You shouldn't play Lair. Not unless you have some morbid interest in experiencing what is quite possibly one of the worst control schemes ever devised. It's a shame because as a cinematic experience, it's stunning to watch. As a game, it's a nightmare and an embarrassment. It sounds like a fantastic idea: You fly around on a dragon, spewing fire and clawing at other reptiles while generally wreaking havoc. Too bad you're forced to use Sixaxis controls that destroy the possibility of fun and replace it with the constant need to scream expletives at your television screen.
Go right, dammit.
You play as Rohn, a dragon rider in the Asylian army fighting against the supposedly evil Mokai. You can sense from the start that there's something creepy about the religious dedication of the Asylians, so the story twists that appear later aren't exactly shocking. However, the cutscenes that move the story along are terrific, giving you a real sense of the culture and backstory. They are also frequently intrusive, interrupting gameplay every two or three minutes with a brief clip to remind you of your mission objectives, as if the last four cutaways would let you forget.
You might think that flying around would be the easiest thing to do in a flight sim. Well, not in Lair, unless you're flying straight ahead in wide-open skies, without needing to turn or get close to anything else. It sounds simple enough: Accelerate by tapping X, pull back on the reigns with R2 or L2, and tilt the controller to steer. But flight is a mess. You can't make tight turns, yet you're constantly placed in levels with narrow canyons, looming towers, and a ton of enemies in the air, at ground, or at sea. All of these things are surrounded by an invisible, slippery wall that pushes you off to the side, or up, or down if you bump against it. So if you get too close to anything during any of these stupidly wide turns you're forced into, you'll be sliding off of stuff and into a direction that bears no resemblance to your actual destination.
In theory, you can lock on to other flying enemies and spew flames at them or dive into them from a fair distance. But the targeting system is a tragedy. You can't choose what to lock on to, so all you can do is keep an eye out for the fuzzy white circle to appear on an enemy dragon. From here, you have a couple of equally unappealing choices. Possibility one: You press circle, at which point, you zoom headlong into your enemy, which normally kills it instantly. It's like Joust in 3D, only shallower. During the kill, the game goes into a dramatic slow-motion mode, but the tilt controls stop steering your dragon and now inexplicably control the camera.
During this period, you can tilt the camera around and pray that another dragon in view gets the magic white circle plastered on it, in which case, you can make it a combo kill. But there are multiple insane issues with the setup. One is that during slow-mo, you can only pan the camera horizontally, so you can have foes above or below, but no chance of stringing them into a combo because you can't lock on to them. The other is that once the kill is done, the tilt controls go back to steering your dragon. This forces you to constantly adjust and invariably results in your dragon going off somewhere you don't want it to go. All the while, the camera moves from the cinematic kill angle to its original position and you have to figure out what direction you're facing. It's frustrating and dumb, considering that the analog sticks control the flight camera at all other times.
No, you idiot--the other right.