In a nutshell: this release of Dragon's Lair is as perfect a version of the original laserdisc game from 1983 as you're likely ever to need, for better or worse.
Here's some longer thoughts on the game...
For anyone old enough to have frequented arcades in 1983 you'll undoubtedly remember the stir Dragon's Lair caused when it was released. I vividly recall seeing the local game with a second television monitor mounted atop the cabinet so that the crowds of people standing around could still see the game playing even from a distance, and when *anybody* made it to the end to face off with the dragon there's was a clamor of excitement. That was 30 years ago. Video games were so primitve back then that not only were characters limited in visual appeal and animation but gameplay too was barely more than a joystick moving in 4 directions and tapping a button. In that context Dragon's Lair soared above the rest with its genuine cartoon animation and even the stilted mash-buttons-and-learn-patterns gameplay wasn't too off putting.
In 2013 however Dragon's Lair has little to offer anyone who didn't fall in love with the game back then. The gameplay is only slightly more compelling than hitting the fast forward and skip buttons on your DVD player, and there's grade school fan fiction of King Arthur that's deeper than the plot put in motion here. The animation is very competent and Princess Daphne is a riot of laughter with her breathless exclamations and anatomy that should be poking holes in her costume. Thankfully there are options to make the game easier to play from on-screen prompts to just watching all the sequences play automatically... a much appreciated choice because it gets really tedious playing some sequences over and over because the timing isn't split-second accurate. There are "achievements" for playing the game in arcade hard mode (no audio or visual prompts) but that's strictly for the masochistic.
For the life of me I can't understand why the video files aren't in 1080p HD quality... it's 720p instead which makes me wonder if there's going to be yet another release somewhere down the line. I also would have liked to get a proper freeze frame mode in order to do animation analysis, and for some reason I wasn't able to take any screengrabs while playing. Very odd.
But, I did pay money for this and I definitely feel like I enjoyed my purchase.
Posted: October 20th, 2013