A beautiful conclusion to an underrated game series.

User Rating: 8 | The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon PS2
The Legend of Spyro is underrated. All three games in the series are unfairly hated. The third and final installment, Dawn of the Dragon, is no exception. But I think it's wonderful. The game revamps it's gameplay enough to make it feel different than the past two. The game is extremely atmospheric and genuinely beautiful in parts.

Malefor's forces have been out and the world has been at war since the Night of Eternal Darkness. Spyro and Cynder return to the world as this is happening, chained together by some magical force. They have to go off on a mission to prevent the end of the world. If you haven't played the other two yet, you won't understand certain parts of the story.

The gameplay has been revamped. For one thing, the levels don't just involve getting to the end. You have to explore the areas and complete little puzzles and find objects and bring them into place too in addition to trying to get the end. You can now fly around, which is pretty fun, but you can only fly at certain altitudes, so you can't explore from very high. But one downfall is that the game never explains what you have to do, you just have to sort of go and figure it out. The Valley of Avalar is hard to figure out as you are never directly told where to go or what to do. It's all very vague.

You get to play as Spyro and Cynder and can switch out on the fly. This is great because the AI controlled character can't take damage, so you can switch out in the heat of a battle if your health for one character is low. Combat has been revamped too. You now have a standrd melee attack, strong attack and grab action. You can mix and match these to get different combos. The elemental abilities return too. Spyro has control over fire, ice, electricity and earth, whereas Cynder has control over poison, shadow, wind and fear. You can upgrade these abilities to get new attacks. Powers include a flamethrower, electric spark, tornado, poison slam strike and ice spears. The new combat took me a while to adjust to, but it does work really well. It is both challenging and satisfying.

There are platform sections where you have to carry orbs and place them on pressure plates. And there are vines which you can use your other player character to swing off and you can leap from vine to vine and even run along certain walls.

The graphics are beautiful and some of the best the PS2 has to offer. There are some moments of slow down though, and for some reason the proper CG cutscenes look really low quality and choppy.

The music is great. It creates atmosphere and suits the epic struggle so well. In addition to the fantastic new tunes, the odd few were recycled from the last two games, which is pretty nice.

From technical stand poitns, the camera isn't particularly good as you don't have much freedom with it when you want to see your surroundings and I feel the flight controlls are a little off. But these are only technical aspect nitpicks

The slightly revamped gameplay of The Legend of Spyro (3) Dawn of The Dragon is really fun to play and the game is entertaining and offers a fair challenge throughout. The story is beautifully executed and the soundtrack is phenomenal. Dawn of the Dragon is a great game and a beautiful conclusion to an underratted series

Milesprower2k9 original reviews