Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: The Legend Of Spyro: A New Beginning

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Electronic Theatre ImageHaving started life on the PlayStation back in 1998, Spyro The Dragon had the task of rescuing all the elder dragons from the rather upset Gnarsty Gnorc who had all of the elder dragons imprisoned for the comments they made during an interview with the dragons, however he missed one… Spyro!

Spyro’s back to once again save all of the dragon elders and rid their realm of evil, Electronic Theatre Imagewhich happens to be a large black dragon named Cynder. The game however, as the name suggests, isn’t the next chapter in the story of previous Spyro games, it’s “A New Beginning” and it starts-off with you seeing all of the four elders inside a temple looking after the dragon eggs just before the temple is attacked by the Dark Masters forces, Ignitus (voiced by Gary Oldman) takes one of the eggs and flies off to the river where he sets it atop a large mushroom head and sends it down stream in a hope for its safety, Ignitus then returns to the temple to find all of the eggs smashed and the remaining elders over powered and laying defeated on the floor, meanwhile the egg that was floating down stream came to a stop when two dragonflies found it. When it hatched, they named the baby dragon inside Spyro (voiced by Elijah Wood) along with their son that was born that day Sparx (voiced by David Spade). Sparx and Spyro became brothers with the two not knowing that they aren’t really related. During a game of hide-and-seek Sparx wonders off too far and gets captured by a big baboon like creature, one of Cyders henchmen, Spyro becomes so angry during his battle with the baboon that he inadvertently breathes fire to try and save Sparx, once the battle is over and Sparx is set free the two go back to their parents, where Sparx tells them all about the incident. Spyro’s parents feel it’s time to let him know about his true identity.

After hearing about how he was found Spyro sets off to find more like him, and after a quite short journey Spyro finds Ignitus. Ignitus tells Spyro that he is a very special dragon, a purple one born only once every ten generations. He tells Spyro that inside him he has the ability to become a very powerful dragon and that is why he had to hide him when he was and egg; because the Dark Master wanted all the dragons dead. Whilst Sypro was in exile the guardians summoned what strength they had left and led a small army of dragons against the Dark Masters forces, but soon their efforts were crushed by the arrival of a new threat – Cynder, an unstoppable force of nature. She plucked the other three guardians from the heat of battle and took them to secret locations. Each with their own special abilities; Volteer is Electronic Theatre Imagemaster of electric, Cyril master of ice, Terrador master of earth and the remaining guardian Ignitus master of fire, Cyder was using these dragons abilities to charge-up crystals in order to open the gates to the dark realm and release the Dark Master – and it’s up to Spyro to save all of the Guardians and stop Cyder from completing her task.

The game plays fairly well, with a nice Control System. Spyro can be manoeuvred quite precisely, however jumping and landing on target can be tricky sometimes as some platforms are fairly small. The Combat System is quite repetitive, with the player simply mashing at the melee button repeatedly, even with all of the powers that Spyro masters (fire, electric, ice and earth), even once the projectile forms of each power like the fire bomb, electric homing missiles, ice bullets and earth tornado have been learnt, you will still find yourself just using the same attack button. Although combos executed through button combinations are there, you never really get to use them because you can’t block an enemies attack, resulting in getting hit before being able to deliver the blow. It’s a nice touch if you do get to use it though, by holding the melee button Spyro will knock his opponent into the air, if you jump to meet them and the press the melee button three times you enter a sort of Viewtiful Joe­-esque effect in which the action slows down to see you bashing one of the baboons.

There aren’t a lot of different enemies to go up against, the majority all seem to be the same Character Models with different style outfits for each of the different regions that they are in. The Difficulty Curve in this game tends to spike towards the end with it starting out easy – yet challenging enough for a younger gamer to get to grips with – but then becoming really challenging to defeat the large amount of enemies on-screen without dying. You Electronic Theatre Imagehave to stand and fight though because to progress it requires you to defeat every enemy on-screen, which means no running away from battles. This doesn’t make it entirely impossible though, as if you die you come back with full Health and Dragon Power with usually all of the already defeated enemies gone, which just means you walking back to where you were.

Graphically and visually there’s nothing special, it creates a believable world which is rich in colour and life, and everything has a fair amount of detail on it, it basically does the job it needs to do but it could have been a lot better. The movement of Spyro and the other dragons is well designed and the do look like real creatures, the baboons however don’t look convincing when they move. There are a few nice Cut-Scenes, but in contrast to the in-game visuals they look out of place and spoil what little atmosphere that the game has.

The sound in the game is good with a nice background score on the Title Menu and interesting and quirky sounds throughout the game. With a lot of noises being played at once some thing’s tend to go a bit quiet, for example during a battle with a lot of enemies grunting and screaming and the sound of the attacks the sound of Spyro picking up the Crystals doesn’t play. There are some big names involved in the voice cast with the likes of Gary Oldman (from Electronic Theatre Imagerecent films like Harry Potter) voicing Ignitus and Elijah Wood (from The Lord Of The Rings) doing Spyro and David Spade (from the comedy Just Shoot Me) doing the voice for the hilarious Sparx, in-fact, they all are well involved with films and games with Cree Summer (Cynder) doing music for Final Fantasy X and the voice of young Tidus.

Unless you are a die hard Spyro fan this really isn’t worth spending a large sum of money on when so many other games do this whole Platform thing much better. There’s nothing that thisSpyro does that hasn’t been done before in the previous The Legend Of Spyro games so its not really a new beginning, just another attempt at cashing-in on tired old ideas before someone comes up with something decent. As far as buying for your children goes, unless they like the purple dragon there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better in other Platform titles and considering its been targeted at children, the story does seem a bit morbid, what with all of Spyro’s brothers and sister being smashed when they were in their eggs, however, this probably isn’t a big problem as children are mentally robust these days, and the game has received a BBFC PG Rating which means its up to the parents to explain what their children are seeing, the bigger problem lies with just how difficult this game can be, trying to defeat some of the Sub-Bosses can be a nightmare, so you have to be quite good at games in order to complete the game, which for children it just shouldn’t be, rather than a Difficulty Curve, it does feel like hitting a brick wall at times.Electronic Theatre Image

 

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