A thoroughly enjoyable experience from beginning to end.

User Rating: 8.5 | The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon WII
I like dragons, and I LOVE flying. All the time, I dream about it, wake up, and then lament about my lack of wings. Ever since I played the first Spyro game, I longed to see that little purple dragon take to the skies. At the back of the booklet was a picture of Spyro all grown up, just like the dragons he'd freed. I thought maybe he would attain this stature later on in the game, but not even by the third game in the trilogy, Year of the Dragon, did he change even one bit. I lost hope.

So imagine my excitement when Dawn of the Dragon comes out! And it was all I hoped it would be. Although the flying mechanics in this game are limited, I can't help but feel that the sheer beauty of the exercise more than makes up for that.

The only thing I felt really hampered the whole thing were the controls. These were not intuitive at all. The button to fly forward was also the button to fly upward. Could this not have been avoided by simply making the A button control the dragons' height? I found the flight controls extremely awkward at times, but not unbearable, and it didn't ruin my experience, but if it were me on that team, you can bet flying would have been much more, erm... logical.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the battles as well. They've been called nothing but repetitive and boring by critics, but I suppose I would say that they are as repetitive and boring as you want to make them. For instance, I have made a fun challenge out of the grublin flies by seeing how many of them I can grab in the air without landing back on the ground. It is an effective way of dispatching them.

The battles are challenging as well, but maybe I can say that with a smile because I had plenty of armor to back me up. I wouldn't have beaten Malefor in the end without Cynder's fury breath, but there were no mana crystals around, either, so I needed to bide my time and alternate between regenerating arm braces until I had enough to use it.

Which reminds me: the motion dodging is a very nice touch. The dragons can be painfully slow, both on foot and in the air. It becomes necessary in certain places to learn how to dodge.

The dodging, the flying, the attacks, the scenery... especially the scenery... everything is so visually pleasing in this installment. After defeating Malefor, I found myself wanting to explore the chapters again, but not only for the goal of completing the game 100/100 (and there is plenty to do here), but simply to fly around in these beautiful places.

I can already tell that this is a game that will have significant replay value for me. However, if you don't much care for the two things I mentioned at the beginning of the review... dragons and flying... then you probably won't be as forgiving as I of these problems:

Control issues: Probably wasn't a good idea to have a move whereby the dragon barrels downward when actually just trying to do a wall run.
Game difficulty: I liked it, but I am an experienced gamer.
Glitches: Infrequent, in my experience, but they are there.