Monday, August 13, 2007

This Post Is So Leftfield, It Should Be
Called Paul Daley and Neil Barnes

"The original Dragon's Lair was hugely ground-breaking and influential. Sadly, the ground was probably left unbroken, as the game's influence led to trash like Night Trap and pretty much everything on the Philips CD-i. I'm not even sure you could call Dragon's Lair a "game", as "playing" it consisted of watching a few minutes of a Don Bluth cartoon, then pressing a button in order to key up the next animation. It was immensely popular, but my gosh it was rubbish.

"Obviously a then-high-end arcade machine based on laserdisc technology was never going to scale down well to the NES, and if the producers had tried such a conversion, then no one would be surprised if it were awful. What *is* surprising is that turning the game into a side-scrolling platform puzzler more in keeping with the humble grey box's technical capabilities would also be awful. The controls could be described as sluggish, although that would be doing a disservice to slugs, and the game itself is almost impossibly hard, with instant death situations around every corner, including enemies which seem to be able to kill the lead character just by looking at him. Which would be fine if you could avoid said enemies, except you can't because the controls and timing are so broken, and so on, until you start trying to hop to the Sun, because that would be less futile an activity than playing this terrible non-game. The producers of this game did what few of their peers have managed over the years, and that is to scale down a coin-op for home consoles, and yet retain the original gameplay; sadly, the original gameplay was dire." (poit)

"Dragon's Lair (Grade Incomplete) - I would give this a real grade, but unfortunately I cannot get past the first screen. I feel so awful for not being able to clear one measly little screen. Thank heaven I didn't pay big money for this game or I would be screaming bloody murder." (poit)

"It's only the hardcore, the critics and the reviewers who tend to have it in for Lair and its ilk, and that may be because a game like Dragon's Lair renders both criticism and years of carefully-accumulated gaming expertise worthless. Everything it has to offer is right up front on the surface, anyone can see for themselves in a matter of seconds what this game is about, decide for themselves if they're interested in it or not, and start playing it instantly. It doesn't need years of practice, it doesn't need explaining, it doesn't need judging. And speaking as a critic, there's nothing we hate more than having our very reason to exist taken away from us." (poit)

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