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Spyro the Dragon: Attack of the Rhynocs Review

Developer: Digital Eclipse Publisher: Universal Interactive
Release Date: October 28, 2003 Also On: None

The transition for many titles from console to handheld is a bumpy one at best. Spyro hasn’t had that bad of a time on handhelds, but the third Spyro on the GBA proves not as entertaining as the original PlayStation games. Last year’s Enter the Dragonfly for consoles didn’t go too well, so Spyro fans everywhere can count on the trusty ol’ GBA for a good Spyro fix.

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Digital Eclipse tried to make Attack of the Rhynocs more of an adventure than action game, while mixing new elements not seen in the Spyro universe. The result is a fairly familiar experience, but one with more game play variety and length.

Attack of the Rhynocs takes place in a large semi-3D isometric world. The game requires players to travel to different worlds and collect gems, hidden within smashable jars and dropped by enemies, along with specific items hidden in each area. Spyro must travel to each location in order to find hearts. However, the character that has the heart in each location isn’t willing to give it up, that is, unless you collect the items that each particular character wants.

Each of the different locations have their own challenges and items that are available can be found in the journal. Whether you collect these items by platform hopping or by finding a key to open a chest which has the item inside, there is still nothing but a collection aspect to it. You see, Attack of the Rhynocs is what I like to call a “hunt and find� game.

In total, there are 14 lands introduced to players, which include levels that are playable for Spyro, Sgt. Byrd, and Agent 9. Players are not penalized for dying, since there is no death in Attack of the Rhynocs. What I mean by “no death� is that if Spyro falls off a ledge or takes too many hits, the game sends him back to the last map exit. This proves to not make the game much easier, since each world is large and has a large variety of challenges. With the “no death� aspect, Attack of the Rhynocs encourages players to take more chances, which they might not have taken otherwise. Seeing as though his glide can only work for short distances, it happens to be a good thing that you aren’t penalized for dying.

Two side levels in Attack of the Rhynocs are that of Sgt. Byrd and Agent 9. In Sgt. Byrd, players fly around the side-scrolling level, rescuing lost party members and carrying them off to safety. The second side level is Agent 9, in a side-scrolling “stealth� game. Think of Agent 9 as a mix of monkey, Luigi, and Sam Fisher. As Agent 9, you must sneak up on enemies and suck them up before they catch you and holler. Using a grappling hook of sorts, you will swing from one platform to another, while staying out of view and not falling into spikes that can be found below.

The change from action to adventure was a mixed bag in this latest Spyro game. The collect-a-thon aspect is far too simple and overextended, which makes the game artificially longer than it should be.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide