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An Eggcellent Adventure...
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About the Game
Minor Character Spoilers
Character
Dragon Eggs.
I have played a lot of the original Spyro the Dragon. One of the first platformers I ever played, it’s still one of my favourites. But when I came to explore the second game in the series, Gateway to Glimmer, I was left slightly disappointed. I didn’t dislike it, I just thought it was a step backwards.

So I was unsure going into Year of the Dragon. Will I like it as much as the original? Will I like it more or less than Spyro: Gateway to Glimmer? Well since that game doesn’t have a tribute page and this game does, I’ve probably already answered that question. But how does it compare to Spyro the Dragon? That’s the question that still needs answering…
Quote There is one thing that Insomniac Games is really good at. (Well they know how to make awesome games but stay with me) They know how to keep the formula of a series fresh, improve it so it is an improvement over the previous title, and keep the gameplay fun. Like the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Spyro: Year of the Dragon does have new and upgraded features, but does not stray too far away from the original formula. It's still Spyro you know and love and I quite that. Sometimes straying too far from what made you like a series in the first place (like the Legend of Spyro series) takes that away from you.

The old phrase "if ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind. The third game kept everything that worked, including a good story, a classic villain, great levels, the classic Spyro gameplay, a fantastic soundtrack and some wacky enemies. Most levels are now bigger and take longer to complete, and has areas you can't complete on your first visit, so it's a bigger game than it's predecessors’.
[Spyro 3]Rhynoc with Farmers Hat: "Look out behind you! Spyro is charging straight at you!
Rhynoc with way too long teeth: "Yea right, just like the other hundreds of times you said that? What do you think I am - an idiot?"
Spyro is a smart dragon. Unlike some characters, he doesn’t have to relearn skills he hasn’t already learned. He can still super-charge, use powerups, swim, climb Ladders and Headbash. Egg thieves, locked chests, Speedways (with fun Hunter side quests) also make a comeback, along with the movement of Spyro being the most fluid it’s been. But I did mention new features before didn’t I? Well let’s talk about them.

Spyro's first two games have just him as the sole playable character. In Spyro: Year of the dragon, you can now play as seven characters. Each is very different to compared to Spyro. Sheila the kangaroo has amazing jumping skills. Sgt. Byrd has the power of flight and comes equipped with rocket launchers. Bentley the Yeti has dumbfounding strength. Agent 9 has blasters which he uses on anyone who gets in his way (providing your a Rhynoc).

There's also a character called Sparx the dragonfly. (Who you may of heard of...) Yes Sparx is finally playable! He has unique levels which play in 2D top-down perspective, a nod to the games of old. Each of these new playable characters have their own levels, and also in certain areas within the Spyro levels. Spyro: Year of the Dragon caters for both types of players: for those who like to play as Spyro (like the first game) and for those having lots of heroes to play as (like Skylanders).

It isn’t just Spyro’s new friends that’s new in the third Spyro game. There are new vehicles, challenges and worlds to explore. Probably the most different is skateboarding. Yes, Spyro skate boards! (Probably due to the success of the Tony Hawk series) There are a few skateboarding arenas and challenges to grind and trick in and with the skateboarding mechanics working great, it's a great change – it’s one of my favourite “vehicles” that Spyro uses throughout his adventures. Other vehicles being a speedboat, a sub and seeds which sprout bouncy mushrooms. I didn’t make that last one up...


Closing Thoughts
Classic Classic
Some might say that this was the Spyro at his peak and the last great Spyro game. (I do like Skylanders series, but that's another debate entirely) What we can agree on is that Spyro: Year of the Dragon has stood the test of time. I would recommend this game in a heartbeat. With more fun gameplay, new playable characters, nice locations to explore and a catchy soundtrack, it’s a great way to round off the trilogy.

My One Big Highlight
Spiderman This one was a no-brainer – Fireworks Factory. One of my favourite video game levels of all time, this level has it all. Great level design, the return of some old friends, an excellent dragon vs dragon battle and kiss-a** music!
Elephant In the Room
elephantSpyro 3 has a similar “problem” to Crash Warped. The new playable characters have numerous levels which have gameplay that’s very different to the pure Spyro gameplay from the original games. This wouldn’t be a problem normally, except from the fact that I find some of new gameplay isn’t as fun. Bentley anyone?