The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning PlayStation 2
Published by Vivendi
Developed by Krome Studios
Release Date: Out Now
While there have been many Spyro games over the years this is actually the first one we’ve played. Fortunately it explains everything from the very beginning. The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning tells of how an evil black dragon by the name of Cynder and his Dark Armies brought terror to the land. Cynder knew of the prophecy that told of a saviour being born. This saviour was to be a purple dragon. Cynder sought for this dragon’s egg and sought to destroy it. He almost succeeded but one of the egg’s guardians managed to place the special egg into a basket and placed it on a stream. The purple egg was found by a family of dragonflies and they bought up the hatchling as their own. They also named him Spyro. Spyro thought the dragonfly family were his true parents until one day whilst he was with Sparx, his brother dragonfly, found himself in danger and in a fit of rage Spyro breathes fire at his enemies in order to protect Sparx. When the dragonfly parents were questioned about this new found ability, they reveal to Spyro that he’s not their real child. Naturally Spyro wants to set off and find his real parents and Sparx chooses to join him in his quest.
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is an action platform game that is mainly aimed at a younger audience. The story is actually fairly OK and I’m sure Spyro fans will appreciate being able to find out how their purple hero came into being. The platform elements are not too tricky either. What may be disappointing is that there aren’t enough platform game elements here. There is a very big emphasis on combat and this is going to be something that will probably irritate those who were looking for a platform game. In fairness the combat is never difficult. Spyro has a range of elemental attacks and he can also bash his enemies. Surprisingly the bash attack is actually pretty effective and it’s fairly straightforward to use your elemental attack to stun your enemies and then bash away at them to finish them off. This is actually a shame as you’re never encouraged to learn the various attack combos or make good use of the different elemental attacks. Of course it does make it easier for younger gamers to battle away.
Graphically The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning looks quite good. The developers have kept the look of the game quite simplistic and colourful, no doubt to appeal to younger players, and it’s a look that suits the game quite nicely. The animations in the game are quite good too although you won't see anything technically brilliant here. The camera is generally well behaved. The level design is rudimentary and none of the levels particularly feel memorable. Most of the load times in the game are quite respectable with a couple being slightly on the long side. However there are no problems with the frame rate and it’s pretty smooth throughout the game.
Young deaf gamers will be pleased to learn the game does offer subtitles. They are disabled by default though. All of the important dialogue in the game is subtitled so you’ll be able to follow the story without any problems. The subtitles aren’t colour-coded and they don’t have any character names or portraits next to the text, which is a little disappointing. During the combat there are some occasional comments from Sparx or Spyro and these aren’t subtitled. It’s not really a problem though and won’t prevent anyone from enjoying the game.
To sum up then The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is actually a pretty good action platform game for younger players. It’s not going to appeal to older gamers unless you’re a loyal Spyro fan. The reason for this is that it’s a little on the easy side and the game has really been targeted at younger gamers. The amount of combat in the game might be a disappointment for some. At times it does feel like a button basher and that is slightly worrying when you consider younger gamers will be playing the game. Those looking for a fair amount of platform game elements might also be a little disappointed with how little there is of this side of the game.
All things considered The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is a fairly enjoyable action platform games that younger gamers should enjoy. It does contain a little too much combat and not enough platform game elements though. The level design could have been better.