Faulty's scorecard :-1) Essential purchase2) Recommended purchase
3) Recommended purchase during a sale4) Not recommended unless heavily discounted5) Not even recommended for Steam game collectors
Dragon's Lair is a bit of an odd duck to review because behind all the cultural significance to video gaming history, the revolutionary graphics for its time and the addictive and compelling nature the game fostered in the arcades back in 1983 (countless 20 cent pieces were fed into the belly of this beast) is an incredibly short little adventure that has unfortunately not aged particularly well at all. Yes, video game purists are going to probably hang me out to dry and disagree vehemently with my opinion but I am totally fine with that. While I agree video games were most definitely a lot simpler back then that does not automatically give them free passes when looked at with a more modern eye. One can after all still admire them through the historical lens that captures the passage of time even if one no longer enjoys them. Divorcing the nostalgia from the actual reality; Dragon's Lair sadly ends up not being particularly good at all where it counts the most - actual gaming. While it may have succeeded on many other levels, gaming was certainly not one of them. While I agree it had us captivated in the early eighties the distance of a few decades has shown the gameplay up for what it really is - a gimmicky trinket.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=484113281
From a game culture and historical standpoint I admire Dragon's Lair more and there is no denying that Dragon's Lair had a massive impact on the then gaming landscape and was pretty much a technical marvel at the time and was a pretty dam fine showcase of what could be achieved when it came to the medium especially since the industry was going through some serious growing pains after its collapse in 1982. When I look at Dragon's Lair from this standpoint I wholeheartedly agree that the game deserves its place in video gaming history as something to be admired - not necessarily enjoyed or loved though. One has to remember that at the time video games weren't particularly pleasing to the eye as they are today and to have a game come out that looked like a moving Disney cartoon (it was animated by ex Disney employee Don Bluth who made a bit of a splash in the early eighties with movies like All Dogs Go to Heaven and An American Tail) while containing gameplay elements was unthinkable at the time. It's for this reason the game remains so popular amongst those who grew up in the era.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=484113730
By today's gaming standards Dragon's Lair feels a bit old hat as gameplay solely consists of quick time events that drive the narrative forward. The player will simply have to rely on a series of button prompts that interject as the tale unfolds to progress. There are no combat sequences at all which makes sense since the actual animation around the game was never programmed as such and are simply video reels that get executed based on the input the user enters at various interludes. While back in the early eighties this may have been a novel approach - today's gaming climate takes a very different view on QTE implementations in games with most of us agreeing that they truly do suck the donkeys balls and offer the player very little involvement in the action that is taking place on screen bar a few prompts to mash a button here or a button there.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=484114202
The objective of the game is simple enough though. You take on the role of a brave knight called Dirk the Daring on a quest to rescue the fair princess Daphne from the clutches of an evil dragon and the animation is still as lovely to watch as it was back then in the day. The port is as bare bones as they come though. Considering the signifigance of this title in the annals of history it would have been nice to have a few documentaries included in the menu to expand a bit on the experience and why the game was and still remains so popular to this day amongs us old timers. The PC version for some reason though does not play nice and proper with a gamepad (which I sadly could not get to work even though I know this game was released on both PS3 and the XBox 360) which is a bit odd given that this PC version would not allow me to select a controller as my desired input device.
If you are planning on purchasing Dragon's Lair and want to add a little bit of history to your library then I would say go for it. Just don't expect that history not to be swathed in cobwebs and decades of dust when you finally get around to installing and playing it.
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