Game Name: The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Developer(s): Étranges Libellules
Publisher(s): Sierra Entertainment
Platform(s): PS3/Xbox 360/Wii/DS
Release Date(s): October 21, 2008
ESRB Rating: E10+
Spyro finds himself bound to Cynder and now find themselves having to work together to survive. As they battle through the land, Cynder and Spyro seek to free themselves and realize that only together they might stop the forces of Malefore. However, if Malefore succeeds, the fate of the world might be in jeopardy.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is the third and final part of the Legend of Spyro trilogy which included The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (2006) and The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (2007). The previous entries were developed by Krome Studios, but this outing for Spyro was developed by Étranges Libellules. It was relatively well received and also marked Spyro’s first appearance on Xbox 360 and PS3.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon does have some nice features. It has vocal performances by Elijah Wood as Spyro, Christina Ricci as Cynder, Wayne Brady plays Sparx, Gary Oldman is Ignitus, Blair Underwood plays Hunter, and voice acting king Mark Hamill is Malefor. With a big name cast, some of the cut scenes are a bit better than the average game though the graphics are a bit below the standards of the Xbox 360 or the PS3 since the game was really developed for other systems.
Another good aspect is the open flying. Spyro and Cynder can fly as much as they want…no hopping and jumping for a little gliding air time. When you get to open worlds, this means soaring above the plains. Free flying is a fun way to pass the time; though it can make fights against enemies like the Destroy become a bit tedious by making it hard to find targets…they need some sort of HUD for the level or something to keep you on the path.
The game also features a co-op play with the second player playing Cynder. This also is sometimes fun but other times frustrating. Cynder and Spyro are bound to each other and it is a means to keep the characters from going different directions, but it also can hinder movement despite encouraging teamwork. Another drawback is that this co-op play is not available online.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is sometimes a fun but also sometimes frustrating game. Timed-attacks with button punching doesn’t do much for me and some of the boss battles turn into frustrating timing actions which means going back to the top if you miss a beat. This makes a half-way fun game tedious at points where it doesn’t need to be. It is also quite easy to beat if you just want to play the game quickly. Codes are readily available online to make Spyro invincible…just sit back and watch the cut scenes when you get to them. The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon also marks a hiatus for Spyro on the home consoles until Skylander: Spyro’s Adventure in 2011.