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Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly - PS2 - Review

Bruce Lee he certainly is not, but then Bruce Lee couldn’t snort fire, or bubbles, or electricity, or ice, or …

Spyro is back and debuting on a next generation console with Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, a PlayStation2 release from Equinoxe Digital Entertainment and Universal Interactive. Yes, the title is a spoof of Bruce Lee’s famous film, Enter the Dragon. But the game makes use of that by beginning with Spyro ridding a dojo of Ripto’s henchmen.

It seems that the dragon sensei have been frozen in blocks of ice and only Spyro can free them. But that is only a side quest, and there are many in this game.

It all begins at the Year of the Dragon festival, during which young dragons from all over the Dragon Realms receive their very own dragonfly. Dragonflies fly in from all over to be united with their own dragon. This is an important event, and the celebration is a grand one.

That is until …

Ripto, Spyro’s arch-nemesis appears and reveals his latest plan to make Spyro’s life miserable. He is going to steal all the dragonflies and thus rob all the dragon magic. It is up to Spyro, along with his companion Sparx (a dragonfly), to save the dragonflies. But dragonflies are not easily caught, and will lead Spyro a merry chase. However, the tiny purple dragon has bubble breath, which snares the wily creatures and transports them back to safety.

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly features 25 engaging levels, detailed environments with real-time lighting effects, 16 challenging mini-games, and thoroughly enjoyable gameplay. The scripting is witty and entertaining. And not only can Spyro use the dragon qualities he possesses to get around, but he will also have the opportunity to drive a tank or pilot a plane, UFO or Mantaray.

Hunter is around to offer advice, as is Bianca. Moneybags will help alleviate some of Spyro’s excess jewel collection by charging him for passage along the way. And Zoe, the kindest fairy in the Dragon Realms, will save Spyro’s progress throughout the adventure.

Spyro has five lives in this game, with each life consisting of four hit points. Of course Sparx helps protect his buddy Spyro, so keeping Sparx healthy by using Spyro’s abilities is essential.

This three-dimensional game looks very nice, and plays extremely well. The control elements are kept relatively simple, and players will only need 15 minutes at most to get a feel for the player interface.

The sound of the game is excellent, the puzzles are a little simplistic but fun nonetheless, and the game’s environments are lush and bright. Spyro’s moves are wonderful, and the supporting cast, including Ripto’s henchmen, is well animated.

That’s all the good news – now here is the bad. This game mimics previous Spyro titles in terms of plot. There is nothing really new here, nothing truly inventive or even remarkable. This is a standard Spyro adventure. He charges around, head-butting or basting enemies, collects gems and undertakes a host of mini-games along the way. And while the game plays well, each level is more of the same.

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is perhaps a little too simplistic to arcade-adventure gamers looking for depth of play or challenge. It is great looking and enjoyable, but is one of those games that will not have you playing until the wee hours of the morning, chanting “just one more level” in a world-weary voice while fighting to keep your eyes open. Cute? Definitely. Charming? Spyro has always had that quality. But at its core, this is an average game.

This program is rated for Everyone.

Gameplay: 7
Though the game does have 25 levels, they are very similar in terms of action and play. There are gems to collect, dragonflies to catch, and enemies to run off. The mini-games make them enjoyable, but these are merely side ventures. The mapboards are large and well-designed.

Graphics: 8.2
The three-dimensional graphics look very good, and the environments are delightfully rendered. The animation is excellent – with the possible exception of the potential dragonfly snacks (sheep, frogs, et cetera) which lop or hop around is a silly manner just asking to be knocked or blazed into a dragonfly snack.

Sound: 8
The musical background is very nice, the effects are solid and the vocal characterizations are well done.

Difficulty: Easy
This game features a simple player interface and control elements, and the puzzles are not overly difficult to work through.

Concept: 7
This game is a rehash of other Spyro adventures. Some new features have been added, but this is a formula game that goes for the easy score, instead of blazing new trails for the purple (and loveable) dragon.

Overall: 7
The game will doubtless appeal to younger players. But the formula nature of the plot really is a letdown. Sure, the game looks good and sounds great, but Enter the Dragonfly lacks depth of play. It is a safe arcade-adventure outing.

Good

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