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TA Review: Dragon's Lair

AuthorMessage
osubluejacket
178,706
osubluejacket
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:28
The years have not been kind

It’s not every day that a game reviewer gets charged with posting a review on a game that is almost as old as he is, but https://www.trueachievements.com/Dragons-Lair-xbox-360.htm made its appearance on the Xbox LIVE Arcade this week with a few tweaks and additions. With that in mind, gamers might wonder if the entry is worth the price of admission which, at 800 MSP, is almost cheaper than it would cost to play through the entire game in an arcade.

https://www.trueachievements.com/customimages/005609.jpg

First and foremost in this review should be a respect for the lineage of Dragon’s Lair. Originally created in 1983, Dragon’s Lair was a seminal arcade experience that gave gamers the chance to direct the adventures of Dirk the Daring in his quest to rescue Princess Daphne from the Dragon Singe. Illustrated by former Disney animator, Don Bluth, the game was immediately eye-catching and gave the illusion that you’d actually be able to control the movements of a fully animated character. Dragon’s Lair also has the “honor” of being the first arcade game to cost 50 cents instead of the traditional quarter. In the three decades since its arcade release, Dragon’s Lair has been ported to over sixty different platforms.

With its arcade roots, the XBLA port of Dragon’s Lair pays homage to the quarter-sucking beast that siphoned off many an allowance with its (initially) grueling learning curve. The gameplay for Dragon’s Lair is basically a glorified quick time event that forces you to make critical (and correct) button presses on a moment’s notice. With only five buttons to master (the directional d-pad arrows and the “A” button for your sword) the gameplay lacks variety and the time in which you’re allotted to hit the buttons wildly and drastically varies, making for a frustrating experience. Fortunately, you are given a guide on which buttons to press… a feature that was notably absent in the initial arcade release and can be turned off in the options menu. Further complicating matters for beginners is that checking the “How To Play” or “Controls” menu forces you to exit your game.

https://www.trueachievements.com/customimages/005611.jpg

The crowning achievement for Dragon’s Lair has always been the art work. Bluth’s hand-drawn cartoons that so seductively lured in gamers in the 80’s still look the same today and are great for a trip down memory lane, but, beyond that, are unremarkable. What makes the visual experience frustrating is that one must scan the scene to find occasional button prompts which can be hard to spot amongst the animated scenery.

The game itself, however, is incredibly repetitive. Many of the “puzzle rooms” are repeated (or inverted/flipped) throughout the quest, making the experience monotonous, repetitive, and boring. While the port does have a few nice features like Arcade Mode (which puts Dirk in a new room every time he dies), the replay value is virtually zero, especially once all of the achievements have been gained.

https://www.trueachievements.com/customimages/005606.jpg

On the achievement front, completionists shouldn’t be scared to pick up Dragon’s Lair if some quick Gamerscore is your goal. All of the achievements can easily be gained in three or four playthroughs which, all things considered, should only take part of your afternoon (my first playthrough only took about an hour). The trickiest of achievements, Lair King, forces you to get the highest possible score in the game using a controller, while the rest can be planned out and accomplished with relative ease.

With antiquated gameplay, graphics, sound, and voice work (Princess Daphne does get some points for sounding like a coquettish Marilyn Monroe and looking like a vintage pinup girl), Dragon’s Lair is not so much a game you want to play, but rather a trip down memory lane. The 800 MSP price point seems much too high to recommend for even the most nostalgic of gamers.
TomGranzZz
114,678
TomGranzZz
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:35
AVGN wrote this lol
Nice review but i might get it on dotw for gamerscore (maybe)
Bob101910
597,076
Bob101910
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:45
Are the Kinect controls good? Surprised to not see in anywhere in the review
BrumtownMangler
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:46
An honest review. I looked at the achievement list and decided that this isn't even worth playing for the points. This is a "never-buy" for me.
N0T PENNYS B0AT
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:47
BOB101910 RFP said:
Are the Kinect controls good? Surprised to not see in anywhere in the review
The Kinect controls in this game equate to navigating an app on the dahsboard.
Spookytooth104
Posted on 26 May 12 at 18:52
Every version of this game has been pants hasn't it?

I always thought they ripped off Disneys Sword in the Stone with the character
designs. Bought it once and it underwhelmed, not that desperate for cheevos.
zoidberg1339
376,919
zoidberg1339
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:13
Man, I really wanted this to be good. I'll get it if it goes on sale or if my girlfriend wants to go halfsies on it. She friggin loves anything Don Bluth.
Carlos Again
144,983
Carlos Again
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:37
It is a 30 year old game, of course it is dated. I don't understand why most reviewers gave Ocarina of Time 3D 9/10 - 10/10s, yet they all bash Dragon's Lair for being old.

Although I will agree, the game is dated and most of the appeal comes from nostalgia. Reviewing it on modern standards however, is just bad taste.
Bar6arian
496,670
Bar6arian
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:37
lol.. I'm older than the reviewer but I remember playing this when it was on the big arcade. It was totally different than anything I had seen before but at the time very frustrating to complete, dumping quarter after quarter. I might just have to get this for the nostalgia.
grex9101
258,288
grex9101
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:39
ah... It's a piece of history. As a game, it was poor even for its time. As a spectacle, it was unmatched.

