Spyro fans frightened off by Enter the Dragonfly are
sure to be appeased with this latest adventure Spyro:
A Hero's Tail. Although it's a standard platformer,
it's got all the bells and whistles you have come
to expect from other top-shelf platform games while
remaining true to the Dragon Realm universe.
about everything that we complained about in the last
game has been addressed. This is one great platformer.
It doesn't take the genre to new heights but instead
incorporates virtually all of the best elements of
other classic platformers. Not only does Spyro have
new moves, but you can play as four other characters,
each with different abilities. This gives you unprecedented
variety for a Spyro game. Not to mention that the
controls have been tightened to make your adventure
the best it can be.
to Red, the Dragon Realm is in trouble again. He plans
to gain control of the domain by planting evil Dark
Gems throughout the land. These gems turn the beautiful
and peaceful areas of the realm into dark and dangerous
wastelands filled with evil creatures of all description.
Spyro and his four companions trek through the realm
in search of these gems which they must destroy to
reclaim their territory.
basic moves include running, jumping, double jumping,
gliding and dashing into enemies. New moves include
the tail swing which allows him to use his tail like
a lasso. Spyro can also bounce between relatively
close walls to rebound his way to the top. Since the
controls are tighter, you can maneuver him much more
easily this time, avoiding attacks and landing more
securely on platforms. As an added bonus, a cliff
hanging feature will ensure that you don't miss the
platform by a hair if you can't quite perfect your
game has been made a little bit easier but it's not
dumbed down. It's still challenging but the frustration
level has been severely diminished. The AI will put
up a decent fight but you can still eliminate most
of them with a fire breath. Armored enemies (Gnorcs),
have to be rammed first to break through their armor
before you can finish them off with a blast of breath.
doesn't just breathe fire, he's capable of a lot more
than that. Different breath attacks can be purchased
at Mr. Moneybags' shop. Aside from the standard fire,
ice and electricity, Spyro can breath water and spew
puke to vanquish enemies. Okay, so I made the puke
breath up - save that for Leisure Suit Larry.
on the lookout for the Dark Gems, there are various
Easter eggs and dragon eggs to keep an eye out for.
There are plenty of surprises in the eggs and it creates
a wave of excitement when you spot one. It's really
round out the platform experience, four other playable
characters bring a new dimension to the Spyro universe.
As Hunter the Cheetah you will use a bow and arrow
to take enemies out from a distance. He's also a capable
hand-to-hand fighter with punch and kicks moves. Sparx
is a tiny dragonfly that can access small areas the
other guys can't get into. Blink the Mole can climb
and burrow, planting explosives or using his laser
weapon to take care of enemies. Sargent Bird is a
flying penguin (we all know that penguins can't fly
- don't we?) that can drop bombs and missiles from
the air. All of the new characters handle as well
as if each were the star of the game.
the environments change back from the effects of the
Dark Gems is truly spellbinding. Both dark and beautiful
environments have a fairly-tale-come-to-life quality
to them. Everything is colorful and well animated.
The soundtrack is also great with heavily orchestrated
themes that add significant weight to the mood. The
voiceovers are good but some of the characterizations
seem a little forced.
has branched out to share the spotlight with new characters.
It's a concept that works well within the context
of the story and certainly adds lot of variety to
an already solid platformer. It's short on replay
value but it will still take you 20 some hours to
get through it.