Spyro: Year of the Dragon
Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a platform game, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation video game console. It is the last title in the trilogy of Spyro games for the Playstation. 150 magical dragon eggs are stolen from the land of the dragons by an evil sorceress. Spyro must travel through 30 different worlds while gathering gems and eggs. Spyro: Year of the Dragon also includes new playable characters and mini games.
The gameplay in Spyro: Year of the Dragon should be familiar to any fan of the series. You explore 3D worlds, defeat variety of enemies, complete some puzzles, and collect eggs and gems. Spyro’s familiar abilities like jumping, flaming, gliding, swimming, and charging are back. New to the game are “Powerup Gates”, which gives Spyro special abilities for a limited period. You can gain power up abilities at power-up towers. Some of them are Icy Breath, Invincibility, SuperFly, and SuperFlame. They’re all pretty fun to use and if you need to recharge a power up, all you need to do is return to the tower.
The mini games in Spyro: Year of the Dragon are some of the funnest ones yet in the trilogy. A few of the mini-games that you can play are skateboarding, boxing, hockey, and hovercraft driving. There’s a great variety of them and they could very much act as stand alone titles compared to today’s mini games.
Spyro: Year of the Dragon introduces some new playable characters. First up is Sheila the Kangaroo. She can jump really high, stay afloat for a while, and kick/stomp enemies. The level designs for Shelia feature vertical platforms to take advantage of her abilities. Up next is Sergeant Byrd. He’s a flying penguin equipped with a rocket launcher. You won’t see this guy in Happy Feet! He can fly, shoot rockets, and drop bombs. Bentley the Yeti will knock enemies out with an ice club. This Yeti likes to smash everything in his path. The last playable character is the monkey Agent 9. There’s no monkeying around with this primate! He has a blaster that can fire at enemies and a sniper mode to fire at long distance.
The graphics are stunning for a Playstation One game. The levels are vast and imaginative. Spyro and all of the other characters’ polygons are smooth looking and detailed and there’s almost no slowdown in the game. There’s a vast array of environments including the usual piranha infested swamp. My favorites were the underwater, ice, jungle, and lava levels, okay practically every level.
Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a successful end to a great trilogy on the Playstation. For fans of the series, you know what you’re getting. The game still features great graphics, variety of gameplay, control, and personality. Even though Spyro: Year of the Dragon is the third in the series, the game still offers a lot of variety. There are new gameplay elements, characters, and mini-games. All of this put together make for the best Spyro game on the PSX. If you love platforming games, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Spyro: Year of the Dragon is available on the Playstation Network for $5.99.
Pros: Gameplay, Environments, Replay Value