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Spyro, the little purple dragon that started gracing our screens back in 1998. Insomniac Games, the creators that bought us the amazing original trilogy of games, left this series along time. Fastforward to 2005 and for this game, Spyro was in the hands of Amaze Entertainment. But was the little purple dragon struggling under a different studio or was he still kicking butt, dragon style!
Story: Nothing is easy in life when it comes to Spyro! Even on his holiday the bad guys are out for trouble. Lazing on the beach, Spyro falls asleep unaware that a dark storm arrives and traps everyone within the Dragon Realms, Avalar and the Forgotten Realms in a dimension called the Shadow Realm. With Sparx for company, Spyro sets out on an adventure to save his friends and the Dragon Realms. Learning magic and mastering the dragon martial art of dragon-kata to help him crush the bad guys and get rid of the Shadow Realm. All in a days work for Spyro...
Visuals: This 2005 game does bring some well drawn and created graphics. The vibrancy of all the characters and the beautiful environment you play in really are a great positive. The character animations are very well done and do make for some nice gaming moments. The buildings themselves do look very two dimensional and you do feel they didn't put in a lot of effort on them.
Audio: The audio has something quite enchanting to it and does go really well with the whole fantasy/magical world in which Spyro's adventures all take place. Before the dark magic arrives and the Shadow Realm takes over, you have that happy everything is awesome beat to the music. Soon as the badness arrives, the music changes and you feel the darkness take over as the reality of Spyro's new adventure comes ahead. The audio really is good and I do enjoy listening to it when I play the game. It's a welcome break to hear some nice audio for a DS game, especially for one from so long ago (2005).
Gameplay: Oh boy, where to beginning! Scrolling, scrolling and yep, let's do more scrolling! Takes an age to get anywhere in this game so exploring the nice environment does become a chore, even when charging instead of just walking. Everything feels so slow and just takes away so much from the game, it really is disappointing. Unfortunately the controls are not much better with important actions being executed on the same button, this leads to even more frustration as you go to open a door and you will breath fire instead. You have to be on the exact right spot to open the doors but even then when pressing the action button you will open the door but will still breath the fire. Whoever thought you should have important actions for the same button has clearly never played a game before. Such amateurish behaviour does make you wonder about the quality of the game studios back then.
The use or lack of use of the touch screen is again disappointing. It is used as the menu to inform you of how many jewels, eggs, keys you have and items you have picked up along your journey. There is also a map of the islands and shows what outstanding missions you have. As well has having the upgrade screen to show your current level and how long to go until your next level up. Finally it has the magic screen where this actual has an important use in the game. You have to draw set symbols depending on what magic spell you want to use. Now this draw the magic symbol does feel that someone said at the studios 'let's think of a way to use the touch screen without putting much thought in to it'. It really feels like a last gasp thought to just appease the touch screen ability of the console.
Conclusion: Oh Spyro, what have they done to you... I have played Spyro games over the years on all different platforms (Playstation, PS2, GBA & DS) and he's one of the characters I can relate to playing as when I was a child. The cool little purple dragon along with his dragonfly called Sparx, saving the dragon world one step at a time. So as a fan of the little guy I was incredibly disappointed with this game. Everything felt so slow, so boring and just so uninteresting. Yes the original elements were still there with the collecting gems and dragon eggs and even the cool animations when Spyro flies, fire breathing is decent. The characters themselves do look good and the audio works perfectly within the fantasy set game. However, the story, the gameplay and the controls, including the under use of the touch screen, fill you with frustration and sometimes anger. The constant need to spam buttons when battling enemies is not something you find in a Spyro game but for some reason, the game studios opted for this type of style when it comes to attacking.
The very essence of Spyro game feels lost with this one. Sloppiness by the creators on many different issues leaves you feeling blue for Spyro. I will always love Spyro but this game is poor and no nostalgia can make up for this underwhelming game. A sad day in the Spyro Realm.
Insomniac games created Spyro the purple dragon way back in 1998. Since then he has made many appearances on all the main gaming platforms. His move to the Nintendo DS however has not been well received however, the gameplay is awkward and limited by the necessity of the DS's two 2D screens.
The game starts with Spyro in bed, when he wakes he faces the usual challenges a small purple dragon faces when he gets up - defeating enemies and protecting the realm. He is helped by Elders. An all too familiar storyline.
The world in Shadow Legacy is made up of only four continents which are further divided into habitats - which are very flat in 2D and look uninteresting. These habitats contain shadow creatures which have to be freed in order to progress. Spyro's attacks are typical - fire breath, charge and others he can learn through the game as he levels up. He can also learn and cast magicks.
Spyro can teleport between teleport pads using teleport magick thus teleporting between the normal realm and the shadow realm using 'phase'. This is where he finds shadow creatures. His attacks seem inadequate against them. Once Spyro returns to the normal realm his attacks regain their effectiveness. The game continues in this way until its over - he has freed all the creatures.
Overall the game has a quite awkward levelling system and the game is somewhat hard to complete. There are side quests which add to the games potential but this is a touchscreen RPG that struggles to compete with the ever growing world of Pokemon and fails to reach the mark.
I found this a confusing game because of the switch between the shadow realm and the normal spyro world. I liked the beginning bit when you go around meeting people and you are supposedly finishing your summer holiday on the island. I didnt like the gameplay after that because the instructions didnt really tell you how you can progress in each level. The idea of spyro is this cute little dragon and you cant really see him all that well on the ds. I think this game might be better on xbox360 or something that involves a large tv screen. I have played better versions of spyro than this one and to be honest I wouldnt recommend buying this one. I bought it from CEX for 13pounds second hand, and I think some instructions must have been missing. I would however recommend the newest spyro game that I know can be bought now from all good game shops.
This is an action role playing game that on the DS never really lives up to the quality and enjoyment levels that Spyro games have provided in the past on other platforms. It is not a total dud of a game but it is average at best and I must admit I was a bit disappointed with it.
Whilst on holiday a storm means that Spyro end up in the Shadow Realm an d he has to set about freeing the Dragon elders from their captors and then save the rest of the land from the bad guys. In the game you will switch from the shadow land to the real world as the game progresses.
During the game you will have to free various creatures and then you have to complete certain mini quests in order to get extra items or powers. You will also learn new abilities as you progress and you have to use these to fight off your enemies and complete the various levels, you can use your breath attacks and magic spells to defend yourself and Spyro can also use his wings to defend himself from attack.
The main problem with the game is the lack of challenge that it presents, the fact that visually it is really nice means that I would only really recommend it for younger game players, for better players the game can be over in a few hours of play and the fact that it is not that interesting to play means that you may want to rent rather than buy.
Spyro Shadow Legacy introduces role playing elements to the Dragon Realms, offering Spyro fans an "RPG light" experience with all new gameplay features. By fighting and defeating creatures in the game, players will earn experience points that improve Spyro's strength and abilities. This RPG element will allow players to use their experience to build Spyro's new magical powers and martial arts combat abilities as the game progresses.