XBOX REVIEW: DRAGON'S LAIR 3

You should know right from the outset that Dragon's Lair 3 isn't a PS2 or Xbox game. It's a DVD game that can be played in any DVD player. You should also know that this is the second Dragon's Lair 3 that I've come up against, and I'm not even including Dragon's Lair 3D.

This new product is actually a hybrid between the original Dragon's Lair laserdisc game created by Don Bluth and Dragon's Lair 3D - an updated free-roaming console adventure, but here's the rub: this DVD game IS Dragon's Lair 3D, BUT it's played like the original Dragon's Lair where you input directional commands when the screen flashes. Huh? Wazzat? You read that right. At times you will have to actually move Dirk, but these instances are few and far between. In a nutshell, they've taken footage of someone playing Dragon's Lair 3D and turned it into an interactive cartoon, much like the original Dragon's Lair. Interesting idea. I'm not thrilled with the way Digitial Leisure has promoted this product because you would be hard pressed to tell that this was an interactive version of DL3D. Digitial Leisure doesn't mention DL3D anywhere in it's press material for this game and that's bothersome. Some might say misleading too.

Now I don't know about you, but I really liked Dragon's Lair 3D. It had potential and I know that most of us at Platinum were waiting for a sequel. Dragon's Lair 3 is like Dragon's Lair 3D for untalented dummies who couldn't work their way through it because it was a "real" game. This might appeal to mom or dad who remember playing Dragon's Lair way back when, but any self-respecting gamer should go out of their way to play Dragon's Lair 3D instead of this interactive redundancy.

That being said, if you really, and I mean, REALLY, liked the original Dragon's Lair and you just want more of that kind of gameplay, then you'll probably get a lot of entertainment value out of this game. It features new weapons, items, monsters and a plethora of new challenges and some familiar ones as well.

From a visual standpoint the game looks really great, but that's simply a testament to just how nice Dragon's Lair 3D turned out. The control, if you want to call it that, is decent but when played on the PS2, Xbox or DVD remotes experiences a bit of lag - but that's due to sometimes missing the infrared mark. You might also experience trouble getting the timing of the directional commands or sword attacks when things heat up on screen. Thankfully the developers have removed the canned death sequences of Dirk until you actually lose all of your lives. This helps speed the gameplay up slightly, but you will die often.

The press release for the game states "Three new Bonus Scenes, playable after defeating the Evil Wizard" and that's true, but it's definitely not as exciting when you're not actually playing the game. As far as extras go, you can watch the "20 Years of Dragon's Lair" feature that was also included in Dragon's Lair 3D. It isn't much, but what the heck.

Obviously this game is not aimed at the hardcore gamer. It's a novelty really, but one that can provide some entertainment for those looking for an evening or two of entertainment. If you haven't played the game this one is based on, hunt down Dragon's Lair 3D and enjoy it the way it was really meant to be played.

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System: PS2, X, DVD
Dev: Digital Leisure
Pub: Digital Leisure
Released: Dec 2004
Review by Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
3.0
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
2.0