The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Review
- Posted November 11th, 2008 at 11:42 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Combat can be fun, but ultimately poor controls prevent it from being a decent end to the doe-eyed dragon's last game in the trilogy.
- Impressive audio, voice acting, and soundtrack
- Fun to use elemental abilities
- Some good moments in co-op
- Awful control scheme
- Free Flight mode poorly implemented
- Poor A.I.
(continued from previous page) ...game does have to offer.
The main highlight of Dawn of the Dragon is the combat. There’s a heavy focus on it in this final game in the trilogy, with plenty of sections where you’re locked into an area until you’ve defeated a wave of re-spawning enemies.
If you’re playing alone you can switch between the two dragons and take advantage of their abilities and also collect experience gems so that you can upgrade your powers with attacking moves, such as a snow or electrical storm. Whilst Spyro can breathe fire, ice and electricity, Cynder has wind, poison, fear and shadow as his elemental strengths. Combat is in-depth, but only if you want it to be. You can switch between elemental attacks with the d-pad, grab enemies, block, evade and pound them into the ground with your tail. Alternatively, thanks to some dumb enemy A.I., you can simply mash the ‘X’ button and you’ll still get the job done.
Visually, it’s quite a spectacle and in co-op mode it can be a lot of fun, though unfortunately, when playing solo, the poor A.I. of your teammate means that he’s little help in any of the battles.
Where he’s more helpful, however, is in puzzle solving, where aside from pulling levels and flipping switches, the elemental abilities of the two dragons really comes into play. Using the likes of Spyro’s electricity charge you can open up doorways to reach the next area, or use Cynder’s wind breath to blow a trombone, which, er, opens another doorway. The creative juices had obviously stopped flowing for Spyro’s less-than-triumphant final outing.
With so much effort put into the combat, the production and the explosion of colour that greets you around every corner, it’s a shame that more effort wasn’t put into the control scheme, the smooth flying of the dragons and the incredibly dopey A.I.
The Legend of Spyro Dawn of the Dragon should have been fitting tribute to the end of the series and possibly Spyro himself. Disappointingly, it fails to deliver on many levels.
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