Reviewed by Tempest
No alternate review available
"The Dragon Lands have been taken over by
Gnasty Gnorc and his Gnorc army. All of the dragons have
been transformed into crystal statues and only Spyro is left.
Glide, charge and torch your way through an astounding adventure
6 massive fantasy worlds, with over 30 levels.
Spyro the Dragon is a 3D action plaformer game and the the first of the Spyro serie released on the PlayStation.
The concept of the game does not break new ground as it resembles much to Super Mario 64 released 2 years earlier; with puzzle jumping, levels accessed by portals (instead of jumping through paintings) and third person camera view that can be controlled via the game controller.
The story line:
It begins with some dragons giving an interview and telling the audience that Gnasty Gnorc is ugly and isn't much of a threat to them. That orc decided to prove them wrong and imprisoned the dragons into and crystallized statues. You play as Spyro, the last remaining dragon in the Dragon Lands that wasn't imprisoned in such statues.
It's not one of the best scenario possible to beginning a game like this one as this has absolutely nothing to do with the game, nor is it explained who was the interviewer or if dragons even watch TV to begin with. I assume here that since Spyro is a very young dragon, he was small enough to be overlooked during the initial "attack". To assist him, he is followed by a dragonfly called Sparx, who acts as a lifepoint indicator and assistant to retrieve nearby jewels from chests and defeated enemies. Sparx will be gold at full hit point, then turn blue, then green before disappearing, at this point Spyro can die. Spyro can also die by drowning as he can't swim.
In general, the goals of the game are simple: free the imprisoned dragons, retrieve their treasure and recover the eggs some enemies have managed to steal. Often when Spyro will free a dragon, he will give him a hint on how to complete the level, or perform certain maneuvers or even access some out of reach locations. Each stage is composed of a main-level with accesses to five sublevels. Once you have freed enough dragons and/or gathered enough gems, Spyro will be able to take a hot air balloon to the next stage. It doesn't matter much if you free all dragons or recover all eggs and gems as doing any of these will not grant you any special power or special recognition unless you recover everything (100% rating), only then, you will be able to access a secret level at the end of the game in which Spyro can fly instead of just glide. Boss are usually large enemies but they aren't too overpowered (even underpowered sometimes) compared to regular enemies.
In the game, Spyro can use his flame to toast most enemies except those clad in metal armor, use his horns to charge enemies and glide from high place to reach difficult locations. These is plenty of variations and combinations you can use through the game.
Back when Spyro the Dragon was released it was using pretty much all the computing power the Playstation has to offer, that was a long time ago. These day, you can get slightly better results (less pixelation) using an emulator simply because even the most basic graphic card can outperform such an old plateform. While SPyro is relatively well detailled, enemies are rather simple with low details and textures.
The Sound & Music:
The music is appropriate for a game that is light hearted. There isn't a track that is particularly amazing but everything fit well with the game. As for the voice, there isn't a lot of it but Spyro is acted well, as a young dragon limited by his age and who still has a lot to learn. His dialog is usually straight to the point.
Note: the overall is not an average, but more a general appreciation of the game as a whole.
R a t i n g
|Graphics:||(7.0/10) - Good|
|Sound & Music:||(7.5/10) - Good|
|Story line:||(4.5/10) - Shoddy|
|Play Control:||(7.0/10) - Good|
|Innovation:||(6.0/10) - Average|
|Overall:||(7.0/10) - Good
A rating of 5/10 should be considered as something not good but not bad either (# bad points = # good points).