The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning PS2 Review

The Playstation versions of Spyro were cherished by many, but it was when next gen versions arrived, that it was evident that people were becoming increasingly tired of the series, perhaps discovering more enjoyment out of similar games like the Ratchet and Clank (also developed by Insomniac Games who were the original developer of the Spyro series) and the Jak series’. This is perhaps why Krome Studios have attempted to reinvent the franchise with this sixth instalment.

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is an origins story, which allows you to learn the back-story of the titular purple Dragon: Spyro, chronicling his tale from the hatching of his egg to becoming the hero he is in the previous games. It’s seemingly a re-imagining of the story as there isn’t a lot of continuity with earlier games in the series present.

It’s clear right from the start, that no expense has been made with A New Beginning’s budget. You are treated to an orchestral score and visually impressive graphics that measure up moderately well compared to your average 360 game, furthermore the likes of Elijah Wood, David Spade and Gary Oldman lend their vocals to the game to good effect.

In the gameplay sense, The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning has less reliance on collecting and jumping and far more of an emphasis on combat than prior entries in the series, and it’s actually a fairly robust system, which may come as a surprise when you consider the little Dragons platform roots.

As usual Spyro can charge at his enemies and fry them with his fiery breath, but this time around your combat options extend further than this. Enemies can be sent airborne, leaving them helpless to a juggle that would make the cast of a fighting game proud whilst elements other than fire can also be breathed. Furthermore, by amassing purple gems, Spyro can fire off a beautiful super attack, which functions pretty much like a smart-bomb, wiping out just about every enemy unfortunate enough to be inhabiting the screen.

Whilst combat may be fairly enjoyable, due to the sheer number of enemies and limited amount of moves on offer, the game can still become quickly monotonous to play. Mercifully these epic skirmishes are broken up with the occasional simplistic puzzle or well executed flight sections.

This results in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning being a moderately entertaining game, rather than the minor travesty it could so easily have been. It’s still not enough though, and in the end the game is significantly worse than Spyro’s earlier exploits, the very games it was trying so desperately to improve upon.