Spyro A Hero

There is trouble in the Realm where dragons
live and only one small purple dragon can save the day. If you guess that the
dragon is Spyro, you are either very lucky, very perceptive, well read, or a
gamer. Not that any of that matters, of course.


Spyro is back in action in the Eurocom and
Vivendi Universal title, Spyro: A Hero’s Tail, a PlayStation 2 title. This is
very much a three-dimensional romp, with the main storyline and a lot of side
quests that may be simple, but still has a very light and easy feel to it. This
game will not challenge too many experienced players, but will likely delight
younger players and those looking for an easy arcade-style title.


The storyline is much like the game itself –



Red, the fallen dragon, has been mining dark
gems and planting them all over the Realm. To that end he has employed Gnasty
Gnorc and his minions in an effort to advance his maniacal plans.


“What are Dark Gems?” asks our hero, rather


Dark Gems are the life-draining stones that
fuel Red’s evil powers.


With that, Spyro is sent off to uncover a
variety of items, gather gems to spend, participate in mini-games, and – of
course – to bash dark gems and in the end, to stop Red. He has a lot of friends
back to help him.


The game wastes little time in getting players
into the mix. You have to solve minor puzzles, move through the zone and earn
the right to move forward. While you are in pursuit of the main goal, you will
find other goals popping up, like the recovery of dragon eggs. Add light gems,
gems and fire bombs to the mix and you have an arcade-rich pick-up environment.



There are also save points scattered
throughout the game, accompanied by a tiny fairy creature which …


“Spyro, when I zap you with my wand like that,
your progress is saved. You also lose a million brain cells.”


“A million brain cells. … that seems
excessively destructive!” replies Spyro.








“Ok, it’s cool!”


The audio has a musical score that could have
been better. It is more suited to a child’s game, soft and airy. The narration
is well done though. Graphically the game is lush and uses the camera controls
to allow players to do a 360-degree tour of the world.


Spyro: A Hero’s Tale is not the most
innovative Spyro tale to come out, and the transition to three dimensions is nice, but the
game does not really do much else. The story is simple, as is the game play. Is
that a bad thing? No. In fact this is a nice light little entertaining title.
Consider it average when you look at its competition, but this title looks good
and plays well.


Scoring Details for Spyro: A Hero’s Tale


Gameplay: 7.2

The game moves very smoothly through the
levels, with light-hearted cutscenes the only interruption. The control scheme
keeps it simple and players will have no trouble jumping right in and playing.


Graphics: 7.5

The game is lush, three-dimensional, and has
smooth animation.


Sound: 6.8

The musical score is the type that one might
hear in a pre-school, soft, light, and somewhat annoying after an hour. The
narration has little asides that give the game a nice feel.


Difficulty: Easy

This game will appeal to younger players
moreso than experienced gamers. It is a little simplistic, but some of the
elements, like the Sgt. Bird challenges, are fun and nicely done.


Concept: 7.0
Simple, simple, simple – from the interface to the gameplay mechanics. No manual
came with this review build and it was not needed at all.


Overall: 7.0

This is not the most complex of games, but
there are a variety of things to do and the entertainment factor leans toward
the cute side. The game has an arcade quality, and the musical score is a little
on the elevator side, but the graphics are lush and the game plays well. This is
not a game that will challenge experienced gamers, but younger players or those
looking for a light entertaining game, which is mostly reflexive, may find this
quite delightful. Don’t bring high expectations into this game and you will
be pleasantly surprised.