Review by SpyrotheDragon

"Thought Spyro died with the PSX- think again!"

The Spyro series died when Insomniac stopped developing the game. After "Spyro: Year of the Dragon" came out for PSX in 2000, the Spyro series became a fleeting memory. Once Spyro went portable with “Spyro: Season of Ice” in 2001, the series came to a stand still. Season of Ice was a joke and alienated the Spyro fan base with its faulty controls, jerky gameplay, and annoying music. Even the next generation of Spyro on the PS2, starting with “Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly” in 2002 failed to give fans a new storyline, unique gameplay, and larger home realms. I admit, I almost gave up on the Spyro franchise after the list of new developers took over the series when Insomniac stopped developing the game. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the trailer for “The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning”. The storyline and the soundtrack from the trailer drew me in, and I knew, I needed to pick up the Spyro series again. I'm a casual gamer, someone who does not have a lot of time to devote to gaming, but this game has added a new twist to the Spyro series which I believe gamers will be pleasantly surprised about.

Soundtrack/ Voice Acting
I believe that this aspect of the game, alone, makes the game worth it. The soundtrack is amazing. The orchestral score adds to the sublime nature of the story. It almost reminds me of a Final Fantasy soundtrack. Most video game soundtracks now a day are annoying and repetitive. This game is a game one will want to download the soundtrack and add to an i-pod. It is truly high quality.

One other aspect which makes this game magnificent is the voice acting. Since this game is truly based of storyline and cinematic aspects, the voice acting featuring Elijah Wood as Spyro and David Spade as Sparx adds to the believability and depth of the story.

Story
The story adds a lot of depth to the Spyro series which previously was based on collecting gems and various other objects. This game tells the story of Spyro's humble beginning, the legend behind it, and his rise to greatness. It's really a coming of age story which is something many people can relate to. It really has an eclectic feel to it. It's a story that makes you want to continue to play due to the cinematic elements which really take the PS2 to the limit. Not to give away plot, but, it will really keep you on your seats. The story is a lot deeper than most Spyro games, let alone video games in general. It gives the game an RPG feel without the RPG gameplay.

Graphics
This game pushes the PS2 to its limit. It really incorporates cinematic elements into the gameplay and the plot which makes the game amazing to the eye. It's a game where you need to see it to believe it. Let's just put it this way, it even looks good on my 13 inch TV, and for a game, that's pretty good.

Gameplay/ Controls
Here's the one aspect traditional Spyro players might not like about this game- it takes away from the classic collecting gems aspect of the game. Also, the game is no longer as simple as –flame an enemy, and then he'll die. It takes more than that to defeat enemies and move a long in the game. Given that fact, the game is still rather easy, even for the novice gamer. While it takes the Spyro series and adds a new spin on it in the gameplay, the game lacks in length. For the average gamer, this game should take approximately 10 hours to complete. This is a short amount of time for a game, but the other elements of the game make up for where the length lacks.

The controls are decent once one gets used to them. The only drawback is that the graphics are sometimes so dark, that it is hard to make jumps and one will end up dying often. Also, the jump and hover feature are not in this game like previous games which makes the gliding aspect of this game more difficult than in previous Spyro games. This is the only spot of this game where Sierra is lacking.

Overall, I think Sierra's attempt with “The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning” will really revitalize the once presumed dead Spyro franchise. I can only hope that the series will stay with Sierra because they've really done a good job in creating a unique spin in the Spyro series. I really think with the advent of next-gen consoles such as the PS3 and Wii that the Spyro series will be taken to new places which will bring a lot of positive light to the series which it has lacked in recent years. “The Legend of Spyro” is the genesis of this new era.

Buy or Rent: Buy


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/06


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