Published on May 27th, 2012 | by Shopmaster0
Dragon’s Lair Review
Summary: Overall I enjoyed the game but it lacked depth and substance and doesn't have any kind of replay value. The sound of the game is still the same and the only difference is that you can play with Kinect.
80's Classic, Nothing New
Dragon’s Lair is a classic, one of the old-time arcades that kids used to put quarter after quarter in to save the princess from the evil dragon. Relying on nothing more than quick reflexes and remembering what you did about 5 scenes ago will take you far but will easily wear thin on your enjoyment level even if you were a fan of the 80′s arcade classic.
Let me first start off by saying I was one of those kids that put a lot of quarters into the Dragon’s Lair arcade cabinet that was in the corner of my local Chuck E. Cheese in the early 80′s. Back then Chuck E. Cheese was an arcade hangout, nothing like it is today, but that’s another story; let’s just say I loved the game. I was very excited to see that the classic was coming to XBOX Live Arcade (800 Microsoft Points) and was also going to utilize Kinect. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. All the quarters I put in that game and I never beat it. I’ve come close a number of times but never made it to the Dragon’s Lair. I either ran out of time or out of quarters. Now I get to try with unlimited lives to spare.
The first thing I noticed was that the graphics were bad. It wasn’t as though I was looking for an HD version of this game but to see the grainy picture was a downer; nonetheless it’s a classic so I was fine with that. The picture looked exactly like it did in 1983. I chose to jump right into play and was giving the choice to either use the controller or Kinect. I chose to use the controller first. Just like I remembered, opening scene where you are Dirk trying to save princess Daphine, entering the castle, falling through the bridge with eels trying to grab your feet and pull you in. For those who have never played Dragon’s Lair, you are given light up clues on where you go with your character using the D-pad. So if the door to your left lights up, you push left on the d-pad and your character moves to the left. You move wrong or late and that’s certain death for Dirk in a number of ways. The difference between the Arcade game and this XBLA game is that the indicators are not only a door flashing or a lighted up rope, but also an arrow that turns green when you need to press in that direction. This was very helpful but there were still times where it was unresponsive and even when I knew where I was supposed to go I end up dying anyways. It was to the point where I had to anticipate the action needed. With the controller I still didn’t get to the Dragon’s Lair after playing it for about 30 minutes.
The Co-Op of Dragon’s Lair was not much of a co-op at all. In fact it was rather disappointing as it’s nothing more than taking turns trying to get through the castle. So when one person dies, they just hand the controller off to the other player and they try. This goes back and forth and although it keeps score it’s really not a co-op experience, but a tag team experience. There really isn’t much more than that.
Then I played it with the Kinect. Check out my video review of Dragon’s Lair with Kinect.
As you can see with the Kinect, it was a lot easier to go through the castle and make it to the Dragon’s Lair to save the princess.
Overall I enjoyed the game but it lacked depth and substance and doesn’t have any kind of replay value. The sound of the game is still the same and the only difference is that you can play with Kinect. If you are a fan of the 80s arcade game then maybe you get it to re-live your childhood and finally say “I rescued Princees Daphanie and beat Dragon’s Lair”. I can say it, can you?