Drago n’s Age

From young drag­onling to ag­ing plat­form mas­cot, Spyro’s lived a long life...

Retro Gamer - - ULTIMATE GUIDE: SPYRO THE DRAGON -

SPYRO 2: GATE­WAY TO GLIM­MER/RIPTO’S RAGE

Rid­ing on the suc­cess of the orig­i­nal meant In­som­niac had cause to pol­ish the weaker as­pects with this 1999 se­quel. The over­all de­sign re­mained mostly the same, but with a greater em­pha­sis on story and char­ac­ters that was ad­mit­tedly lack­ing in the pre­vi­ous game.

SPYRO: EN­TER THE DRAG­ON­FLY

2002 also saw the re­lease of the first con­sole Spyro not re­stricted to a Sony plat­form. Re­leased on Game­cube and PS2, Check Six Stu­dios and Equinox Dig­i­tal were pres­sured to re­lease a game in time for Christ­mas, and the move to new tech meant it suf­fered from a lot of flaws.

SPYRO: SHADOW LEGACY

De­spite re­leas­ing only on Nin­tendo DS in 2005, this game takes place af­ter the events of A Hero’s Tail. De­vel­oper Amaze En­ter­tain­ment lev­er­aged the touch­screen ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the DS hand­held by em­pow­er­ing Spyro with spells, which were ac­ti­vated by draw­ing the nec­es­sary sym­bol on the con­sole’s bot­tom screen.

SPYRO: YEAR OF THE DRAGON

The third and fi­nal of the orig­i­nal Plays­ta­tion tril­ogy re­leased in 2000 was also In­som­niac’s last of the fran­chise be­fore the stu­dio moved on to new projects. It brought with it a heap of new me­chan­ics, key among them be­ing the abil­ity to play as dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters.

SPYRO: AT­TACK OF THE RHYNOCS

This was the third of the GBA tril­ogy, re­leas­ing in 2003, and again de­vel­oped by Dig­i­tal Ec­plise. It fol­lowed the same tem­plate as the orig­i­nal two GBA games with the same iso­met­ric view­point, but it was the last Spyro game to be re­leased un­der the Uni­ver­sal brand.

THE LEG­END OF SPYRO: A NEW BE­GIN­NING

This 2006 en­try was the start of a sup­posed re­boot – a new tril­ogy for the fran­chise with Krome En­ter­tain­ment at the helm. This was more com­bat-ori­ented than any other game in the se­ries and fea­tured Gary Old­man and Eli­jah Wood as voice ac­tors.

SPYRO: SEA­SON OF ICE

With the suc­cess of a Spyro tril­ogy firmly es­tab­lished on home con­soles, Uni­ver­sal saw fit to push the teen dragon a lit­tle fur­ther, hand­ing the reins to new se­ries de­vel­oper Dig­i­tal Eclipse and tran­si­tion­ing the se­ries over to a hand­held sys­tem for the first time. Sea­son Of Ice re­leased in 2001 on the Game Boy Ad­vance.

SPYRO ORANGE: THE CORTEX CON­SPIR­ACY

Crash Bandi­coot and Spyro had en­joyed a friendly ri­valry – Naughty Dog and In­som­niac would play each other’s games. This cul­mi­nated in an­other GBA Spyro game, a cross­over ti­tle re­leased in 2004 that fea­tured Crash’s neme­sis Neo Cortex as the main an­tag­o­nist for Spyro.

THE LEG­END OF SPYRO: THE ETER­NAL NIGHT

Fu­tu­rama’s Billy West re­placed David Spade as the voice of Sparx, but it was oth­er­wise busi­ness as usual for the sec­ond part of Krome’s new tril­ogy. In­ter­est­ingly, the GBA game (by Amaze En­ter­tain­ment) is a stand­alone 2D ad­ven­ture with Metroid in­flu­ences and a solid com­bat engine.

SPYRO 2: SEA­SON OF FLAME

Fol­low­ing up in 2002 was the ob­vi­ously-ti­tled GBA se­quel, Sea­son Of Flame. The game lev­er­aged the same iso­met­ric view­point and was crit­i­cally well re­ceived. Though it didn’t sell quite as well as its pre­de­ces­sor, the two were fairly pop­u­lar – sell­ing a com­bined 1.5 mil­lion copies.

SPYRO: A HERO’S TAIL

De­vel­oper Euro­com – which had al­ready de­vel­oped PS2 and Game­cube games for Crash Bandi­coot – was brought on board with this

2004 re­lease. It lev­er­aged the open world na­ture of the se­ries by adding in slight Metroid-like pro­gres­sion, re­quir­ing back­track­ing in a man­ner far be­yond the hunt­ing for hid­den gems.

THE LEG­END OF SPYRO: DAWN OF THE DRAGON

Though the new tril­ogy of­fered a sense of growth to Spyro as a char­ac­ter – here he was a teenager – none of this im­proved the qual­ity of the game. De­spite this clever con­cept of hav­ing Spyro grow through­out the three games, the re­cep­tion of these ti­tles saw the end of the core Spyro games.

» [Plays­ta­tion] Some stages al­lowed Spyro to take flight. They were fun dis­trac­tions, and com­pelling to gamers look­ing to 100% the game.

» [Plays­ta­tion] While the orig­i­nal didn’t put as much em­pha­sis on story, you still got a sense of the young, cheeky Spyro.

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