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Game Player's Guide

DVD Games - Part 1 - February, 2000

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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"Space Ace", Digital Leisure, Inc; 67481DVD; 905/888-9550; 33 Cedar Ridge Road; Gormley, Ontario, Canada L0H 1G0; http://www.digitalleisure.com ; 1.33:1 Full Screen; Dolby Digital 2.0; English; Region 1; $44.95

Borf, the evil commander, has kidnapped the beautiful Kimberly who happens to be Ace’s girlfriend.  Borf’s plan is to enslave earth with the use of his “Infanto Ray.”  This little device turns anyone it hits into helpless babies.  Of course Ace would have no problem if it were not for his weaker alter ego, Dexter, whom he keeps changing into.

The Space Ace DVD is the second DVD-V game from Digital Leisure. It contains four different sections: Play, Watch, Videos, and Trailers.  The Video section contains four featurettes, three with Don Bluth and one with Rick Dyer. 

The footage is from around the time the games were released in the Arcade.  I always find it interesting to see people making predictions from the past.  It also contais some little things I found very interesting.  At the time Dragons Lair was released, there was no laserdisc market.  The success of Dragons Lair, according to the video, caused Japan to invest millions of dollars in the format.  This spanned the home laserdisc market.

The Rick Dyer footage discuses some secret game he was working on that was for the home market.  They never mention the title, and I can’t remember anything ever actually coming to market.  It was another animation-based game that would interact with you.

The game itself allows you to select fast or slow feedback.  Every DVD player's controls are a little different from each other.  You start with the fast (normal) setup, and if you find yourself dying because the controls don’t appear to work, then you are supposed to switch to the slow controls.  I was unable to change the controls without opening and then closing the DVD player.

If you remember the arcade game, you could actually choose your skill level.  The DVD version only contains one skill level, the equivalent of the “Space Ace” level in the arcade.  This was the only level in the arcade that would allow you to see the entire game.

You have the option to watch the game, but it only goes through one variation.  When watching one of the featurettes, you learn that the game actually contains multiple paths.

 

 

The picture and sound quality are equal to the original arcade game.  While the picture quality still stands up today, the sound quality is very dated.  It is much improved over Dragons Lair, but still pales to the sound effects we get from today’s games.

I was able to get the Toshiba 5109 to work with Space Ace, while the menu does list the 2109 and 3109 as not compatible.  The reason I mention the 5109 is because I played the game with the DVD player’s progressive outputs.  The picture was that much more impressive!

Space Ace is a true arcade classic up there with Donkey Kong and Pac Man.  If you have a taste for the classic arcade games, this DVD video will hit the spot. - SS -

 

 

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: **
Animation: ****
Violence: Ages 6+
Sex: no
Language: no

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"Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp"Digital Leisure, Inc; 67476DVD; 905/888-9550; 33 Cedar Ridge Road; Gormley, Ontario, Canada L0H 1G0; http://www.digitalleisure.com; 1.33:1 Full Frame; Dolby Digital 2.0; SS-SL; English; Region 1; $44.95

It seems Princes Daphne is never safe.  This time the evil wizard Mordroc, who intends to marry her, kidnaps her and travels back in time.  Dirk must travel back in time and rescue Daphne before the evil wizard is able to marry her, that is if he can survive a beating from his mother-in-law.

Dragon's Lair II is the third DVD-V game from Digital Leisure, and you have the ability to play the game, watch the game being played, watch some trailers of existing and upcoming games, and watch a special video. 

The video is a “work-in-progress” from the game while it was being developed.  It even shows something the watch feature does not, and that is all of the possible death sequences for each level.  Neither Dragons Lair nor Space Ace included this.  What you don’t get are the interviews with Don Bluth, so I guess this time around, there were not any.

I don’t actually remember Dragons Lair II ever hitting the arcade.  It was not until it was available on the PC that I even knew it existed.  I believe I was overseas when it was released in the arcade.

Like Space Ace, you have the ability to choose a fast or slow control response, so you can get it to work best for your DVD player.  As an example, the Sony DVD players respond better than any other DVD player out there, so you have to use the slow setting on the game.  (I guess the Sony is too fast for the game.)

An interesting note is that this game only lists Samsung and Awai players as being incompatible.  Regardless, like Space Ace, I played it on the Toshiba SD-5109 with the progressive video output.

Of the three games, Dragons Lair II is my least favorite.  The game appears to be shorter and easier to solve.  Just like the other games, they make the game feel longer by playing the same scene again but reversed. It’s a neat trick.

 

 

The picture and sound quality are equal to the arcade game.  Actually, with a progressive DVD player, I am willing to bet the picture is better than the original arcade game.  However, the sound effects are not on par with the graphics.

This was the last arcade game by Don Bluth.  Contrary to what they believed back then, the game industry did not continue down this road, probably due to the increased processing power that has been developed.  They can now render that type of animation in real time.  At any rate, this is the last of the classic laserdisc-based games, and it deserves a spot on any collectors shelf right next to Dragons Lair and Space Ace. - SS -

 

 

 

 

 

Entertainment: ***
Video Quality: ****
Audio: **
Animation: ****
Violence: Ages 6+
Sex: no
Language: no

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© Copyright 2000 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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