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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Animation > Video Game > Dragonís Lair (Blu-ray/Interactive Animation Video Game)

Dragonís Lair (Blu-ray/Interactive Animation Video Game)

 

Picture: A-†††† Sound: B+†††† Extras: B-†††† Main Program: B-

 

 

As Dirk the hero must enter the Dragon's Lair to rescue the Princess Daphne from the evil Dragon. But challenges awaits Dirk, not only in battle but cunning puzzles, broken bridges, falling objects, and the occasional electrical shocks... and that's just for starters! How will Dirk survive and get through the castle, solve the puzzles, defeat a huge Dragon, much less rescue the Princess?

This was an amazing arcade game when it first came out 25 years ago, it looked like animation, BUT requires the viewer's interaction and occasional guidance to help the hero Dirk get the happy ending. Based on the age old tales of the adventuring knight defeating the dragon and rescuing the princess, it's drawing and style reminds old cartoons such as Sword in the Stone and Secret of NIMH, as well as semi-cult favorite Titan A.E.Playing through the game is by telling Dirk when to move or to do a certain action within a given time period or else certain doom awaits him. But even if you don't figure out the puzzle, and Dirk loses, he does it dramatic and comical.  And some how electricity exist in a medieval story, shocking our hero more than once....  Fortunately both player and Dirk have a number of lives to use up just in case he didn't make it in time.

An early classic arcade game, but was considered cool for its animation/video game (I can't believe I am old enough remember it).It was awesome in it's time when compared to 8-bit graphics video games of the time. With original animation the music, sounds and voices are will make you wish you can just sit back and watch the story. But it is a mix blend of story telling and role-playing, it requires the viewers to have an active role in the story telling. With either the simple command of move or action, unlike any game consol, controlling it is not complex, but the puzzles and timing however make it difficult and challenging to solve the chain of commands, but then the fun part of the game was figuring out what to push and when, and the reward is moving on the storyline and getting to the next scene and getting closer to defeating the dragon and saving the princess.

A lot of it game WILL be learning from failure, Dirk's death, of when to move or do something, so you have to be patient if you want get through the game... and it is worth it. But even if this type of game isn't for you, it is one of those video games that is good played with a group either in just watching or trying to figure out along with you the answer to the puzzle.

 

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 image looks like a reframed variant that was likely made at 1.33 X 1 and looks very good for its age, with fine color and detail, considering the oversimplified animation style.A clean up was obviously done considering its age.As for the sound, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is very active and surprisingly so, as much that you will wish it were DTS.It just makes its letter grade.Extras include all new Blu-ray exclusive including the first Blu-ray Java picture-in-picture piece for the 19 minutes of the game, longer (22 minutes) Time Capsule compiling vault footage of the makers discussing the production they hoped was groundbreaking, the option to watch the game as a film and a brief restoration comparison section showing the work done to fix and save this.

 

It will be interesting to see how this holds up in a few years as Version 1.1 technology and more interactive games come to Blu-ray software.Especially feature films.In the meantime, you can play this on a PS3 or regular Blu-ray player and those interested should check it out.

 

 

-†† Ricky Chiang


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