Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon

spyro 3 year of the dragon box art ps1
8.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 8/10

A solid end to the trilogy

Still not a fan of racing missions

Game Info

Game Name: Spyro 3:  Year of the Dragon

Developer(s): Insomniac Games

Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform(s): PlayStation/PS4/Switch/Xbox One

Genre(s): Platformer/Action/Adventure/Retro Gaming

Release Date(s): Original—October 24, 2000/Reignited—November 13, 2018

ESRB Rating: E

I’ve often said I really want more skateboarding and racing levels

It is the Year of the Dragon, and Spyro and his friends are celebrating. Unfortunately, the new eggs being delivered to his land have been intercepted by Bianca who is working for the evil Sorceress. With the future of all dragons threatened, Spyro and his friend Sparx must travel the land to retrieve the eggs and stop the Sorceress. Spyro and Sparx discover that they aren’t alone in their quest to stop the Sorceress with Hunter, Sheila the Kangaroo, Bentley the Yeti, Agent 9 the Monkey, and Sergeant Byrd the Penguin helping them along the way.

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon (or sometimes just Spyro: Year of the Dragon) was a PlayStation exclusive platformer adventure video game developed by Insomniac Games in 2000. Following Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! in 1999, the game was released to positive reviews. A remastered version of the game was released in 2018 in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy which was released on multiple platforms.

spyro 3 year of the dragon sparx level boss graphics gameplay screenshots reignited

Kind of enjoy the Sparx levels

Not having a PlayStation, Spyro was one of the games of the system that I most coveted. The game seemed completely in my wheelhouse as a fan of Mario, and I finally got to play the series through with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy…and the games held up throughout the decades.

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon really mastered the experience of Spyro, but it was a cumulative effect. While all the games are solid, it felt like this entry had the most variety and quite a bit of fun side missions and gameplay that helped create enough variety that if you played Spyro, Spyro 2, and Spyro 3 in order and one after the other, it didn’t feel like you are just rehashing the previous video games.

The gameplay and story are pretty much the same so if you mastered other Spyro games, this game falls easily in play. I still dislike races and “speed” gaming and there are a few levels that are challenging as a result. The new characters are fun, but they are probably a bit underused. I always wish that you could explore with some of the “special” characters in an open world format (but especially when Spyro was originally released, that wasn’t quite possible).  I do kind of like the top-down Sparx levels that play like Smash TV or Commando.

spyro 3 year of the dragon final boss gameplay tank graphics reignited

Still not sure why a firebreathing dragon needs a tank…

The graphics of the game were an improvement over the original Spyro on the PlayStation version, but the Spyro the Dragon of Reignited is perfect throughout. The worlds are lush, the character designs are great, and even the voice acting is fun and builds the story. Due to the remastering of the games, the games flow together even better so the minimal improvements between Spyro and Spyro: Year of the Dragon aren’t as noticeable.

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon is a great game by itself, but with the combination of the original two games, Spyro 3 is made even better. The ending of the game was a bit easier than previous entries and the bosses weren’t as frustrating as Spyro 2. The series “concluded” with this volume (which feels a bit odd since there really is no conclusion) and Spyro made his GameBoy Advanced premiere in Spyro: Season of Ice (2001) and Spyro: Season of Flame (2002) before appearing on the next generation of systems with Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly in 2002.

Related Links:

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!

The Legend of Spyro:  Dawn of the Dragon

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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