Review by RyuGB
"Purple can be a good thing."
Purple has often represented some truly cutesy things; Barney anyone? However, all that changed with Spyro. Underneath that purple exterior lies a dragon with a attitude, that isn't going to take any crap from a evil wizard bent on trapping all the dragons of his world into crystal statues. Lets just hope the gameplay holds up....
Gameplay: The game has six worlds, and each world is basically a overworld with about five or so portals, and each portal is a stage. Most of the stages are just levels, although one stage in every world is a boss battle.
To give the game levels some variety the developers added hidden timed flying stages (1 per world), where unlike the rest of the game Spyro can fly around at his leisure. There is about four or so goals in these stages, and to get 100% on them you have to do all the goals in one run. I played each stage many times to figure out the quickest route to complete the stage, since you don't have a huge amount of time to do so. As you may have already noticed Spyro The Dragon is in a nutshell a virtual scavenger hunt. As such rescuing the dragons, and recovering the stolen treasure and eggs (I'll get to that later) take center stage. You'll find them in the typical type of places such as defeated enemys, crates, and lying on the ground, nothing really new to anybody who has played these kind of games before. However, I especially like how the developers were creative in how to hide/retrieve the gems, since they keep you guessing often. Often you will call on Spyro's ability to glide,( he is a young dragon so he can't fly for those who were wondering) to glide over to hard to reach places. A tip : Occasionaly that isn't enough, so keep an eye out for ways to boost up you speed so you can glide farther distances. Another way the developers stumped me for awhile is they placed metal boxes instead of the typical crates, which Spyro can't break with his normal abilities. Once again keep your eyes open. Remember the eggs I mentioned earlier? Well it seems a band of thieves took advantage of the chaos Gnasty created and stole a dozen or so dragon eggs, and then split up throughout the game worlds. A tip: If you hear the' oh so popular' na,na,na,na taunt you know a thief is nearby. Anywho, just so you know there is a point to all this collecting, namely because if you get 100% game completion you unlock a brand spanking new stage, and if you get everything on that stage you get an extra special bonous. Regardless all this collecting would get very tiresome if the levels weren't well designed, the characters weren't charming, and if the game wasn't fun. Thankfully that isn't the case, since the game is so fun I venture to say it's one of the most entertaing PSX games I have ever played.
Graphics: Very good for when the game was made, ('98) although now the blocky characters are starting to look their age. (Except Spyro)
The game has good lighting effects, and the overall texturing job is pretty good.
Sound: Good music and sound effects round out the audio experience.
However, I would have liked some music that induced some tension, since all the music is calm.
Control: One of the simpler control interfaces I have seen on PlayStation, both young and old should have no trouble grasping the controls. X is jump, jump then hit X again to make spyro glide, circle makes Spyro shoot flames, Square is charge which makes Spyro run in a ramming position, Triangle makes Spyro drop in mid- glide, and the analog stick is for movement. The shoulder buttons are used for some secondary funtions such as rolling and to rotate the camera view.
Replay Value: Medium
Spyro The Dragon has to be one of the most polished games ever released on the original PlayStation, and has the winning formula that imitators have been trying to duplicate and has in most cases failed. If I were to be nit-picky I would have to complain about the length, since most gamers should be able to complete the game with all items found in about 12-16 hours. However, seeing as you can pick this game up brand new for $20 at most fine game retailers you are getting a real bargain.
Closing Quote: '' Viva la Spyro''
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 07/19/02, Updated 07/19/02
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