Spyro: A Hero's Tail E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Spyro's back, and this time, he's brought his friends along for his latest adventure.

Currently in development at Eurocom Entertainment, the latest entry in Spyro the Dragon's continuing adventures aims to take the series back to its roots, bringing fans of the franchise more of what they liked and, concordantly, less of what was in the last Spyro game, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. Spyro: A Hero's Tail will feature several familiar, playable characters to choose from, as well as more of the same platforming action the series has been noted for in the past.

In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, it's up to Spyro and company to save their world from a number of "dark gems," which are twisting the once beautiful landscape into a dark and dreary world. As you recover these gems and destroy them, the world itself will morph back to its rightful state right before your eyes, using a unique visual effect that actually looks quite cool. The world that surrounds A Hero's Tail will be significantly larger than in previous games and will also be completely streamed so that there will be no loading times to speak of. The draw distance will be quite far, so you won't really see any sort of pop-up or draw-in as you play. Additionally, the frame rate issues that plagued Enter the Dragonfly have been all but completely cleared up at this point.

The five characters you will have the opportunity to play as in Spyro: A Hero's Tail include Spyro (of course), Sparx, Hunter, Blinky the Mole, and Sgt. Byrd. The characters will have their own unique levels specifically tailored to their abilities. For example, Hunter, the upright-walking cheetah, is far more acrobatic and can climb walls, whereas Sgt. Byrd's levels will have him flying around, dropping bombs, and shooting enemies out of the air. In addition, Sparx will have some of his own minigames, including a rail-shooter level where you will shoot nasty bugs as you race along. The game will feature 20-plus levels in all.

Spyro: A Hero's Tail will be released on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox this November. We'll have more on the game in the coming weeks.

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