Spyro yet again fails to impress, and produces a game that could have been amazing.
Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon basically picks right up from where Spyro: The Eternal Night left off. So that basically means those of you haven't played any of the other two games in the series, you won't have any idea what's happening. From the previous game we know that Spyro has just defeated the Ape King Gaul and the whole area around them is now collapsing. So, for protection, Spyro forms this big huge crystal around Sparx, Cynder and himself as everything crumbles around him. So the story then picks up two years later after the events with Gaul. The whole world is basically looking for them good or bad. Without revealing too much to those of you planning on getting this, eventually some bad guys find them and release them just when a good guy has found Spyro and his friends. The story continues from there on your quest to defeat the Dark Master. Surprisingly the story can actually be quite involving at times. The game almost treats itself like a movie (which is possibly why there is a movie coming out for the games, if you didn't know that). The ending isn't all that great though and is quite predictable, which will likely bring disappointment to many.
Like a lot of games coming out lately for the PS3, the graphics are also amazing. The graphics take on more of a cartoonish look with everything looking vibrant, bright, and beautiful. The backgrounds are just totally beautiful with vibrant green trees, to the shiny flowers growing, to the bright green grass. Spyro and Cynder look great too. They're polished colorfully and all around produced vibrantly and beautifully. Cynder's frame was made great too to try and show you that she is a female, while Spyro stays looking strong and masculine. Your enemies don't fall short either and look brilliant and amazing. Everything looks so lively, shiny, and sparkly you almost feel like it was overdone at some parts of the game. The lighting is astonishing and is pretty much perfect. Shadows could use a little bit of help though, but are still good. Other than that though, the game is pretty much beautiful.
Sound is fantastic and is practically right up there with the graphics. You'll be hearing the awesome might of fire from Spyro, the whimpering of your enemies, the thud as you throw them around, and huge explosions. The music is just simply amazing, wherever you are it always seems to fit perfectly and it's always very dramatic. In a big fight the music gets deep, intense, and dramatic, but as you walk through a forest on a nice peaceful night it's calm, quiet, and enchanting. I would imagine that the soundtrack is pretty good too. The voice acting is simply remarkable, and is near perfect, with a star cast. Everyone does a wonderful job with their character, especially Elijah Wood, who plays Spyro, and Gary Oldman, who plays Ignitus. The Dark Master's voice is horrible though. It goes through a ton of voice changing machines to make him sound wicked evil, but it sounds like there are two voices going and you barely understand what the heck he's saying.
Dawn of the Dragon isn't all great though. Combat can actually be quite boring. You'll basically be using two types of attacks the whole game, a weak attack and a strong attack. Weak attacks are quick but not that strong while strong attacks are strong but kind of slow. A weak attack could be something like clawing your enemy, while a strong attack could be something like throwing your foes into the air with your horns. While this sounds cool and everything, it actually gets quite boring, quite fast. There are other things you can do too, like dodge attacks from you opponents, or grab them in your mouth and throw them around, as long as their small enough. However, it gets dull, quite monotonous and unexciting. It eventually turns into quite a button-mash and most of the enemies are a piece of cake. All you got to do is press the same two buttons, the buttons for weak attack and strong attack, over and over again. All the enemies seem to have way more health than you would think they have too. Towards the end of the game it get even worse, some of your adversaries take forever to eliminate and feel like a boss fight when actually they just have a health bar three times as big as they probably should. This can really start to piss you off especially when you have to sit there pressing the same two buttons, and fighting the same enemy for like five minutes.
Although some parts of combat can be kind of cool. Unlike the other games you get to play with Spyro as well as Cynder. But it still doesn't make the combat all that fun. The other character controlled by the computer isn't even that much of a big help at all. Sometimes the computer controlled player gets stuck or just stops fighting for some reason. It also never uses its breath attacks when fighting. It's never too much of a help which is really too bad. It can be interesting if you can find a friend (which I doubt will happen because of how not well the game is) and take advantage of the game's two player co-op.
