Spyro : Enter the Dragonfly

Spyro : Enter the Dragonfly
I've been a huge fan of Spyro the Dragon for many years. This is the first release of Spyro for the PS2, and is made by a new company.

I had heard many poor reviews about Spyro in the hands of this new company. It was made by Universal Interactive instead of Insomniac, who wrote the old Spyro games. I still have my older Spyro games so I played them side by side to see just what the difference was.

First, yes the graphics are better. I would hope so! The other games are from 2000 and before, and were for the playstation (not the PS2). So on the new version the baskets, for example, are very pretty with their weave and decoration. The water ripples when Spyro runs through it, the grasses in the water wave. Even so, curved surfaces aren't as smooth and clean as in other current games, such as FFX and Kingdom Hearts.

Graphics do not make a game, though, and we found the new Spyro gameplay to be ... sluggish. In the other Spyros you feel like you have an energetic kitten on your hands, one that jumps and springs and moves quickly. In this new Spyro, it's more like a baby elephant lumbering along. The sounds don't seem to match up well with screen actions, either. There are often delays between when an action occurs and the sound kicks in.

Even worse, though, are the serious coding errors evident. I'm a programmer by profession so I know it can be tough to make a game perfect. However, this game didn't seem to get even simple testing done before it was released! There were NUMEROUS problems with drawing glitches on the screen, causing giant polygons to block our view. And when we tried to play through the display problems, it crashed. Repeatedly.

I really wanted the game to work well. The plot of 'the dragonflies have been stolen' seemed fun. You got to have bubble breath to capture them, and lightning breath for other tasks. There were the usual gem collecting and fun enemies. But with the sluggy gameplay and the continual crashes, it becomes very tiring very quickly. Rent this one first to see if your love of Spyro is enough to overcome those obstacles.

Buy Spyro Enter the Dragonfly from Amazon.com

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