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Review: Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair
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Dragon’s Lair Review
by Sturdy

First, let me predicate this review by saying I never had the pleasure of playing the arcade version of Dragon’s Lair. I guess somewhere along the way, I was robbed of the experience in my youth by not frequenting arcades. In fact, the first time I’d even heard of Dragon’s Lair was when I read the announcement that it was making its way to Blu-Ray. I didn’t know or understand what it was until I actually put it in my player.

So let me explain what it is for those that aren’t familiar with the original game. The best way I can describe it is like a choose-your-own adventure movie. Except you don’t really “choose” your adventure, you just have to press the right button at the right time. Make sense? No? Alright, imagine you’re watching a cartoon movie and at a certain point in time, you have to press one of five buttons so your character will do the right thing, otherwise he dies and you start over. That, in a sense, is Dragon’s Lair.

At first, I wanted to throw my remote control right through the screen. It was very frustrating because there’s about a two second window you have to press the right button. If you don’t, then your character makes an annoying scream and you start over from the last point. Of course, when you first start, you hear that scream about 500 times and it gets a little frustrating. Despite my rough start, I found myself getting the hang of it and then actually enjoying it. It’s addictive, but in a Pong kind of way. It’s not going to wow you with amazing graphics and complex gameplay, but it is pretty addictive.

Another problem I had was that the game isn’t set up on skill of gameplay. In other words, you can be a master gamer and that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do well with Dragon’s Lair. There’s very little skill involved. It’s all about timing. If you don’t press the right button at the right time, you start from the save point. Which brings me to my next gripe that there is no “saving”. You play until you can’t take it anymore and then you turn it off and pick it up the next day. The directions say that if you leave it in the player, it will start from the same point the next day. However, that’s not true if you’re playing it in a PS3. So needless to say, I have yet to beat it. The good news is that you can go to the website and download the correct codes and it kind of serves as a walkthrough. This will at least let you watch the movie and see what happens.

There are also a healthy dose of special features for fans of the game. The three creators reunited and did a video commentary track that you can watch while watching the cartoon. They’re proud of their work and they spend most of the time reminiscing and explaining the way things used to be. They’re talk carries over into an interview featurette that features basically the same stuff. Again, this is only good if you really dig the game. There are also some comparison featurettes of the way the game used to be and the way it is now. I thought these were cool and it was neat to see how far the game has come.

I can’t say I’d recommend this to anyone that’s grown up on today’s video games. It’s too outdated and I don’t think most of the younger crowds will appreciate it. I think this is an easy recommend for anyone who loved the game as a kid. It’s always nice to take a trip down memory lane and with the updated high definition graphics, it’s never looked better. Also, there’s a nice addition of special features to keep you interested.

Overall: 6/10

Source: JoBlo.com

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