Dragon's Lair 3D
When I played the first Dragon’s Lair, all I could say was “wow”. This game was light-years ahead on the competition and it had a real soundtrack instead of the irritating “tudutudutiditadatodotiiiiiituuutudu….” midi soundtracks you got in other games. It was also one of the first games around to test the brand new cd-rom drive that cost you a ton of money.
So, when Dragon’s Lair 3D was announced I was pretty enthousiastic but also a bit afraid at the same time. Many of the classic games have tried to go 3D and failed pretty damn hard. Look at Lemmings, Pac Man and of course Price of Persia. All games I liked to play back in the days but made me cry when playing the 3D versions.
First things first: the story. Basically the story hasn’t changed a bit; Dirk has to save princess Daphne who is stuck in some evil castle. The game is as linear as it gets although there sometimes are different routes to complete your goal. You have to complete A to get to B and complete B to get to C etc. A lot of the gameplay elements will look familiar for the fans because a lot from the original games is recycled here including the humour that made the games so special.
You got an inventory with weapons and items and you are always looking for some gold and other treasures. Controlling the inventory and Dirk himself is pretty straightforward and can be taught to any 5 year old.
Throughout the game there are mini bosses that are in need of a serious spanking. After defeating one of those bosses, you get a special item which grants you advanced abilities like sliding or seeing through walls.
Where the original game was side scrolling we now have a state of the art third person 3D engine and I must add that this engine is pretty nice. Cell shaded characters are placed flawlessly in the 3D worlds and both the world and the characters are really nice. This makes the game so much more attractive to me then for instance the latest Tomb Raider offspring. All this gives you a comic book look with very detailed and amazingly animated characters on a less focused 3D world. If you want some atmosphere in a game, then this is definitely your pick.
Sound was one of the main focus points in the original game and they tried the same here. Although Dirk never ever speaks, he has this expressive grunting that defines his mood very well. They gave Daphne a voice this time and she has a squeaky voice that is funny for about .5 seconds and then it gets annoying like hell.
The soundtrack and the sound effects are of a superb quality and add to the atmosphere.
Although the game is far from flawless, there is a certain touch to it that makes it stand out between most of the 3D adventure games of today. Maybe it’s just me liking the old game but after an hour of play I was more than willing to look beyond the flaws and give it a go. Fans of the series and younger gamers will certainly love the game and there is a good chance that you might like it too