Review by wolverinefan
"Spyro: SL is in my top 10 list of worst games."
Even today I have fond memories of playing the first Spyro game. Spyro was a series I loved on the Playstation but when it hit Playstation 2 and switched developers, it went down hill. The one Gameboy Advance title I played wasn't too shabby. Not even close to being as good as the originals but good for a GBA game. Spyro: Shadow Legacy is the first DS Spyro game and let's hopes it's the last. This one plays kind of like a RPG but not really. Want to know more? Read on!
Spyro's vacation is ending and suddenly the world changes into the Shadow World. You attacks do nothing to the baddies but an Elder guides you to releasing him from the Shadow World, along with the other Elders. You gain the power to fight the Shadow World baddies and to save the day from Red.... Yes, a bad guy named Red.... From there the plot just doesn't go anywhere. For a RPG, it's a bad plot
The graphics in the game looked great in the videos I saw online. No clue what happened to those. The colors in the normal world feel drab and washed out. Not colorful at all. The Shadow World looks okay. Nothing exciting and it looks even more boring than the regular world. Spyro and the other character models are rather plain. The biggest offender is the character models beside the dialog boxes. They are down right hideous. The "cut scenes" are even worse. Window of text followed by boring still image and then followed with another window of text.
The sound in the game is a mixed bag. There isn't any voice acting but Spyro's grunts and shouts sound like those of a 40 year old man. The other sound effects are bland as well. The music is just bearable. Nothing exciting and at times it just feels like noise.
The control is the worst on a DS game yet. You move with the D-pad and Spyro tends to get stuck on things. L is the shield button (when you get the move). R is dash which makes it feel like you're moving at a normal speed. The biggest problem, X is your action button. It's your basic attack for all enemies unless they have armor and it's the only button to go through text, open doors and pick up items. But to go through the paused menu you use B to select stuff.... Yeah, it makes no sense, its pointless ect. The whole thing is just badly set up. Oh and let's not forget about the stylus. It lets you go through your regular menu which is fine and it lets you draw your spells. Drawing is terrible. I never knew a thunderbolt was drawn that way. The little pic is something different then what they want you to draw.
AH, the game play. Let me start with the frame rate issues. Do you mind a game that runs under 30fps? The game chugs along at a horrible pace that just destroys any fun one may have with the game. Now, you basically run around doing errands in the game. You know those annoying fetch quests and side quests that fill up some RPGs? That's all that Spyro is, side quests. You go from town to town saving all of the people. Each person is behind a gate with a number on it and you need to kill that many enemies near the gate. It's very easy and most places have around 5. Once you release them from the Shadow World you can then talk to them in the normal world and get side quests of "find my toy" or "deliver my letter". It's far from exciting.
Here's the best part. You level up by getting EXP. You get it from killing guys but you get very little. Most of your EXP comes from completing your side quests. I love the lines of "thanks! I found this in the lake!" and the person hands you 200EXP.... What is up with that? As you gain levels you gain spells, or skills. Two per level and sometimes you get to pick which ones but a lot of the time it forces some on you do to needing it to advance further in this bland world.
The game is full of plat forming moments also, but the problem is when you are trying to judge the distance via the shadow, you're screwed because the shadow sometimes gets stuck on objects.... There was also one point where I thought I was stuck forever and needed to restart. The game made it seem like you could only warp if you were on the map, I mean, why have the pad if you didn't need to stand on it? Anyway, you can cast the warp spell anywhere. Actually, any spell can be used but the one with the worst use is the move one. It just makes a solid object into a transparent one so you can go through it. It really makes no sense.
You collect gems in the game and I guess you can use them to buy new items and stuff but I never met Moneybags to buy stuff. You can also find crystals to equip but they break after a certain amount of time. The enemies are also quickly repeated. Just a few hours after starting you meet the same enemies but your current skills can't hurt them and they just throw a red shield of wire around themselves.
As for replay value. I don't know. I haven't beaten the game and as each minute passes it grows more and more unlikely. It just isn't a fun game in any way, shape or form. I'd say its 8 hours or less. I'm guessing it's more like 5 though. There aren't any secrets I know of, just the lame side quests.
Should you buy this game? No! Even the most die hard Spyro fans may have trouble finding something even decent in this game. And to be honest, there is no reason for such horrible control and frame rate. The game play is boring and this is one of the only titles in the past number of years that I truly regret buying. Rent the game if you're interested but don't blind buy it unless it's dirt cheap because it truly is a bad game.
Story - 3/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 5/10
Control - 2/10
Game Play - 4/10
Replay value - 2/10
Final Score - 3/10
Reviewer's Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Originally Posted: 10/24/05
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