Dragon's Lair Review
Dragon's Lair Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: Digital Lecture
Pub: Microsoft Studios
Release: May 18, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes

For example, several scenes in the game are re-used and flipped, and toward the end of the game this gets incredibly frustrating. Seeing Dirk fall down the same hole five times or ride the same magical pony twice in two different directions just makes it feel like the game is stalling for time.

Dragon's Lair Screenshot

Playing with the command prompts turned off makes a lot of your commands feel entirely arbitrary. Sometimes Dirk has to attack the monster before him, and other times he has to dodge it—and the animation doesn't always give you cues as to which one is correct. This may have gone over well in the days when games were designed to make you hemorrhage quarters, but with so many modern games granting players infinite lives, the lack of prompts just makes the game feel cheap.

Not only that, but the game truly has no replay value. Unless you are a score junky that wants to get your initials at the top of the leaderboards, a single hour-long playthrough will expose you to all the content the game has to offer.

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Still, despite all these flaws—which stem from the time period in which the game was created—Dragon's Lair is still a gem of a title, and I still find myself wanting to take up the adventures of Dirk randomly in my spare time. The game will be delightfully nostalgic to gamers of old, and should be tried by anyone who is too young to remember it. It's an important part of gaming history, one that will make a fine addition to your Xbox LIVE Arcade game collection.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: May 22, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.3
Graphics
Don Bluth's animation is as great as it's always been.
3.2
Control
The Kinect controls are frustrating, but the controller works well enough.
1.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Unfortunately, something must have gone wrong with the sound design. Some scenes are far too muted while others are loud and inconsistent.
3.6
Play Value
While the game uses some pretty cheap tactics to pad its length, it's still a wonderfully nostalgic trip back to the early days of the arcade.
3.1
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • New Kinect controls.
  • Online Leaderboards.
  • Multiple difficulties.
  • Classic arcade cabinet and fullscreen settings.


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