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Platform

Playstation 3 (BluRay)

 

Genre

Classic Arcade

 

Publisher

Digital Leisure

 

Developer

Digital Leisure

 

ESRB

N/A

 

Released

June 2, 2009

 

 

- Has never looked or sounded better

- A look at the lost Pirate Ship level

- Watch or play

 

 

- Really wanted more extras

- Muscle memory can mean a very short trip down memory lane

 

 

Review: Space Ace (PS3)

Review: Dragon's Lair HD (PC)

Interview: Dragon's Lair - Back into the Lair

Review: Lair (PS3)

 

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Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

dragon's lair ii time warp          dragon's lair ii time warp

 

During its stay in the arcade, I could almost finish Dragonís Lair II: Time Warp on a single play.  Sometimes I would have to pony up some more quarters to finish the game, but in the opinion of those watching I was a good player.  So it was amazing to me that after more than 15 years since playing it last, all the moves Ė hitting the right direction or attack button at the right time Ė came flooding back with this Blu-

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Ray version.  And so did a lot of memories of standing in a 7-11 in the middle of summer with friends.

 

Levels I hadnít thought of since 1991 suddenly appeared on-screen and like some kind of robot I navigated my way through without dying.  (The Garden of Eden? Iíd completely forgot!)  Ask me what I learned in school or a book I

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read that year and I couldnít tell you; itís an indication of how deeply I understood the game.

 

Dragonís Lair II: Time Warp is a complete grab at nostalgia.  The lasting legacy of Dragonís Lair has been the quicktime event: pressing a series of buttons or directions to make something cinematic happen.  Among others, Shenmue did it, God of War does it, and Resident Evil does it.  If God of War was only ordered and deliberate button presses, it would be boring Ė maybe cinematically exciting, but boring.  And that mechanic just canít be separated from Dragonís Lair.  Taking Dirk into a modern sensibility Ė giving the player complete control over Dirkís actions Ė hasnít worked.  A slightly interactive cartoon is what anchors Dirk to the gaming subconscious.

 

Dragonís Lair II is packed with great animation and very whimsical themes that make the whole game Ė all 20 minutes of it (on a perfect play-through) Ė interesting to watch for the uninitiated or those that lack any nostalgic attachment to Dirk the Daring and Daphne.  Thereís no technique or nuance involved and the threadbare story doesnít offer much more than an excuse to put Dirk in some interesting environments.

 

dragon's lair ii time warp          dragon's lair ii time warp

 

In the extras section, thereís an option to just watch the game unfold and really see whatís going on in each scene.  The optional directorís commentary that helps fill in some Dragonís Lair knowledge and there are separate interviews on specific aspects of the game, like the lost Pirate Ship level, that should be interesting to any fan of arcade games and Dragonís Lair but I wish there could have been more.  Possibly thatís just me being greedy.

 

Another option in the extras section is a side-by-side comparison of the various versions of Dragonís Lair II that have been released over the years.  In comparison, the Blu-Ray version is head and shoulders above each and every other release; itís awesome. Even the DVD release which wasnít released all that long ago.

 

The audience for Dragonís Lair II: Time Warp might be narrow Ė arcade aficionados and Dragonís Lair fans seeking a massive nostalgia hit Ė but for those that seek it out, this is likely the ultimate version of Dragonís Lair II.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(June 9, 2009)

 

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