Holy crap a lot of “ye olde times” games are getting released or re-released. Nothing is truer when I start talking about Dragon’s Lair. Originally released in 1983 to be the next big hit in the arcade, this game devoured children and adults their wallet. And it isn’t hard to think about why this happened. Truly enchanting any and everyone who would give the game a shot, Dragon’s Lair quickly became one of the best and widely known arcade game. A year later Space Ace was released. Not a sequel to Dragon’s Lair, but in the same kind of mindset you set forth to yet again, save a pretty damsel. A true sequel than to Dragon’s Lair was released in 1991, this one being Dragon’s Lair: Time Warp. Although acclaimed for its visual art style yet again, it didn’t really hit it off due to some issues with the game. So, let’s don on our helmet, polish our sword and get ready to save not 1, not 2 but 3 damsels in distress! This is, Dragon’s Lair Trilogy!
- Humoristic!: The amount of laughter that this got out of me is staggering. Dieing (okay after a while I got totally fed up with it, but the first few times? Haha, laughed my butt off) shows you some dark and humoristic scenes, like this screenshot above. Each scene has different death scenes, and all of them are original. Like, no repeats in other rooms. And that just blows my mind. The amount of time that they must’ve sunk into this is probably way over the top. But it truly has to be said, back in the day they truly understood good humor and satire!
- Nice bonus features: Yeah some might say that this is like tacked on and what not, but I still can’t feel like it actually is tacked on. You’ve got an interview with the developers, where you can clearly see how passionate they were about creating Dragon’s Lair. The fire still burning in their eyes when they talk about their lovely little creation. To tutorials and even a “lets play”. Sure there might be insignificant for a lot of you, but still, I think these kinds of tiny little details is what separates good games from the bad ones.
- Visually AMAZING: Wauw does this game look AMAZING or what? These pictures don’t do the game ANY justice. It looks soooooo much better when playing it for yourself than to see it being played on Youtube or in screenshots. If anyone has ever seen The sword in the stone? Then you’ll totally feel right at home with these animations! The first thing that went through my mind in my first few minutes, was how strikingly close it looked like that movie. I absoLUTELY love this art style, this animation and frankly how this game looks and feels in its entirety. The old school hand-drawn art, the fresh and popping colors. My god how good does this game look, mm mm MM!
- Customization: You’ve actually got quite a few modifiers to choose from. For instance, you can select to play like you were playing the game on an arcade cabinet. Or you could add or subtract lives to make it easier or harder on yourself. Heck, you even get the choice to entirely botch the game up and let the scenes be picked out randomly in random order just to see how good you know the game AND its scenes. This is an amazing feature to have been added! Absolutely and downright wonderful. This will always make the game more appealing if you are daring you and your friends to have a duel as to who can get to the princess the fastest and the quickest in a random run!
- Unforgiving: It doesn’t matter which game in this trilogy you’ll be playing. One rule that goes for any and all of these games is, be as hard as you can be, and then some! Kids back in the day must’ve been really hardened if they endured this game’s attack onto your sanity, and survive. Don’t get any assumptions. This game will beat you down and laugh you right in the face if you even get a bit too cocky. You think you’ve got a pattern down? Sike, let us switch the layout of the scene you’re going through. Ugh, how many times that I rode that mechanical horse, to suddenly fail because in my mind I always go left and have the game do a d*ck move on me and switch it up? I’m not going to say it but trust me, my controller is lucky that it’s the only one in the house!
- Twitchy: If there’s anything that could describe Dragon’s Lair ‘s movements, then it would be that it is as twitchy as a witch going into Sunday church. My god how easily annoyed I got each and every time when the game would throw a wrench into my spokes when I was on a roll. Not only do you have to have lightning fast reflexes, at times you have got to train your psychic abilities. Why? Sometimes the indicator for your next move would appear and disappear in under a second and if you didn’t press it? I’m sorry, game over. Restart! Sure after your 50th try, you’ll get it down due to basic muscle and brain reflexes. But come on! Give us a chance!!
- Glitchy: I’ve had a few extremely annoying glitches happen to me during my runs. These ranged from visual popups that wouldn’t appear until it was too late all the way to actual animations that would happen incorrectly. One moment, for example, it told me to press up. So I did, and it showed me the failed animation. So I thought okay I pressed the wrong button. Until that animation stopped, and the game actually continued because I did select the correct option! Of course, it screwed me over and resulted in a death. I mean… What? Make up your mind game! Did I or didn’t I press the right button? Sheesh!
Dragon’s Lair perfectly represents how games were way back when. Hard, unforgiving but damn right amazing and enjoyable to play. Once you’ve played these games, you’ll know how spoiled we’ve gotten by the sheer amount of helping hands in currently released games (of course excl. every dark souls games or games that look and play like dark souls). And while not a perfect game, it still is a must play for anyone who enjoys classic games!
Developer: Digital Leisure Publisher: Digital Leisure
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Alexis spent 4 hours raiding your lair.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: 10-ish hours
Perfect for: Old-schoolers. Classic enthusiasts.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here