Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Review
Back in the day, well a few years ago anyway, I remember playing Spryo the Dragon on the PlayStation. It was a sight to behold: colorful graphics, simple yet engaging gameplay and an overall sense of fun. So now comes along Spyro and his gangís first foray on the PlayStation 2 in Spyro the Dragon: Enter the Dragonfly. Unfortunately Dragonfly is not the same entertaining experience on the PS2 as hoped. Let us find out why...
A frozen friend.
Right from the beginning Spyro is a disappointment and a little confusing. It seems that Spyroís old friend Ripto is back with a plan to, well ... Iím not really clear what his original plan was, but what he does manage to do is scatter all of the dragonflies throughout the world. Having done so, Ripto quickly exits leaving Spyro to go and capture all of the now lost dragonflies. Of course, as it turns out, dragonflies are extremely important for dragons. No dragonflies, no dragons. Who knew? So off Spyro goes through different lands, gathering different items, using different attacks, and controlling different vehicles while hunting down the strangely irritating dragonflies. This is one of my issues with the game. These dragonflies get zapped across the world and when you finally find one the last thing they want to do is to be taken alive. Maybe this isnít a big deal, but it seems to me that they would have been happy to see our purple friend and certainly wouldnít have been taunting him when you go to capture one. Kind of made me want to use the Flame Breath on the little buggers instead of the Bubble Breath...
Bubble Breath? Yep. Spyro must be eating some strange stuff lately. In addition to Bubble Breath, which is only used to capture a dragonfly, Spyro will acquire different Breaths throughout the game. These include his always available Flame Breath, Ice Breath, and Electric Breath. Both Ice and Electric Breath can hurt enemies, but they can also help the Scaly One by freezing enemies that can then be used as stepping-stones, and by recharging certain items. Spryo has basic moves like Charge, Head Bash, Glide, Hover, Deflect, and Climbing. The latter two are new to Spyroís arsenal but, honestly, they arenít anything amazing.
So we have all of the required ingredients for your basic platformer. Yet there are other things thrown into the game that no platformer should have. For example, how about load times where you can actually watch your hair grow because they take so long. Or, maybe you would like to see the game shutter and jerk while playing because the framerate is all over the place. Are you into uneven collision detection? If so, you might enjoy this game. Whatís that? You say youíd like a game so easy that you can probably play the game in less than 8 hours and not lose a single life? Then Enter the Dragonfly is your game. I understand that Spyro is aimed at a young audience, but the previous versions had just enough skill level required where it was a challenge to youngsters, yet didnít bore the more advanced player. Iím afraid that even a newborn would be bored with the challenge here.
I think the biggest problem with Dragonfly is that I have played this game before. Sure, not exactly like this, but in many ways. There really isnít anything that separates it from other Spyro games. Actually in a lot of ways the PS1 games are much more enjoyable and original. Anytime you take a franchise game and move it to the next generation you run the risk of losing what made it so special to start. What was cutting edge and original on the old console can become common and boring on the next.
What was so interesting about the first Spyro games to me was the originality of the world and characters. The games were absolutely gorgeous and very fun, if not somewhat of a guilty pleasure. I say guilty pleasure because they were certainly aimed to a very young crowd, but there was just something about the Purple Beast that hooked me. Kind of like Mmm-Bop by Hanson. For the love of God, I know I should hate it, but sometimes late at night when I'm alone in my car and I hear it on the radio, I find myself grooving. Shameful, but true. Thatís the way Spyro has been to me. Until now.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 50%. Enter The Dragonfly just has too many problems to overlook. Yet, if you are a huge Spryo fan you at least should give it a rental.