Both Spyro and Cynder have their own unique breath attacks as well. Like the past two games Spyro has fire, ice, earth and lightning, while Cynder has poison, shadow, wind, and fear. These can be fun to play around with and adds a little to the battle aspect, but even this isn't enough to keep you interested for the whole game. As you move throughout the game you'll get some experience gems from enemies and breaking old jars here and there to upgrade your breaths. This can add some satisfaction in the game, although it still doesn't feel like, or seem like enough.
Boss battles are set up badly too. You would expect the boss battles to be massive and difficult especially with how dramatic this game is, but that would be wrong. The bosses are set up to be this gigantic, challenging, and grueling battle, when in reality they're actually quite simple. The boss attacks are just too obvious and you end up knowing exactly when to strike and when to not within less than a minute of starting the fight. Even the final boss fight isn't that hard.
Dawn of the Dragon also introduces the brand new idea that the dragons can fly seeing that their older and their wings are more developed. You would think this would create so much freedom to fly everywhere you want whenever you want, but that would be wrong again. There are restrictions on the flying. Like for example there always seems to be a limit on how high you can fly. Now I would imagine there would be a limit, but way up in the sky so you don't fly into space or maybe the ceiling if you're in a building or a temple, but that would be wrong too. When the game wants you to climb up the side of a pillar it makes it so that you can't fly that high. Or maybe if there's a special collectible on this big plateau, it just says nope, you have to find another way up. It's just seems extremely unrealistic and it bothers you from start to finish. There are so many restrictions they might as well have never put in the option of flying.
A lot of the time you have no idea what you're supposed to do, where you're supposed to go, or how you're supposed to do it. There's very little guidance throughout the entire game. I remember a couple hours into the beginning of the game I was in this forest, and I was searching around where to go next for about forty minutes. And then when I found where to go, I missed a small description of what to do and there was no way to go back and look at what it said. Eventually I had to look on the internet and that took me about an hour to finally figure out what to do. Overall throughout the entire game, I probably wasted about three and half hours or more looking for where to go next and what to do next.
The camera is pretty much horrendous. A lot of the time you can barely move it and you really want to change it or move it. There is very little freedom on how you can move it and it often blocks the collectibles in the game, which is basically a cheap way of hiding them. If you go through some kind of a small enclosed area, the camera can sometimes go really weird. It's basically another one of those things in the game that will bug you from start to finish.
There's quite a bit of collectibles to get throughout the game as well. There are special blue gem clusters that give you more experience, and there are also extra large red gems and green gems. The extra large red gems add to the maximum amount of health you can have and the green ones add to the maximum amount of breath energy you can have. There are also armor pieces lying around in treasure chests, which are actually pretty cool because they add some useful abilities. You will also find elite enemies out there, which are basically extremely overpowered enemies with way too much health.
After you beat the game, defeat the final boss and watch the ending that will probably be the end of it for you. You'll be so glad to finally finish the game that you won't even want to go back and get those collectibles that you missed earlier in the game. And besides the only thing you get if you do collect everything is some concept art, which has never been anything too exciting. After you decide to move on to another game and decide that you're done with this one, there will probably never be any desire for you to come back and play this game. It's just not interesting enough.
Overall Spyro really tries to put out a good game for once, but yet again fails. Basically, Spyro Dawn of the Dragon is like one step forward and two steps back. It presented everything great, and had all the ideas and pieces to be a great game, but in the end it just wasn't put together correctly. The only real reason to get this final game in the trilogy is if you've already made the long journey throughout the other two games, or if you're a long time fan of Spyro. If you don't apply to either one of those just simply do not buy it. Dawn of the Dragon really tries and presents itself to be an amazing epic game but it just isn't enough. The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon claims the spot as the worst game in the trilogy.
Replay Value: 4.9/10.0
Overall Rating: 5.8/10.0