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Spyro: Shadow Legacy Review

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Developer: Amaze Entertainment Publisher: VU Games
Release Date: October 18, 2005 Available On: Nintendo DS

After Attack of the Rhynocs and the unsuccessful Spyro Orange, Vivendi Universal Games is bringing the Spyro franchise to the Nintendo DS for the first time. The result: a flawed combat system mixes with a pseudo-RPG system of experience and new attacks to create a semi-enjoyable game for fans of the series. This time around Spyro finds himself seemingly helpless when his friends leave on vacation and he returns to an abandoned beach where the Elders go missing. Spyro will have to travel back and forth between the light and dark worlds to free the trapped Elders from their captivity. In the game you will switch between the normal world and the Shadow Realm using special portals.

All right, well you are not playing this for the storyline. Unlike most RPGs that have depth to them, this seems quite shallow and indeed you are exposed to very little in terms of a story. You are basically left to killing bad guys and rescuing people. The only real RPG elements even present are the experience. There is no turn-based action here, which means you will kill things in traditional Spyro fashion whipping it, slamming it or burning it. There are also new moves you can learn as well throughout the game from the Elders.

Gone are the isometric viewpoints of the GBA versions of the game, in is a 3D system that almost makes you want to puke from how cute it is. Honestly, this has some of the nicest touches of any game in the graphics department that I have so far seen on the DS. It kind of has this pastel look to it. You will know what I mean if you play it. Certainly the developers went all-out as far as graphics are concerned. If only they could have done the same for the gameplay, this game might have been less boring.

Gameplay consists of nothing more than combat and lame conversations with different dragons in the world. You’ll ram or whip enemies multiple times until they die. Your biggest challenge is beating large numbers of enemies at once and not dying from platform-to-platform. Indeed, you will die more from falling off of ledges accidentally than you will from the enemy AI in this game. The only “creative” element of the game is the dual world system, which isn’t anything new either.

Whether it is the repeated gameplay involved in tedious combat, the lack of any cohesive purpose or storyline, the untimely deaths involved in missed platforms or the unusual lack of depth to gameplay, Spyro Shadow Legacy is a Nintendo DS game that misses the mark by a long shot. The gameplay is unforgiving and remarkably tiresome, so unless you are a diehard fan of the series, I don’t particularly recommend playing or buying this. For everyone else, leave the Shadow Realm alone and play something else on your DS.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 3
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 5
Written by Kyle Review Guide