-scrolling action takes place on foot, and you're tasked with hunting down the demon lord Malaki after he kidnaps your other half.
Demon Killer's weak point isn't its derivative plot, however, but rather its lack of balance.
"Every brute you take down adds credit to your tally that you can trade in at any time to upgrade your HP, or even extend your abilities or magical prowess," I stated in the original review.
"As play moves forward, such additions to your arsenal become vital – tapping the '7' key, for instance, unleashes a brief burst of energy that takes down multiple opponents at once, while the '1' key summons your inner powers, causing wings to sprout from your back and blue fire to burst from your arms.
"This makes Demon Killer a typical case of choosing just when to transform and use the easy way out, and when to battle on the old fashioned way, punching and kicking through the hordes while risking being taken down yourself."
The end result is a game that's something of a trudge, offering up little in the way of originality as a reward.
As such, while Dragon Hunter has a few high points to its name, it ultimately succumbs to the same sense of banality that Demon Killer does, delivering a 2 in 1 package that's mediocre at best.