Review by ploodie

"Not Bad, but I actually liked Enter The Dragonfly better . . ."

The latest in the Spyro series is still not that bad of a game - but it doesn't have quite the same feel of the previous four entries.

After Enter The Dragon got such loathsome reviews, the designers of the new game decided to make a few changes. First off, they were able to sidestep all the glitches, crashes, framerate probs, and detection issues that were the bane of ETD - however, they made further changes to the established formula, and these I don't quite like.

First and foremost, there is no longer a set number of gems per level. Yes, there are chests and baskets and such that you can only collect once - but, the enemies ALWAYS drop gems, no matter how many times you kill them. So, there is no longer a gem goal for every level - and, well, that was one of the things I really liked about the series.

The idea behind the unending supply of gems is that you now buy items from Moneybags to progress - lockpicks to open doors and chests, upgrades to your various skills and so forth. Problem is, this idea was not integrated very well. After the third or fourth level, you'll have way more gems than you'll ever need, and now going to Moneybags to buy yet another lockpick becomes kind of a drag.

Also, they brought back the "play as a different character" mini-games that they had in Spyro 3 - maybe some people like this, but I don't. I especially disliked having to play as Sgt. Bird on the Speedway levels instead of as Spyro. And the new character, Blink, has the MOST ANNOYINGLY FRUSTRATING LEVELS imaginable. He's easily as bad as the Kangaroo from S3. One ENTIRE level of the game forces you to play as Hunter - and is easily the hardest level requiring some unbelievable timing to get through the later platform areas.

That's my third gripe - the difficulty has been turned up quite a bit from the last game. I'm used to kicking back and enjoying - but there were many times I either had to stop before I kicked something, or that I just could not figure out where to go next.

But, it's not all bad - I still quite enjoyed it, actually. It still looks great for a GameCube game, and the gameplay was fun. This time, you are collecting eggs and light gems, and you are trying to hunt down and destroy the Dark gems on each level to open up the way to the next. They brought back the multi-hub world system - this time, there are three hubs with four levels apiece, and a final set of about five linear levels.

All told, Hero's Tail is still a fun Spyro game - but it's probably my least favorite out of the series. It's just missing some of that ole magic!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/25/05

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