Review by Shadow Shrike

"Reincarnation of the Purple Dragon"

Intro

I'll just say it at first I thought this game would be crap. Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for gamecube was one of the worst gamecube games I have ever played. Since it was so bad I thought that all the future spyro games would be horrible. Now that I have played Spyro: A Hero's Tail I see the errors of my thinking. This spyro game meets or even exceeds the standards set by the original developers of Spyro the Dragon (Insomniac Games). I don't want to diss Universal Interactive but I think they totally ruined the spyro series. After I played Enter the Dragonfly, I thought, “This is the end. The spyro series has died.” After I played that my interest in the series dropped sharply and I refused to try any other spyro games due to the horrendous impression I got from Universal Interactive. That is until I saw A Hero's Tail. I thought, “Hmm. I'll give this a run and see how it is.” When I first played it I was stunned. I thought, “Wow! I was wrong. This is extremely good.” This game was a total improvement on its predecessor.

Graphics: 10/10

Wow! This game has simply stunning graphics. Spyro's flame breath looks more like a flamethrower and his lightning breath looks more lightning bolt. There are some pretty odd idle actions that Spyro would perform ranging from sleeping to breathing fire.

Sound: 9/10

There is considerable change in here. The voice-acting, while not top notch is not horrid either. My favorite change was Spyro's scream when he falls into a bottomless pit or his groan when an enemy kills him. Sparx's voice is actually understandable.

Music: 9/10

The music is very good. All of the worlds have music that goes with them. My only complaint is that Blink's stages always had the same music.

Gameplay: 8/10

This is the first Spyro game to feature unlockables other than hidden worlds and secret endings. The game flows smoothly, with few if any plot holes. The main thing that gets to me with this game is the fact that the secondary breath weapons use terms like “ammo” and “magazine”, they just don't sound like they belong in this game. About the terms “ammo” and “magazine” I wouldn't mind if they used the terms only in the mini games. Sadly, like all members of the Spyro series there is no multiplayer. My favorite change is that you have unlimited lives, that's right, unlimited! I also liked the addition of a map, unfortunately the map could use some more detail. One of the best changes (IMO) is the ability for Spyro to grab cliffs. The old hover ability is gone but it is replaced by a double jump. The biggest change is that gems are now just currency, containers that held gems once they are broken open are gone for forever, however enemies that you already killed will continue to drop gems.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are like that of all the members of the Spyro family. Sometimes the controls are a bit clumsy.

I commend Eurocom Entertainment and Vivendi Universal Games for picking up where Universal Interactive and Insomniac Games left off and doing a good job at it, unlike Universal Interactive who did a crappy job picking up at where Insomniac Games left off.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/05


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