Review by Joe Blow

"Beautiful Game"

Spyro the Dragon, is without a doubt one of the best games in the platform genre. This game entertains for a very long time with its excellent execution. The worlds are amazing and beautiful, sound is absolutely wonderful and pleasant, and the characters are quite interesting and different from what you see in games of today.

Story: The story is this: a villain named Gnasty Gnorc has a grudge against the dragons that inhabit the dragon realms. He wants revenge, so he casts a spell that turns all dragons into stone. All but one. Spyro, the young purple dragon avoided the spell, and now its up to him to free the dragons from their stone prisons to defeat Gnasty Gnorc. A story done very nicely, with just the right level of depth for a platforming game, so that players will not have to spend a large amount of time puzzling over story events.

Gameplay: The gameplay is also very well done. The controls are easy to use, and the method of attacking is unique for a platforming game. The levels are big and allow for a lot of exploration, to find gems which you need to collect to progress in some parts of the game. Collectibles. There are a lot of them. Every level includes a large number of gems, some easy to find and others hidden very carefully. There are also the dragons which you must free, and some require outside of the box thinking to get too. Challenging without being too frustrating. The flying levels in the game give you break from all the action on the ground. Not necessary at all to progress through the storyline, they are more challenging than the normal levels, and have a completely different style of play. They give flavor to the gameplay. The boss fights are another strong point. Each one is unique, and there is no formula for boss fights.

Graphics: These are just beautiful. Some of the best the PSX can offer. Fans of Mario, I have to say this: this game is more beautiful in design and graphics than Super Mario 64. There are less polygons than other games of the same period. The level design is really nice, and a lot of them differ. You have levels that range in setting from the clouds to an ice cavern in the dark. The character animations do get repetitive sometimes, but there are many different characters, so you experience various animations, not just a set few. The design of the characters is also amazing. Detail was evident when it came to the design. There are various shapes and sizes among the dragon race alone.

Sound: I have stated this already, and I will do it again. The sound for this game is great. It is representative of the true spirit of the game, and not just something thrown out at random. The music for levels and worlds differ, and with a medley of levels, the soundtrack never gets boring (unless you stand in one place for a long time, which I'm sure you wouldn't do anyway). The theme of the music also depends heavily on the environment, and reflects it while still giving a sense of exploration and adventure to the player. Almost every character in the game has voice acting, and very few of the dragons sound the same, or were voiced by the same person. Spyro's own childlike voice is fitting, because he is a young dragon not yet able to fly. The sound effects are excellent and work in harmony with the other sound elements to create an astounding soundtrack pleasing to the ear.

Replay Value: In my opinion, this game has a very high replay value. There are just so many things to do in this game. I still find myself playing this game, and I've had it for many years. I've beaten it many times also, but that doesn't deter me from playing every now and then. Of course, it depends heavily on the type of gamer you are. If you like platforming games, this could last a long time. If not, then this will still hold some replay value for you, although not as much. This game will also give you a sense of nostalgia after a while, making go back to it again and again.

FINAL SCORE: 10 This game is a classic. Though not as epic or in depth as games like Final Fantasy VII, people of all ages will love it, especially kids. I would have to say that this game is not worth renting however. It is worth buying though! You should definitely search your local stores for this gem, and if you still can't find it, there's EBay.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/18/06

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