Dragon's Lair HD XBLA Review
Made2Game Dragon's Lair Review Score: 5/10
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Developer: Digital Leisure
Publisher: Digital Leisure
Reviewed by: Jo Kendrick
Dragon's Lair is an old, old game. It first came about in 1983 and so, bearing this in mind, it wasn't ever going to win any awards for its old-school, Disney-like looks. The HD shine sharpens up the visuals, but beyond that it’s still very much a 30-year-old game.
To be honest, to call Dragon’s Lair a game at all may be quite a stretch, as in this day and age it amounts to little more than an overly long quick time event. Back then, though, it was known as an 'Action Interactive Movie', and while it may seem a bit of a cop out to our wise eyes, it does have the underlying potential to be quite addictive.
The aim of the game is to rescue Daphne, a princess (honestly, you can't take them anywhere) who has been kidnapped by an evil dragon called Singe, and locked up in Mordroc the Wizard's castle, presumably while he was out for the weekend. Now, someone needs to have a word with the architect and get their money back, because this is the most trap-ridden, downright awkward building to get around, ever. Honestly, getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom must be a nightmare. You play Dirk the Daring, the Knight in shining armour with the most applaudable stamina in history, constantly dodging, jumping, and slaying demons. It never lets up, and more than once you will find an evil place in your heart that secretly wants to tell him to forget the princess, turn around, and go home. There's plenty more fish in the sea.
Luckily for you if you’re playing with a controller, you will have to do considerably less moving. In fact, only the directions and A button will suffice. What you will have to work on is your reaction time, because this game is unforgiving. One wrong move and Dirk is dead. “Sure”, you might say, “I can do that. I never miss a button in QTEs”. Yeah, I thought that too, until I discovered that some of the buttons you have to press disappear before you even think to press them. There's lightning fast reactions and then there's the need to be a little psychic. The fact that the buttons never change does not help, either.
When I learned you could also play Dragon’s Lair with Kinect, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would go down, what with Kinect not being the fastest sensor in the world and Dragon’s Lair requiring the reaction speed of Albert Wesker to get to the finishing credits. Surprisingly, it's not too bad. It picks up moves ok, and is surprisingly easier than using the controller. There's a mode that you can stick on for kids called 'Continuous Mode', where you never die, carrying on throughout the story and just flashing red if you miss a move.
Dragons Lair, sadly, is a fun half hour that is totally overshadowed by much better XBLA titles. It may be good for people who want a bit of nostalgia, and young players may be attracted to its Kinect mode, but all in all, this is a title that is far too restricted in gameplay.
Words by Jo Kendrick (Twitter: @PixieJo)
Liam Pritchard goes cover-crazy in 5th Cell's frantic online shooter
A brand new side-scrolling beat-em-up from Deep Silver and Southend Interactive
Deadlight has flashes of brilliance throughout its short lifespan - we just wish there was more of it. Review by Mick Fraser