Review by XPeaceChill

"If I have to be an "Insomniac", I wish to play this game all night!"

Spyro: Year of the Dragon, aka, Spyro 3. What can I say, in my opinion, it took everything from Spyro the Dragon and Spyro: Ripto's Rage and just improved on it. You can find a lot of things in the first two games that weren't there but you would have liked to see, and more than likely, it was there in Spyro 3. Insomniac's last work with Spyro in it truly went out with a bang. So let's get started, shall we?

Gameplay:

You may think, "I'm playing as a dragon, the thing's got four legs, how the heck can I do this without everything being clunky?" Fear not, the controls are surprisingly smooth and Spyro's moves can be executed with ease. X button to jump, press X again to glide, and press triangle to hover in the air and stop, falling to the ground. Square to charge, (hold it to charge continuously), Circle to spit a small burst of flame. Simple. Now, objectives of the game include collecting Dragon Eggs, collecting gems, and of course, beat the level. Eggs are usually obtained by just finding them out in the open or completing tasks given by the level's inhabitants. For example, Spyro can receive an egg for skateboarding around a skate park and flaming ten lizards. Yeah, sounds pretty zany, doesn't it? That brings me to another point, the little challenges throughout the game range in difficulty and insaneness, and it's all out fun, really. Gems are scattered around the levels for Spyro to collect. Once the player gets to the end of a level, Spyro meets an important character who thanks him for doing whatever, for example, getting rid of all the enemies in the level. The character then leaves through a portal and goes back to the main HUB, where he/she will meet with the other characters from other levels, as they then work together to make some kind of mode of transportation to get Spyro to the next world.

Along the way, Spyro meets characters in cages, guarded by a bear named Moneybags, who will charge Spyro a "small fee" to set the character free. These characters are Sheila, a bad guy butt kickin' kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd, a military penguin who flies and shoots rockets, Bentley, a giant Yeti with a giant club, and Agent 9, a sci-fi monkey from space. As I said, pretty zany cast. All of these characters have different play styles. Sheila is good for high jumping and kicking enemies. Sgt. Byrd is a flyer, and specializes in projectiles. Bentley is really just a brute, and goes around deflecting objects and smashing brains in with his club. Agent 9 is armed with his laser gun and actually adds a first person shooter aspect to some levels. Oh yes, how could I forget! Even Sparx, who used to serve only as a mere health bar to Spyro, now gets four of his own levels! Basically, Sparx charges and shoots….er…dragonfly-projectiles…but all of these levels take place after Spyro clears each world, and completing them will earn Spyro a little, extra ability, for example, the ability to find treasure more easily.

Story:

Basically, the story takes place after the second game, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage. All the dragons are sleeping when the Sorceress', (the main protagonist) apprentice, Bianca, along with her minions, the Rhynocs, come and steal the Dragon eggs. The reason for this is long ago the Dragons were banished from the “Forgotten Worlds” where they actually used to reside, by the Sorceress. Apparently, the Sorceress is still pretty miffed about the conflict with the Dragons, and wants them all gone. So, she wants these eggs so she can, well, destroy them. But our hero Spyro won't let our cute, unborn baby Dragons die. So Spyro and Hunter set off to recover the eggs and defeat that nasty Sorceress. Yeah, it's no Final Fantasy plot, but it's got a decent back story. Plus, what did you expect?

Graphics/Sound:

Oh, the graphics, they are stunningly beautiful! They're so vivid and captivating, you just want to be pulled in to the game's dreamy environments and backgrounds. The graphics are truly some of the best looking on the Playstation 1.From an area full of molten lava to an underwater paradise, the graphics n Spyro 3 will keep you drooling. Now, the sound is almost just as good! Would you believe me if I told you Stewart Copeland, the drummer from The Police composed the music for this game?! Well believe it! And could you imagine that this guy made some of the best music I've heard in video games, even comparing the soundtrack to today's games?! Imagine it! No, in fact, go find the excellent music for this game and your ears will thank you for taking it to Heaven, a heaven made out of audible candy. The music is just as dreamy as the graphics and it always leaves a good feeling in your heart, and is definitely memorable.

Play time/Replayability:

How many times have I replayed this game! Five, at the LEAST. I go back to this game just to experience the excellent level design and decent challenge this game serves. As for play time, I beat this game 100% in about six days, plus schoolwork and school, although that's all my excited, young self did when I got home and did all my homework. Still, 100% shouldn't take too long, especially for hardcore gamers.

Conclusion:

Buy the game. If you're ever gonna listen to any three words I ever say, listen to these. If you need to get it off eBay, buy it. If you see it going for 70 dollars, buy it. If the devil is holding your family and this game in a cage over lava and you must choose which one will survive, choose the game…ok, that's a bit extreme, the devil isn't even offering you the strategy guide! I kid, I kid, but in all seriousness, this is a PS1 classic that all PS1 fans should own. Thanks for your time!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/02/10

Game Release: Spyro: Year of the Dragon (US, 10/23/00)


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