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Spyro: Year of the Dragon

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Dark Jester
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Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Dark Jester on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:31 pm

This was a real throwback to me, I remembered loving this game as a kid...but I never thought to play it as an adult until now... and I played it to completion!
So let's find out if this 13 year old game stood the test of time!

(Jeez, this game is the same age as some of our users!)


Gameplay: Spyro is your standard collect-a-thon. There are 4 hubworlds with 4 main levels in each. Each level has 300-700 gems and 6 dragon eggs to collect.

All the levels seem quite small, and guide you around the level in a circle direction, sometimes leading you directly to eggs, some on the other hand tucked away nicely. Giving this part of the game good balance for the most part.

There are also levels for extra characters to play as with different play styles to Spyro, Such as Agent 9 the Monkey with his FPS styled games, and SGT.Bird and his air shooter styled gameplay. This did keep the game interesting I admit, but every time you saw one of their portals... you knew what kind of game to expect. They could of tried more elements with these characters themselves. Like letting them explore the same world Spyro is in... which was only done once, with SGT.Bird.

To spice up the gameplay a bit there are Minigame portals, where you will be challenged by different tasks such as Skateboarding, Submarine Diving, Thief Catching, Hockey, and other general tasks. Now there are great for the most part, but it seems they reuse the ones I got tired of quickly, such as driving tanks and submarining, but they never went back to the ones I found the funnest, such as using "speed tracks" to catch thieves.

There are also some Speedway level, for racing and time trials, and a Space shooter styled game for your Dragonfly friend "sparx", but there was only one of these per world... it got more than the other games, but this is what weirdly left me wanting more...

The reuse of the minigame elements alone was making the game a bit repetitive, but once I got up to the third world, I did start to find the game a bit of the drag. As most of the main levels worked the same, it just wasn't throwing enough at me to keep me fully hooked.

But all that aside, it kept me to the end, so I guess it couldn't of been all that bad, eh?


Control: As this is a PS1 game; Analog sticks can sometimes be more of a pain than they are a blessing here. Some of the MiniGames control better with the D-Pad. But overall Spyro control's pretty nicely, sometimes jumps that are too near and edge will just throw you off... but I put that to my Analog Stick Stubbornness. To me it feels like some of the actions Spyro can do (such as gliding, hovering, charging) are actually not perfect, but the environment seems to work around him (giving that this is the third game) so it's not noticed so much.

Design: Although the levels are a tad small, they all seem to be designed really well. No flaws to effect gameplay. Plus they all look fantastic. It's like going into the world of the Looney Tunes, everything has bright colours and feels a little softer than how games feel today...

The character designs are very cute, as each world has it's own representative you get to meet a wide arrange of these cute characters. Some have just stereotypical personalities, but some are actually thought out characters, such as Haiku Writing Fireflies, and Karate master children!


As for the story, there isn't much too it. An evil Sorceress wants the dragon eggs to bring magic to her world so that she can live, but she plans on killing them. Her apprentice slowly noticed this while you collect eggs and she soon turns to your side... making an odd romantic relationship between your sidekick "Hunter the Cheetah" and "Bianca the Rabbit".

Honestly, I didn't care much for that, and the ending of the game wasn't too wow-wee ether. But we must remember, this was in an era where games didn't really need the hard hitting stories they have today, and I did kinda like the charm of the simple acting used in the game.


Music: The music is pretty decent while listening to it, it was all done by Drummer of The Police; "Stewart Copeland". The musing does all have a "Spyro" feel, which is good. Some tracks are really memorable, such as the Inro, The Boss theme, and some of the character themes... but for the most part these tunes are forgettable, some don't even leave the right impact for the level they're on. I mean, they're nice tunes... just not groundbreaking.


Overall: It's a great collectathon game, and it's only a little short of being up there with the greats such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. It's missing the creative spark, but still has that great "playstation video game" feel. It wont grip you to play it alone, but maybe along side some games, or just playing it really casually...

I'll give this a 7/10, I feel like I'm pushing it, but my scales are always a little off!


