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Posted by drew10 on Jun 1, 2012
Dragons Lair – Xbox Kinect – Digital Leisure

Dragons Lair – Xbox Kinect – Digital Leisure

Way back in 1983 a young man walked into an arcade in Cornwall having emptied all of his 10 pence’s into his pockets in preparation for the wonders that lay within. On the far side of the smoke-filled room that echoed with digital noise shone a new machine. On the screen were visuals far and away ahead of anything seen before. Watching wide-eyed the boy observed as the hero of the adventure, Dirk Daring attempted to save a fair maiden from the Dragon’s Lair.

One of the first games to embrace the ill-fated Laser-Disc technology Dragon’s Lair featured hand-drawn artwork from animator Don Bluth. It created one of the best looking arcade games to this date. The problem was that the way Laser-Disc’s worked meaning that it made for a pretty poor game.

The gameplay amounted to little more than pushing the joystick in a certain direction in time with an event on screen to move Dirk away from danger and onto the next level. The game was ultimately frustrating and lead to the poor boy in the story above hitting the machine and causing the disc to malfunction, oops.

Now developers Digital Leisure are bringing the classic back to Xbox 360 and utilising the Kinect as the controller. And with the way the Kinect works it could be the perfect control method for this classic. 

The game has been copied lock, stock and barrel from the original. This includes Don Bluth’s fantastic artwork and unique character models. And despite some pixelating it still looks as good as ever. Navigating Dirk through the lair is as easy as jumping in the correct direction or waving your arm to swing your sword.

Unfortunately along with the good stuff that made Dragon’s Lair so ground-breaking the Kinect version suffers with all the problems that hampered the arcade game. Movements still suffer with a little lag and feel a little hit and miss. What’s more the Kinect version feels infinitely easier and getting a move right or wrong seems to have little effect on the games outcome.

So the Kinect version suffers with all the frustration of the original except now you jump around the room as well. You may think that this would mean the game scoring extremely low. Well the reviewer in me would agree, but somewhere inside that small boy still gets a thrill every-time he hears the words Dragon’s Lair and sees the overly squared jaw of Dirk Daring. So everything is forgiven, everything! Plus I can’t break the Laser-Disc any more, which is a bonus.

 

 

 

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