Review by INoble
"A Short Purple Dragon"
Recent titles in the Spyro series have not been very well received, so it was nice to see a new release that is an enjoyable (although very short) experience. A lot of good stuff has been put into the latest game but a lot of the features that made the original game so popular have been left out. So no trying to collect all the crystals in a level, no flying stages to speak of, no Mr Money Bags to sell you things.
However there is a much more sophisticated fighting system with lots of combo
moves and a selection of breaths that can be upgraded and used in different ways.
For example using the electric breath you can latch onto an enemy and throw them around (or even drop them off a ledge to their doom.) There are screen filling special attacks that can wipe out everything in the immediate vicinity.
The game is great fun and the controls are easy to master. As you acquire each new breath you go through a tutorial session with one of the four guardian dragons to learn the different attacks associated with it.
However I found that I made very little use of most of the 'advanced' fighting moves.
The game is very easy and I was able to get through it all using a couple of basic attacks. Plus it is very forgiving. If Spyro 'dies' he just comes back right at the point where he ran out of health points and can rejoin the fray. There is no 'game over.' This means that even the impressive bosses are easily defeated provided you just keep trying.
The story is OK. You get to see how Spyro was hatched and grew up with Sparks and his dragonfly family. You follow his journey as he rescues the guardian dragons and defeats the dark menace which threatens his world.
The voice acting is excellent with Elija Woods as Spyro, David Spade as Sparks and not forgetting Gary Oldman as the chief guardian dragon.
The game looks and sounds good. The levels are well designed although the enemies are a little generic. However they lack the open, expansive feel of the original game. There is really only one route through a level and you are on rails until you get to the boss at the end.
This is the only real let-down. I finished the game in 7 hours. This really does not justify buying the game so a rental is recommended.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 11/06/06
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