Dragons Lair is a well-known name around the gaming world and it has finally made its way onto Xbox Live. It was released in 1983 and has been remade for PSN,DVDs, and even IOS. No matter what you are playing it on you will take on the role of a daring knight named Dirk. He is on a quest to save a princess from the evil wizard Mordroc and the dragon, Singe. You control Dirk through various quick time events that need to be done at specific times. Can you be as quick as a rabbit while you take Dirk on this classic adventure?
Animation: The animation is one of the more recognizable things about the game because it is in amazing detail. This isn’t too surprising as the animator is Don Bluth, the animator from both Fievel Goes West and Land Before Time. The animation was great in its time and still looks great in HD today. It will feel as though you were pulled into tv land and are experiencing a cartoon as you play.
Humor: if you want a game that is child friendly and playable with you kids, Dragons Lair is a great choice. There is some cartoonish violence that is similar to Looney Toons or something of that nature but nothing to mature. Also like Looney Toons, Dragons lair has plenty of laughs as Dirk seems to stumble into every problem there is. If you don’t succeed at completing these problems you will even get humorous death scenes.
Two Dirks: Dragons lair features local multiplayer where you and another player will alternate completing different scenes. This makes the game all the more fun because you’re trying to outscore your partner while working together to complete the game. There are many more laughs if using Kinect as the controller.
Kinect: Dragons lair is one of the first titles that can be played with both a regular controller and the Kinect peripheral. I found that the game is much more enjoyable when using Kinect and it gets you off the couch in the process. While on easy, Kinect doesn’t require you to move much at all to pass the quick time events but you will lose points if you don’t at least attempt the motions. While easy is the difficulty I would try and get the avatar award on, if you want a more active challenge I would go with the harder difficulties. These will require precise movement and exceptional timing which will add up to a good workout and a tiring adventure.
Avatar Awards: Dragons Lair like many other Microsoft published titles includes avatar wards. While for some odd reason they also ended up on the avatar marketplace, you can get two different shirts and Dirks helmet. The helmet you get for completing the game, while once shirt is for buying the game and the other for making no correct moves.
Controller Mode: One of the big things about Dragons Lair is trial and error and another is memorization. The older versions of the game had very subtle hints of what to do but no real indicators, so you would go until you died, start over and try a different action. On the controller even with the indicators on it is very difficult to get the timing right, even when you think you had it right on. This makes the controller experience much less enjoyable than the Kinect, especially on the harder difficulties.
Repetitive: While the fault here doesn’t lie with Digital Leisure because they just ported the original game, it does get repetitive. Most people that know of the game will go in with the understanding that most of the game is the same things over and over, but those new to the game may feel upset if they didn’t find out beforehand.
Dragons Lair may not be the game for everyone but longtime fans will enjoy it because of the nostalgia and new additions. While the price of ten dollars may turn some off since it is a game full of quick time events, it really isn’t a bad price and if you can’t spend that I’m sure it will go on sale. All in all Digital Leisure did a great job porting the game and making it look worth of HDTVs. If you are a fan or just want to experience the amazing animations of Dragons Lair, I suggest you start the adventure today.