Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Spyro, the purple dragon, has been a favorite of mine since he first came out. Now he's flying, romping and bashing his way through a shadow realm.
If you're used to the more modern games, the first thing you'll notice here is that it is a pretty - but flat - display. You get a really odd "slanted, from the forward, top down" view not seen in pretty much any game. It makes the proportions of the room very odd and at times very hard to figure out. Is that line in the back of the room a wall, or is it a higher level of a shelf?
The backgrounds of the outdoor scenes are really pretty, in a sort of water color sort of way. You walk or run around, charging at enemies, talking to friends, and performing the quests or tasks as necessary. I expect a hobbit to plod around slowly, but when I'm playing Spyro, I expect the little purple dragon to be alert and agile. It's much more frustrating to see him plod along slowly, getting stuck on the corners of walls, or moving into a "fast walk" for the charge action.
They did add more complexity to the game by adding in some RPG style elements. You earn experience points by killing off enemies, and you use those to build up your Spyro character. The lower screen lets you perform traditional RPG activities - manage your inventory, look at a general map, track your progress - while the upper screen is your general gameplay area.
On sound, the game is reasonably OK. It doesn't stand out in any way, but it's not awful either.
For people who are fond of the previous Spyro games, with their great three dimensional graphics and focus on arcade quality gameplay, will probably be disappointed here. It is sluggish and relatively low quality for the DS's capabilities. On the other hand, for players who are new to RPGs, this is a cuddly, easy to learn RPG that draws you into it with lots of explanation and hand holding.
Recommended for those seeking to learn how RPGs work!
Buy Spyro Shadow Legacy from Amazon.com