Dragon's Lair, a 1980s Arcade game featuring a brave knight on a journey to save his princess. This game has it's pros and cons as any other game. I suppose if you're a big fan of arcade games, looking for some nostalgia from the 1980's, or simply just something short and fastpaced action/ adventure related then this is a game for you.
If you on the contrary want an in-depth plot to your adventure then I'd be inclined to suggest you seek out another lair.
Down below I'll try to mix the good with the bad, so you'll get an overal picture about the game.
* The menus. From a former design student's point of view they look horrible. Then again, it's from the 1980's so I didn't expect much. What did annoy me a bit though was that the game started lagging while in the menus option. In addition I'm not terribly fond of the whole "high scores are mandatory before you can play a new game"- thing. Though that's only if you decide to either quit the game in a fit of rage, or complete it. Otherwise you pretty much have infinite lives, and it doesn't take the game long to reload where you died the last time. (A feature I've grown to love about this game)
* The gameplay is so simple it's almost boring at times, but it's made up for by the short reaction time you have in most scenes. The animation flows well and the motions make sense for what's happening on screen most of the time. (Thinking of the princess monologue scene *cough* *cough*, something there doesn't sit right with me. I'll get back to that in a bit.)
* Sometimes you die for next to no reason. Especially if you pushed the button (a fraction of a second) too late, or didn't realize you should be doing anything, and maybe pushed the wrong button in the "crucial moment" *Point's at myself*
Apparantly the game has several modes you can play. I've only played home mode so far, and I found it to be overly repetative. The game forces you to repeat the same section repeatedly until you beat it, and makes you repeat old stages constantly. The only slight difference separating some scenes form others being that they are mirrored.
This game is difficult. I've only played on easy mode so far, but I'm concerned for when I'll try hard mode, as I've died so many times in this game it's embarassing.
- On a side note, I've seen a couple of reviews stating that the game does not work well with windows 8. That is not the case. I'm currently using windows 8 (or 8.1 to be exact), and the game has worked completely fine for me. If you try playing the game while your power option is checked to "power saver", then of course you'll have a problem playing it. If you set your computer to "high performance" and make sure that you don't have tons of other programs running at the same time, you shouldn't experience that much trouble.
* Now to Daphne, the damsel in distress... I don't even know where to start. This is the thing that has bothered me the most about this game. First off the princess' voice acting is terrible. And I have to agree with Puppet_kamon on this: "Thankfully she doesn't talk a whole lot, but when she does, my ears bleed." Second is the oversexulisation. The princess' outfit looks like it's taken right out of a strippers' closet. In addition, her over-the-top, unnecessary posing and gestures, while she is explaining how you defeat the dragon seems very odd to me. It looks like she is, or was ment to say something entirely different than the lines coming out of her mouth. In the end I was left with the impression that the princess was more of an object to be desired and obtained, more than anything else. I also wondered why the creators didn't make time-apropriate clothing for Daphne, as the knight's clothes/ armor looks like it's from the early middle ages, and hers from an other century entirely. (I have lots more to say bout this, but I think I'll leave it as is.)
* Animation-wise I have no complaint. I absolutely love most Don Bluth directed projects. The backgrounds are well made, and as stated before, the animation flows well. Otherwise I'd wish for a pause button in the game, as I'd like to view the surroundings a bit more.
As much as Dragon's Lair grinds my gears, I can't bring myself to hate it. It's an overall good game for it's time, and was groundbreaking in terms of going from pixel based games to animated ones. I bought it on sale, at 50% off, a completely ok price for a game like this. Though I would not recommend this at it's intended price. 4/10 points.