REVIEW – Dragon’s Lair (XBLA with Kinect Support)

Die With Motion Control


In its 30 year history, Dragon’s Lair has been ported to pretty much anything with a screen on it.  While the unique animation is welcomed, the nostalgia will bring back memories, and the invention of quick-time events was revolutionary, Dragon’s Lair simply does not hold up well in modern times, offering nothing but a shallow experience built on enduring and punishing repetition.  This game might have been fun for about 60 seconds back in the early 80’s, but this game really has no place in today’s gaming age whatsoever.

This biggest draw with this downloadable XBLA version is the included Kinect support, but instead of enhancing the gameplay experience it merely hinders it thanks to the hardware’s natural delay and short window of opportunity to register input.  Also, Kinect is the default form of control when this game is first booted up; why can’t I use the controller and the Kinect at the same time?  Why must it be one or the other? The graphics are also grainy and the audio, especially the voices, are muffled and quiet.

Using the controller is still the preferred way to experience Dirk’s adventure and the alternative co-op play is clumsy at best; even navigating the menu screen is way too touchy.  There is the option to remove the subtle direction indicators and to even just watch the animation uninterrupted, but the higher cost of $10 is a bit much for this downloadable monstrosity even with unlockable Avatar awards.

Fans still looking to get their Don Bluth fix should perhaps look into other alternatives.


Better Than: the NES version

Also Try: paying $10 to get smacked in the face repeatedly

Wait For It: the inevitable upcoming Vita, 3DS, Kindle, WP7, Nook, and wristwatch port

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