Review by Last Avenger
"The best game ever made. Period."
After reading my previous review for this game, I decided it needed a little changing, thus comes about my second try. Here goes...
Anyhow, Spyro the Dragon was the very first PlayStation game I ever played, and it was the best ever. A few have come close, but none can quite beat good old Spyro.
I must say, the graphics in this game are very good. Spyro and the other dragons are animated very nicely, and there's almost no pop-up to speak of. The camera is agreeable, and the enemy design is good; no enemy appears in more than two or three levels. Also, I have never encountered a case of the game slowing down.
Aesthetically, the levels are very pleasing to look at, from the snowy mountaintops of Wizard Peak to the swampy Beast Makers home to the dock system that makes up Gnorc Cove... very well done.
The sound in this game is also very good. The enemies have their own little noises, like a wild pig snorting, and Spyro's voice is excellent, coming from the same person who did the Taco Bell chilhuahua commercials. The dragon voices aren't bad either.
The music sets the mood but not too much, like GEX: Enter the Gecko. The Artisans home has a nice little theme in the background to reflect the rolling hills that the world consists of, while the march theme in Peace Keepers brings a military-like image to mind. Altogether, Insomniac batted a thousand.
A save the world with a unique twist. Gnasty Gnorc, some sort of bad-tempered creature, has imprisoned the dragons in crystal, and stolen/transformed all their treasure. It's not great, but it's a platformer, and in this genre the story doesn't really matter.
At first, like in every game, the controls are a bit hard to get used to, but once you get the basics down (i.e. speed at which Spyro moves, height of his jump, etc.) you'll find that they're responsive, and Spyro has this marvelous habit of going where you want him to.
This was VERY well done. There are a total of six world, twelve dragon eggs, eighty dragons, and an impressive 14,000 jewels to collect, all hidden throughout the levels. Each is divided into a world, with a boss, sub-levels, and flight levels. While the whole game is basically running around and recovering all the treasure and such, it doesn't get boring at all; I have gone through the game twice and I'm still not tired of it. In the later levels, the gems and dragons are very carefully hidden, and require much thought and experimenting, along with the interesting supercharge. Since Spyro is only a young dragon, he has a limited fire breath and can only glide, but the levels are structured out for him so this doesn't really matter until later, where you'll need the best glide you can possibly get.
There can be up to five dragons, five hundred treasure (excluding the bonus level) and two eggs in any given level; you'll really have to work hard to find it all.
The only flaw is that the bosses really weren't challenging. Still, Spyro is not a boss-oriented game, and there is more focus on collecting gems.
This game is well-balanced throughout, though the later levels are understandably harder and more complex. A good number of the gems can be found in plain sight, but searching for the last green gem is always a good time, because the level design in this game is quite good, you'll have a great time exploring and wandering.
REPLAY VALUE: 9/10
Almost perfect. Once you've gotten everything, wait a few months and do it again. You'll easily ace the first few worlds, but once you hit Beast Makers or so, it won't be so easy. Other than that, there's not much else (besides beating your time in the flight levels, etc.)
BUY OR RENT
Definitely buy. This disc is given a holy place and will remain there for all eternity. This is a slightly older game, and seems aimed at young audiences, but I'm 14 and I still like it. Buy it now, and stop reading this. Fare thee well.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/06/01, Updated 03/06/01
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