Spyro: A Hero's Tale Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation 2
Release date:
November 3, 2004
Vivendi Games
Eurocom Entertainment

Spyro: A Hero's Tale

Can Spyro's latest adventure put the series back on track? Rich sets out to uncover the truth.

Review by Rich Marshall (Email)
January 11th 2005

Several years ago, VU Games unleashed Spyro the Dragon upon us. Nearly six years later, the formula remains intact, entertaining children everywhere. Spyro: A Hero's Tail's core mechanics, however, have remained nearly exactly the same, and the fetch quests Spyro is so infamous for is still intact, boring older audiences everywhere.

A Hero's Tail has made numerous improvements over its predecessors. The graphics look clean, crisp, and beautiful, and the voice acting and music are quality. Unfortunately for the player, the voice acting is moot with such a basic story that does little to entice one to keep advancing. The story's only purpose is to set up your quest to destroy various dark gems in the world, a banal task to say the least. Save the world from the evil Red Dragon and destroy the Dark Gems. Easy enough. It would be fun if it was a challenge, but finding a challenge in Spyro is much akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Enemies are a joke and bosses make you wonder what the hell is going on.

Fortunately for the Spyro fan, combat isn't where the game's strong points lie. Puzzles are fun, ultimately one of the few things keeping the whole gameplay experience amusing -- and the mini-games are a blast. But then you realize you're missing something and the backtracking begins. Searching the world for the one item you missed is as boring as one would expect. It's so boring, in fact, that when my memory card got corrupted, it was the one thing that kept me from returning to finish Spyro after so many hours of gameplay.

Spyro: A Hero's Tail is one of those games in which fans of the series should be the only ones lining up to purchase it. Fortunately for myself, I was one of those fans and still enjoy collecting the thousands of gems lying around for no apparent reason other than buying useless crap. I enjoy the quirky quests, laugh at the horrid story, and love the fun little mini-games. The supporting cast is great fun, though they sometimes become a little too cumbersome for my own liking. Most importantly however, Sparx, the loveable dragonfly returns as your sidekick and health meter. When all is said and done, Spyro: A Hero's Tail is a fun little game and an improvement over the latest Spyro installments. But be warned; you will say to yourself: "Didn't I play this game 6 years ago?" Well, the answer is yes, you did. Nothing has changed, and you have to decide for yourself if you love the dragon enough.

Take it for what you will, but after my memory card got corrupted about 75% through Spyro: A Hero's Tail, I decided it wasn't worth playing through again. It was fun the first time, but it's just not something I'm willing to go through again.

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