It’s been a long time since I played this game. And even if I know it’s the third in the trilogy, it is actually the first I played and loved. I saw an episode of the Completionist not too long ago and I was so sad… Not only because, in my opinion, he didn’t do an objective review of the game, but because he gave it a not too good review. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but because it is dear to me I am sad whenever someone bashes things I don’t even find as a “that flawed”. So, with that said, I wanted to show a little bit of love to this third installment.
The intro and the story are quite simple. This time, it’s not the dragons like in the previous Spyro game that are missing/crystalized but the dragon eggs that have vanished. The new generation all together got kidnapped by a Sorceress and her right hand. And who fits in the small holes that leads on the other side of the world? Our friend Spyro. Yup, only him again – and his friend the cheetah who isn’t a dragon.-.
You begin in this new world where dragon eggs are scattered and where the sorceress is planning on making an omelet – not really but I want to make her sound evil – with those eggs. Spyro is now on a mission to rescue all those little eggs and save the dragon race. The reason the sorceress wants those dragon is because when they left they took magic with them and for some reason – I won’t make a spoiler so I’m staying vague intentionally – she thinks the baby dragons are her answer. Play the game and you’ll understand why she’s so evil.
I can’t find my copy of the game. I’ve been looking for about three months without a clue where it went. I cannot really describe everything in details, but from what I remember with my numerous playthrough I can do a little review.
You play as a Spyro that already learned how to swim, glide and climb ladders – because you learned them in previous games I guess it would be unrealistic to re-learn them again for no reason -. The hub-world you get spawn is a level in itself. You will need to collect all sort of things to fully complete this game: Gems are collectibles you need to get in order to complete the levels you go in, and when you collect enough you can pay moneybag to finish a level or get an extra character.
The other collectible are the eggs that are the sole purpose of the game. Oh and to complete a world 100%, you need to do the race and the Sparx level within those lands with the normal levels. The race and Sparx’s level give you gems and eggs that counts toward the final result. Sparx’s world give your little companion a little extra along the too, way like having an extra life, pointing in the direction of the closest gem etc.
Old & New friends
Some of the character you know are following to help you in your mission. Hunter the cheetah is a sport amateur and almost each time you see him his quest to find a dragon egg includes roller skating or manta-ray surfing. The doctor from previous games comes in late in the game with one of the controllable character with the fawn-type woman who follows him. I don’t know their names, I didn’t play the Spyro before since I was a kid so those memories are far gone.
I mentioned controllable characters/extra characters earlier. Well, you need to pay a ransom to moneybag in order to unlock them. They are prisoners of the sorceress and the only way to continue on your journey is to pay their release. In this game, you can play as one of many new characters that helps Spyro get the gems and dragon eggs to save the world. Often their mission is to clear their homeworld, help their friends so they have a little more backstory.
They go like this: Sheila the kangaroo who lives in an alpine world; Sergeant Byrd the penguin that must help his military hummingbirds; Bentley the yeti that helps his younger brother; and Agent 9 the space monkey on drugs who just shoot stuff near the lab. Each of these special furry friends have new controls and new abilities, making it less redundant than only doing all the game as Spyro. For example: Sheila can jump really high and get to ledges that Spyro wouldn’t be able to climb. Sergeant Byrd, even though is a penguin, can fly for as long as you want and throw missile at will. I love those little changes in gameplay once in a while and their respective levels are really well-built to maximise those traits and make you look for secrets.
Once you finish their level, they are available for mission in other levels/other worlds. Like in the first world, you have a Sergeant Byrd mission that you can’t do until you go to the second world and free him. So you cannot fully complete the first world on without continuing the game first. It really makes a nice shift in the gameplay, forcing you a little to go back to earlier worlds to finish those level or they are already unlocked when you get to later worlds.
There are, in each world and in each level, species that live in this exclusive biome and that needs your help, because the rhino from the sorceress are invading their land. The levels are not bound to one element etc., as they are all unique in each world without being cliché. It’s not spring world where it’s all spring levels, snow world where it’s all snow levels – you get the concept -.
Once you aided the natives, they will help you build a way into another realm to free the rest of the eggs. There are 4 realms and the goal is to arrive at the end world where, with enough eggs and gems, you can fight the evil Sorceress.
The boss battles
I don’t remember correctly if the other Spyro games did this, but in the world/realm there is a place where a machine is placed and where the natives will gather once you’ve helped them in their worlds. Once you’ve done all the levels and got all the natives around your machine – with the special friend -, you are transported to the next world.
But the first time you try to go into the next realm you are transported to a special place: The boss stage. Let me tell you how much I remember the first boss. As a kid, I must’ve done it like a hundred times. Once you beat the big, bad boss, you can continue on your adventure on this new land to help other natives. You must do this three times before arriving at the end world with the end boss. The end world has levels too and they are really harder than previous ones.
Levels are unique and inspiring. You can get transported into a far west setting with gun slinging dinosaurs, in a time where fairies and castles live or even in a hunted ship within acid waters level. I loved the game for it’s simplicity and its unique characters. I loved some of the side missions – some are really hard and made me rage a little -, and I loved to play the new characters.
Review: Positive. Will play soon and you should too.
Did you like this Spyro? Is it your favorite of the franchise? Have you played the ones that came after? I want to know!