Review by nabuch

"Forget last years dragonfly disaster, this dragon bounces back in top form"

There is something to be said for the tried and true. This game brings absolutely nothing new to the genre, but it does manage to make what once was a great franchise, great again.

GRAPHICS: 7/10 The game looks great, but, just like "Crash Bandicoot's" latest, it pretty much could have been done on PS one. Still, there is a lot to be said for large expansive and colorful worlds like the one here. Character animations are fantastic. Forgetting last year's disaster, think of the best of the original games.

MUSIC/SOUND: 7/10 The music is imminently forgettable, but it is nice while it lasts. It falls somewhere between the awfulness of the current "Crash" game, and the best of the "Crash" games. Vivendi studios make both the "Crash" and "Spyro" series, so it is no coincidence that they share so much in common. The sound effects are nice, and the voice acting is excellent, though I personally do not like Spyro's voice, the acting of it is fine.

CAMERA/CONTROL: 9/10 Forget the horrendous controls from last year's model, this Spyro is the best controlled game in the series. The camera is mostly perfect, and easily maneuvered by the right stick. Other than having a lot of moves to remember, the control is right on.

GAME PLAY: 7/10 Nothing really new here. Collect gems, mostly to buy the very costly items. Some enemies re spawn if you leave the area and come back, so you can get those gems again; therefore, there is no set limit on them in each area. There are light gems, dark crystals, and eggs to find , though, on each level. The game is most definitely on the easy side, as enemies offer hardly any problem; however, collecting everything and finding all hidden areas can take quite a while to do. Remember the flying through rings etc. part of previous games in the series? Now you do it as Sgt. Byrd, and they can be done in any order and it is a lot easier to do, but still no cinch. You also get to play as Hunter and as a mole. There are some 20 levels in all, four or five of which are bosses. It would have been nice if it were a little harder, but still, a 15-20 hour game or longer because it is big and not difficult is refreshing. The levels are fairly large, and you will have a lot of objectives to accomplish on each.

VALUE: 6/10 The $50 price tag is really a bit much, had it been $40, I'd be giving it a 7 or 8. Once you have found everything and unlocked all there is to unlock, you won't be coming back. If you are really determined to finish fast, and only get the barest minimum of what you need to continue to the next area, you could, if you are really good, finish in about 10 hours, maybe. If you are just an average player, and are intent on finding everything, twenty hours or more is more likely. Last year's entry in the series may have done Spyro in, though, so I'd wait for a price drop to $20 before buying it.

FINAL COMMENTS: Having loathed last year's entry, I could not believe how well this dragon has gotten back on track, and the humor has returned as well, in spades. What would really be cool is to branch this series off into an adult Spyro game, for adults, with a lot more challenge.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/05/04


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