If you own a PS3 and want to give this game a try yourself then why not download it on the Playstation Network? For $5.99 that's not a bad price.


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Gengar on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:30 am

Very nice, detailed review. Does this game have any connection to Skylanders considering the title?


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Sir Metal King on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:39 am

SuperZweilous wrote:Very nice, detailed review. Does this game have any connection to Skylanders considering the title?

I really want to murder you right now. I'm sorry but Skylanders makes me cringe Yes it's true. Spyro is really the main purple dragon in Skylanders. I could tell you the story but I won't.

As for the review, very well done. This was one of my first games and has always been one of my favourites! (As well as my grandads!)
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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Gengar on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:52 am

@Sir Metal King wrote:
SuperZweilous wrote:Very nice, detailed review. Does this game have any connection to Skylanders considering the title?

I really want to murder you right now. I'm sorry but Skylanders makes me cringe Yes it's true. Spyro is really the main purple dragon in Skylanders. I could tell you the story but I won't.

Skylanders is a piece of mother f***ing s***.


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Sir Metal King on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:53 am

SuperZweilous wrote:
@Sir Metal King wrote:
SuperZweilous wrote:Very nice, detailed review. Does this game have any connection to Skylanders considering the title?

I really want to murder you right now. I'm sorry but Skylanders makes me cringe Yes it's true. Spyro is really the main purple dragon in Skylanders. I could tell you the story but I won't.

Skylanders is a piece of mother f***ing s***.

I love you. No homo.
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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Winters Thief Zero on Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:49 pm

All I really have to say is that it's a nice review, I haven't played the game myself. Though...I think my cousin may actually have it. If she does, I might try it the next time I go to her house.


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Dark Jester on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:57 pm

SuperZweilous wrote:Very nice, detailed review. Does this game have any connection to Skylanders considering the title?

Thanks man, I think Skylanders is more it's own series with Spyro slapped on it, but as far as I'm concerned Spyro died shortly after Year of the Dragon... and "Enter the Dragonfly" and any game following it... were just terrible.

But I do actually hear Skylanders isn't a bad game, and I'm fond of the portal concept myself... even if it is a tad pricey...


@Sir Metal King wrote:As for the review, very well done. This was one of my first games and has always been one of my favourites! (As well as my grandads!)

Thanks man, it really is one of my tops for PS1, it's just when you go back and compare it to other games on other consoles... you start to see how mediocre it really was...


Zero Revolution wrote:All I really have to say is that it's a nice review, I haven't played the game myself. Though...I think my cousin may actually have it. If she does, I might try it the next time I go to her house.

Yeah, that's a good idea, just completing one or two of the levels will give you a good idea of the game (I hope my review did that too though~). Maybe you could borrow it or something, it's a good game to play though! With fuller focus than I had it could be completed in a week and a half, tops.
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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Gengar on Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:02 am

Sorry to be off-topic, but James went from going "I wanna murder you." to "I love you." lol.


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Dark Jester on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:38 pm

But that don't beat Yi's "Noisy Radiator" to "Candy Crush!" to "Oh noes Laptop" to "STUPID ALAN!"

...that was all in one sentence too!


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Fluffiness~ wrote:
I do think about cussing out insolent children at school but I never do because I am too busy trying to act like a perfect Asian student.


Dafuq did I just read?
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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by TheTrainerExpert on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Nice review DJ! I loved playing this game as a kid and I still do play it since it's so fun. I love playing cat hockey :3


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Winters Thief Zero on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:20 pm

^ Oh, that's where cat hockey was from. Razz Ever since you said something about it, I had no idea what it was.


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Re: Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Post by Dark Jester on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:04 pm

Thanks TrainerExpert... It actually took me a few times to get Cat Hokey, for ages I didn't realize you could freeze the Rhynoc Hokey player as well as the cats!


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Spoiler:

Fluffiness~ wrote:
I do think about cussing out insolent children at school but I never do because I am too busy trying to act like a perfect Asian student.


Dafuq did I just read?

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