DRAGON'S LAIR / Capcom / Gameboy Color

On the one hand, porting Dragon's Lair to the Gameboy Color - and making it decent-looking and playable - is a major technical feat and fascinating in and of itself. Every scene from the arcade version is included, though actions have been removed from some, and quite a few frames of animation have been chopped to fit on the meager 4 MB cartridge. Instead of trying to ultra-compress the original video, the game was basically de-made similar to what was done with the floppy disk PC versions, but the quality of art and animation here is better than those and really does look impressive for the humble GBC. A lot of the audio had to be cut, but some key digital sounds are retained such as the harp when coming back to life, the sword noise, and even a few of Dirk's death screams. And the game even adds a couple of new touches with a "tutorial mode" that shows you the correct moves at the bottom of the screen up to the Lizard King scene, and audio cues that let you know when you've executed a move right, or when you've tried the wrong move at the right time.

On the other hand, it's probably also the most overall problematic version of the game. You move from scene to scene at a zippy clip, but sometimes the cuts in the frames of animation make things happen a little *too* fast, and makes the action on the screen feel disjointed and off-time. Also, when you die in a scene, you don't get to play it again - you just get kicked straight on to the next scene, which may be a mixed blessing if you're stuck on a particular scene, but also means it's hard to practice a scene that you're close to mastering. The "flashing" clues have also all but been eliminated, so to get through the full game, you're really expected to have learned the game on another version.

All that said, for the Gameboy Color owner, I still think this is a must-have at the right price, just as a curiosity and conversation piece at the least.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
* lolbot chicken