Don Bluth Presents Dragon's Lair - Region 1

Digital Leisure
RRP: 39.95
6 24719 99103 1
Certificate: E
Available 15 August 2007

For the first time ever you can experience the stunning visuals of
Dragon's Lair in full High Definition video. Using the most sophisticated film transfer technology, this smash hit arcade game can now be played in High Definition and 5.1 surround sound on your HD DVD player. Control the actions of Dirk the Daring, a valiant knight on a quest to rescue a fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. Fight your way through the castle of a dark wizard who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. Lead on brave adventurer... your quest awaits...

Dragon's Lair, the jaw-dropping arcade game of the '80s is finally released on HD DVD. Originally planned as a dual release (it was also released on Blu-ray in April 2007) problems with the conversion process meant that the HD DVD release was delayed for four months.

If, like me, you are in your late '30s you'll remember the original arcade release of Dragon's Lair. It was one of those games that made arcade goers salivate at the sight of it. Here, for the first time, you could interact with a game that had cartoon quality graphics. Sadly, the actual gaming experience was never really that fulfilling. The biggest problem was the fact that it was near impossible to work out what on earth you were supposed to do - or when you were actually controlling Dirk the Daring. The end result was that you'd lose all of your lives before you'd actually any idea what you were supposed to be doing.

Then, when you got the hang of it (sort of) you had to randomly push the controls in different directions in a vain attempt to cheat death. Nine times out of ten when you avoided being killed it was down to pure luck than skill.

So I was excited and sceptical of seeing this game again after all those years. The animation does look a little dated, and the gameplay is still a pig. But for those who fondly remember the original, this is worth picking up for nostalgia reasons alone.

Extras include a watch feature (which allows you to see how the game would play out if you completed each section successfully - the death segments are also shows); full length video commentary - view the watch feature with the creators of Dragon's Lair (Don Bluth, Rick Dyer, and Gary Goldman); and new interviews with the three creators.

Pete Boomer

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