Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon manages to provide a surprsingly engaging, dramatic conclusion to the franchise.

User Rating: 8.5 | The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon WII
Spyro has been on a steady decline ever since A Hero's Tail was released on the PSONE. The series has recieved solid sales, but those games have either hit the peak of mediorcity or plain awfulness. Has Spyro got it back in Dawn of the Dragon?

Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is both a combination of great news to report, and something I would not expect. Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon manages to provide a surprsingly engaging, dramatic, deeper and more darker conclusion to the Spyro series, as well as having a surprsingly solid gameplay hook that makes the game fun and inspired. The great news to report overall is that Spyro is back, and in fighting shape.

At the beginning of the game, Spyro, Sparx and Cynder wake up in the future. Spyro and Cynder team up whilst they try and stop the evil spirit: Malefor, the Dark Master who is plauging Dragon World with a shrouding darkness. It's up to Spyro and Cynder to save Dragon World. Spyro gains more responsibilty, and gorws up to be a more mature, concerned dragon. What will surprise anybody who plays Dawn of the Dragon is the unexpected level of depth that has gone in the story of Dawn of the Dragon. This storyline of Dawn is both escapist and fancy free as all the Spyro tales have been, but this Spyro story raises the poigant themes and issues of trust, self-confidence, sacrifice and teamwork. The depth of the story in Spyro most of the time does not go unoticed as we see more to Spyro as we never have before. Despite it is momentarily told through some hammy cutscenes, the storys presentation is more than passable, with highly emotive and powerful scriptwork.

The core gameplay of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon contains a variety of different styles. There is free fly mode, where you can fly Spyro freely in any location, and free drop-in drop-out multiplayer mode, and general boss combat. There is surprisingly a lot of variety to experience in Dawn of the Dragon, and ultimately the replay value in Dawn of the Dragon is strong. The flying sequences are the pinnacle of the gameplay's most enjoyable peices. The flying segements are incredibly freeing, and thanks to the sharp sensitivity of the Wii's controls, truly gives you the calming sensibilties of being a dragon. The 2 player co op modes add a lot of dimension to the game, and the enviornments are all incredibly fun to explore with 2 players.

The soundtrack in Dawn of the Dragon is quite simply breathtaking. It's big bracing ochestral score adds a huge cinematic tone towards the game, and ultimately adds atmosphere to the Spyro franchise.

Despite what a great game Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is, there are flaws which do bring this gem down. Graphically, Dawn of the Dragon mostly looks nice, but some character models and articheture designs look blocky. The controls in Dawn of the Dragon most of the time work fine, but the chain attcaks with Spyro and Cynder can be a little fustrating. Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon can get a little repettive on the mission side, but these are generally small complaints.

Overall, Spyro is back and better than ever in Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. Thanks to a highly engaging deep story, replay value and sky high production values, Spyro is back as the dragon we all know and love.