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Classic Arcade



Digital Liesure



Starcom / Cinematronics



E (Everyone)



June 2006



- The arcade classic has never looked or sounded better

- A "Watch" mode for the truly lazy

- Multiple film settings



- The original problem of extremely limited interactivity is still a downside

- No commentary or bonus extras makes the game reek of "money grab!"



Classic Review: Day of the Tentacles (PC)

Classic Review: Night Trap (SegaCD)

Review: Gabriel Knight II: The Beast Within (PC)



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Dragon's Lair HD

Score: 6.5 / 10


There aren't that many Gaming Legends out there.  And when I say Gaming Legends I'm writing about characters that are known outside of gaming circles.  Ask anyone on the street who Super Mario is and they'll likely be able to tell you.  Dirk the Daring is one of those figures.


dragon's lair hd          dragon lair's hd


Way back in the summer of 1983 and just after the release of Return of the Jedi, Dragon's Lair hit the arcades.  Graphically it blew away the competition thanks to its slick laserdisc packaging but the basic gameplay wasn't that complicated.  You navigated the various rooms of a castle by moving the joystick in the direction of onscreen cues or pressing the sword button.   It crunched quarters like candy thanks to the multitude of instant death situations.  And since 1983, Dragon's Lair has been through multiple iterations, including Dragon's Lair 3D which was released a few years ago.  With the release of Dragon's Lair HD we have the definitive version of Dragon's Lair, which features a high-def film transfer and 5.1 surround sound (provided you have the right hardware).


Although it's definitive and Dirk the Daring has never looked or sounded better -- big points for that -- Digital Leisure missed the boat when it came to makingDragon's Lair HD a truly spectacular version.  The game ships on a single DVD and provides multiple screen versions, including widescreen, and installation is as easy as putting the disc in the drive, and starting to play (the gameplay remains true to its roots, that is to say you basically memorize the moves) but there are no extras to be had.


dragon's lair hd          dragon's lair hd


Director commentaries are almost standard for any DVD release nowadays, which is probably why I expected something in the way of extra details on the production of the game, commentary from Don Bluth, or even interviews with some of the




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development team.  But we get none of that.  What about the short-lived Dragon's Lair cartoon?  An interview with Rick Dyer?  Archive news footage of Dragon's Lair when it first hit the arcades?  The fact it was the first arcade game to cost two quarters to play?  A featurette examining the game's effect on video games?  Without these it just screams of a money grab.



Digital Leisure has plans to release other laserdisc classics like Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp (which is still one of my favorite arcade games) and Space Ace, both on DVDs.  Hopefully they take their time and add more content.  A fantastic digital transfer is well and good, but if there's nothing else, it feels a bit empty.


Dragon's Lair HD is purely for old school arcade players that want to relive the glory days, it's a perfect rendering of the action and gameplay of the arcade game, but it could have been so much more.


- Omni

(July 1, 2006)


dragon's lair hd

Ah, Princess Daphne... It wouldn't be a proper review if the damsel in distress wasn't given some face time.


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