Review: Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp
Here’s an experience more fun than playing Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp. Go to your nearest bus shelter, and ask a homeless person to take $10 from your wallet, and then proceed to pummel you in the testes. This is Dragon’s Lair II in a nutshell, a game so designed to steal your money in arcades that Digital Leisure thought it would be a good idea to bring that whole process home, so you can feel robbed in the safety of your own couch.
To describe Dragon’s Lair II is easy, as it is exactly the same as any other game in this style. Press the highlighted direction when instructed, watch the little arrow insignia in the bottom left corner of the screen for further instructions. It’s like if a kidnapping was organized by the folks who brought you Simon Says. I’m not going to harp on about how this isn’t a game, because you likely know that already. If you think that this sort of thing was “ok back then”, then you’re probably right, as people didn’t know any better, as the only other interactive games at the time were… wait, this game came out in 1991. Sid Meier had just created Civilization; EA was bringing Road Rash to market, and Sonic The Hedgehog was to be released in the same year. In fact, Sonic The Hedgehog was to come out only 10 days later than this game’s first release in arcades. Dragon’s Lair II can’t even get its release date right, which really is saying something, considering everything else it does is wrong too.
Forgoing the sensible plotting of Space Ace, the game decides to send Dirk on a quest through various animated rip offs, voyaging through a clearly Disney inspired Alice In Wonderland, and briefly bumping in to a fantasia “homage”, in the form of a crazed Beethoven interlude. It’s an excuse to hop between locations, and while the checkpoints might be better than the original game, which had none, they still manage to feel harsher than Space Ace’s ever did. However, that isn’t the real reason why Dragon’s Lair II is utterly terrible, but the reason is rather simple. Throughout the game, there are various treasures, which Dirk must collect in order to actually make it to the final stage. Now, this is ludicrous in the sense that if you miss even one treasure, upon reaching the final stage, you will be forced to restart the game. Upon finding this out, I stared in disbelief, something a game hasn’t made me do in quite a while. It is utterly unbelievable, and horrible to think that when people experienced this in the arcades, they were probably met with this very screen time and time again.
Dragon’s Lair II completes my personal odyssey into Don Bluth flavoured hell, and it’s been quite the journey. I started completely naive to the ways of laser disc adventures, and now that it’s over, I can finally sleep at ease, my dreams free of the fear that I might wake up and have to play Space Ace II: The Spacening. These games shouldn’t be played by anybody, and if you have a nostalgic itch for the past, don’t scratch it with these overpriced versions. It just isn’t worth it.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- It's still well animated enough.
What I Dislike:
- Rage inducing system that makes you go through the entire game again to grab items you missed.
- The voice of the princess makes me want to put a soldering iron to my temple, and burn an Aqua CD into it.
- The plot is just an excuse to go to different locations, and there's very little tying it all together.