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Game info
GameCube

Dragon's Lair 3D

Dragon
GenreAction Adventure
Developer / PublisherDragonstone Software / Encore
Released2002
Media1 x cd
Rating
Graphics:8.0
Sound:8.0
Gameplay:7.5
Overall:8.0
Reviewed byndial
Nearly 20 years after the release of the original Dragon's Lair game (1983) that set a new standard for video games by combining laser disc technology with real animation, Dragonstone Software released an all-new game of the series but now in full 3D and in a action platform-style whilst it stays true to the design and storyline of the (older) arcade 2D game! But this time, we're finally in total control of Dirk! Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair released only on Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2 platforms.
 
Review
DragonDirk the Daring is now on a new quest to rescue the fair Princess Daphne from the evil wizard, Mordroc. You will fight your way through a castle, enchanted with treacherous monsters and obstacles. Be wary, as the Wizard will stop at nothing to protect his stolen prize. Advancing through the castle with the help of a magical amulet, Dirk must overcome a slew of challenges, from jumping over flaming pits and climbing ropes to flying across chasms and battling swarms of the wizard's minions (called the Giddy Goons)! These fast moving creatures leap and bound through the passages of the castle. With only short knives and no armor the Giddy Goons are the weakest foes, but in groups they can be deadly. Dirks' main weapon is a sword which can also be turned into a fire sword and used in whirlwind attacks. During his adventure, Dirk will acquire a Crossbow. This weapon is good for long distance attacks. Any time during the game you can access the Inventory Screen. In this screen you can view the weapons and items that Dirk currently has. Select, equip and use items using the cursor pad keys. The screen will then close and Dirk will equip or use the item.
Much like its predecessors, gameplay offers unlimited lives here, so whether you fall into a deadly pit or killed by Giddy Goons, you'll just restart the area you currently play.
Although it's nice scenario (and presentation), controls are sometimes sluggish as the button layout is a bit tricky to master. The button layout is weird: you target with B, attack with A, jump with Y, and block with X (when using a Gamecube pad) and this doesn't work well especially when you block hits or switch targets. But other than that, Dragon's Lair 3D is a good title and due to its heritance, it totally worth play the game.

The game features some great graphics, very colorful and full of cell-shading cartoonish characters which highly resembles the original Dragon's Lair. Character animations are great (although Dirk is moving a bit sluggish) and there are several particle and lighting effects in each stage.
The music fits the game perfectly whilst the voice acting and sound effects are pretty good. Note that most of the voice acting is ripped directly from the original title!
 
Screenshots
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Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
 
Hardware information

Gamecube

GamecubeCPU: IBM "Gekko" PowerPC CPU at 486MHz
MEMORY: 43MB RAM total (of which 16MB DRAM used as buffer for DVD drive and audio)
GRAPHICS: ATI Technologies GPU 162MHz max 640x576 progressive scan, supporting multi-texturing, bump mapping, reflection mapping, 24-bit z-buffer, Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotropic texture filtering etc
SOUND: Custom chip running at 81MHz Macronix DSP, 64 channels of 16bit 48kHz, supporting Dolby Prologic II
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The Gamecube (default) color palette
24bit RGB 16,7 million-color palette (16,7M on screen)
 
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