Review by Joe Blow
"Egg-xactly What We Needed!"
Spyro: Year of the Dragon is the 3rd and final PS1 game of the Spyro series. It is the largest and most interesting platforming game so far from the series. You might be thinking that this is too similar to the other two, and are just repeats of the same old formula. Sure, that may be true. But this game still manages to entertain an audience for quite a long time.
Story: Another simple and short story from the series. The story here is a little more involved with the side characters than the previous two, which is really quite nice as it provides more dialog throughout the whole game. The first game had a dragon here and there giving generic and generally useless hints. This game has many, many characters that interact with you more and help to build up the story.
Gameplay: As you can expect, there is more of the same from the previous titles. You run around collecting gems and this time eggs, as you fly, jump and flame your way through this beautiful platformer. The previous title introduced side challenges and mini games, and this time around you can expect to find several in any given level. This is fun, and takes the focus off of going around collecting an insanely large amount of gems. This is welcome relief, and gives the game some added fun. The controls are better pretty much the same, with the exception that you start out with the special moves you had to pay to learn in game 2. You also get to play as 4 other characters this time around, making some levels and challenges unique, as they each have a style that doesn't involve flying and roasting everything. A very nice addition, and just what they needed to spice up the series. The flying levels are also pretty nice this time around, although the general difficulty of the speedways has been toned down, requiring much less thought and skill. The difficulty of the entire game is lessened in comparison to the previous titles, which is the downside for some players.
Graphics: The graphics are once again amazing to see. At least they were before the current generation of games, but these graphics are the pinnacle of PSX graphics, and what few other games could achieve. The environments are of a variety of themes, and don't really match each other or the theme of the home world. The environments themselves are pretty interesting, and make you wonder how much time they really spent designing them. Some are generally more memorable than others, but all in all the different environments are awesome.
Sound Sound is not as grand as it could have been. The sound effects are interesting, as there are a few new things to interact with to produce funny noises. The voices of the characters are interesting and fit their characters. The music is where it could have had some work. The level music is nice, but it really doesn't fit the theme of the level too well. Most of it sounds like a remix of an earlier tune, where it fit the level better. Some levels have a good mix of sound and graphics to make them truly grand, but others really lack the spirit of Spyro because the music wasn't that good.
Replay Value: The replay value of this game is enormous, if you happen to be a fan of platformers. The game all comes together into a very memorable experience, one that many would find fun to go back to from time to time. Although longer than the other titles in the series, the game really isn't all that long and easily could generate quite a large number of plays. Really an experience worth going back to after you've beaten it once.
FINAL SCORE: 9
This game is worth buying. Not worth renting, seeing as it isn't for rent anymore! Buy this off the internet if you can, or find it lying around in an old games bin. This game is definitely worth getting.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/09/07
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