Bring on Dragons Lair 2 and Space Ace!!!
EarthboundX
1,099,146
EarthboundX
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:49
Yeah, this game has aged really terribly.
EarthboundX
1,099,146
EarthboundX
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:50
Carlos Again said:
It is a 30 year old game, of course it is dated. I don't understand why most reviewers gave Ocarina of Time 3D 9/10 - 10/10s, yet they all bash Dragon's Lair for being old.

Although I will agree, the game is dated and most of the appeal comes from nostalgia. Reviewing it on modern standards however, is just bad taste.
Well OOT3D is an actual game, this is just quick time events the while time.
MachineAres
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:52
Spookytooth104 said:
Every version of this game has been pants hasn't it?

I always thought they ripped off Disneys Sword in the Stone with the character
designs.
Its made by the same person....seriously, does no one research anything before they talk?
grex9101
258,288
grex9101
Posted on 26 May 12 at 19:57
MachineAres said:
Spookytooth104 said:
Every version of this game has been pants hasn't it?

I always thought they ripped off Disneys Sword in the Stone with the character
designs.
Its made by the same person....seriously, does no one research anything before they talk?
He obviously didn't even read the OP.

Anyway, why the 0 gamerscore?
Z4M0
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:03
Make it retail along with SPACE ACE in the same disc and I'm sold.

Review doesn't look fair. There's no mention to kinect integration at all nor tweaks the game recived for this version.

Sure it's dated but I remember giving up due to poor quick time event integration back at the day (sometimes it was difficult for me to figure out what was the right time and button to trigger the successful animation) but now with kinect I went 3 times farther into the game.

IMHO kinect adds fun to it (4 direction jumping, sword move and 2 rope picking moves), feels responsive enough and actually makes the game a more intuitive experience instead of the trial-error hell I used to know.
Prof Hooblehof
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:06
Carlos Again said:
It is a 30 year old game, of course it is dated. I don't understand why most reviewers gave Ocarina of Time 3D 9/10 - 10/10s, yet they all bash Dragon's Lair for being old.
Dude you have to be kidding.
Chakaal Starr
359,458
Chakaal Starr
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:14
"It’s not every day that a game reviewer gets charged with posting a review on a game that is almost as old as he is"

In all honesty, I think this is where the review went wrong. I think the game really needs to be looked at for what it is and not how it compares to moden games.

I don't believe a review saying 'With antiquated gameplay, graphics, sound, and voice work ' is doing that. This isn't the new adventures of Dirk the Daring, so there shouldn't be such heavy emphasis on how it compares to the modern game. In the case of Dragon's Lair rereleases, it is the point of the game to be true to the original. There is very little mention on the job they did of this, of course the reviewer didn't play this game when it was at the peak of its popularity because he would have been around 2, so he may not been able to elaborate on that. To me, it would be like someone reviewing Retro City Rampage and commenting negatively that it has antiquated graphics etc. when of course it does, because it is supposed to.

I think the selection of the reviewer was wrong in this case, while OSU is normally worth a read, I think a reviewer about 10 years older would have been more appropriate for this game. Had this been a review of a rerelease of the original Doom(1993), he would have been the perfect reviewer.

I found the comment regarding zero replayability interesting as a statement of gaming today because the original was a quarter vacuum.
misfit119
866,752
misfit119
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:17
EarthboundX said:
Carlos Again said:
It is a 30 year old game, of course it is dated. I don't understand why most reviewers gave Ocarina of Time 3D 9/10 - 10/10s, yet they all bash Dragon's Lair for being old.

Although I will agree, the game is dated and most of the appeal comes from nostalgia. Reviewing it on modern standards however, is just bad taste.
Well OOT3D is an actual game, this is just quick time events the while time.
Which basically describes a good bit of Asura's Wrath yet that game got decent reviews from most people (not good but not terrible). But to be honest this is one of those games that if you're too young to have played the original then I would easily imagine there's no real appeal to this game.

And no, the Laserdisc version of this game was pretty good actually.
Looking to boost any MP achievements I don't have for any game I own.
OMGWTH00111111
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:28
Anyway, why the 0 gamerscore?

Isn't it if someone has been caught cheating or using gamesaves to boost GS?
Click on their gamertag and it says achievements removed.
There is info on it in useful links, then cheater policy.
The things you own end up owning you
Mike Langlois
302,975
Mike Langlois
Posted on 26 May 12 at 20:40, Edited on 26 May 12 at 20:41 by Mike Langlois
loonytoon76 said:
Anyway, why the 0 gamerscore?
Isn't it if someone has been caught cheating or using gamesaves to boost GS?
Click on their gamertag and it says achievements removed.
There is info on it in useful links, then cheater policy.
Or his profile is set to private so he cant be scanned.

But yeah, more than likely been removed for cheating.
www.twitter.com/Mike_Langlois
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