Reviewed: November 15, 2008
Released: October 21, 2008
Screenshots (Click Image for Gallery)
No PS2 screens were available.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon pits that cute little fire breathing purple dragon, no not Barney, against all kinds of bad guys in a new adventure. While you may have a new coop play and the ability to switch back and forth between the two dragons when not playing with a friend the gameplay is still broken enough to be frustrating.
The Legend of Spyro series is a long and checkered one but the game now is anything but great in this latest release with a few nice additions to gameplay. Not having played any previous Spyro games I do have a very objective view but I do have to say I was disappointed with this game even with the coop play.
Having just reviewed The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon on the PlayStation 3 I thought I may as well try out the PlayStation 2 version and see if there was any improvement or changes. Of course you have the usual drop in quality going from the 1080p graphics to the standard 4:3 size screen but the actual graphics and quality stays pretty much the same.
The graphics seem a bit over the top here as well as in the PS3 version, which leads to a bit of confusion when things heat up in battles and fights. While the backdrops and textures look very nice and detailed for both versions too many graphical effects going on at once that obscures your view of what is happening detracts from the games graphics overall.
There is a little less quality for graphics and effects but they did do a pretty good job in the technical department for the graphics as well as audio and voice acting. The voice acting was very well done with some great talent behind the main characters like Elijah Wood, Christina Ricci, Wayne Brady and Gary Oldman. The sound effects and audio throughout the game is well done and very appropriate with plenty of variety and punch.
The main problem is the gameplay and how you get a little too much of that punch in one scene; your graphics are very well done with plenty of nice effects for your fire breathing and other magical moves. Problem is all this happens in such a small localized area that you end up losing sight of what is going on.
Add to this the problem of fighting wave after wave of enemies that surround you when your earth bound and you have a mix for a button mashing game if I ever saw one. Many of the fights start out great but reduce down to a button mashing fest when groups of enemies attack at once and everything you do just adds to the confusion.
Right off the bat in the first scene you fight three waves of smaller enemies and then have this massive almost Balrog looking boss fight where you have to hit him in the arm numerous times to defeat him. I have no idea other than to shake things up why they have this fight right at the beginning but it makes no sense for someone who is new to the game to have such a difficult fight right at the start.
There is no lead in for beginner gamers and this would frustrate me if I purchased the game and had little experience with it as a new player. Other than the difficulties with this game style they also have very little or no hints during gameplay about where to go much less how to get there.
Often during gameplay your character will not be able to turn around well or see the whole map so you have to hunt and search for where youíre supposed to go next. This searching does not lead to an easy way to get through levels; it just makes things more frustrating.
A few times you have hints by the camera zooming in and showing you something that involves the next step to moving on but often the camera shows something in other rooms. When you get to that other room things do not look the same because you canít move your little dragon or the camera in the same way as the hint did.
There are other annoyances like a low flight ceiling in some areas when others you can fly to the ceiling as well as the camera moving on its own. Several times when performing a jump or move the camera would rotate to a new position but your already part way through the move you were performing and the camera moving changes things in mid leap.
The gameplay would have been great with the individual play but the camera has some serious problems, in the PS3 version I noticed a change from one level to the next with how much the camera rotates, itís the same here. Just about everything is the same with lack of hints, cameras problems and just not enough serious fun for enjoyable platforming or adventuring.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon may have seen its better days but this game has about as much appeal as playing some of those older games from days gone by. With such a lack of creativity and new gameplay the game does not make for much fun and the PlayStation 2 version is no different than the PS3 version.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon may be a game better of renting than purchasing if you just have to play it.