Spyro: Year of the Dragon Review

At last, I have completed the entire Spyro Reignited Trilogy with 100% in every game, including trophies and skill points.  That means it’s time to finally review the third and final game in the trilogy, Year of the Dragon…and provide just a little overview of my general experience with everyone’s favorite purple dragon.

For starters, Year of the Dragon is a lot like Spyro 2.  As is the norm, Spyro explores various unique stages, seeking out gems along the way and, this time, dragon eggs instead of orbs.  Whichever spherical or semi-spherical item you happen to be searching for, like the last game, many of these items need to be obtained by completing mini games, which adds both variety and aggravation.  As I’ve mentioned countless times in the past, I’ve never really enjoyed mini games, so these were usually the parts of the game that caused me the most frustration.

A notable new challenge added to this game is the skateboarding, which ranges from a lot of fun to infuriating.  It took me a long time to get used to the tricks, and once I did, it was really fun being able to spin about in the air and rack up all kinds of points.  Unfortunately, once I got used to performing tricks in an open skate park, the skateboard challenges turned to racing, with tricks being used to fill your boost meter.  Now the pressure of performing tricks while outracing your opponents just made me return to hating skateboarding like I did when I first tried it.

Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention the fact that this game has five playable characters in addition to Spyro.  Though I normally prefer playing as a game’s main character over the extra ones, this did make for some more varied gameplay.  You can jump around with Sheila the kangaroo, fly and shoot rockets with Sgt. Byrd, pound your foes with Bentley the yeti, or shoot enemies with the simian Agent 9.  I’d have to say Agent 9 is my favorite because when is shooting stuff not fun?  Oh, and let’s not forget that you have Spark levels, too, where our little dragonfly friend gets his turn shooting lots of enemies in several maze-like stages.

After the reviews I wrote for Spyro the Dragon and Spyro 2, there are not a whole lot of new details to add except these few additional assorted goodies.  The story is a bit better in this game, namely due to the fact that there is some character development with Bianca and because it’s not clear what the Sorceress’ intentions are from the start.  Stages no longer reset when you revisit them, which is a big plus, as well.  And this game was by far the glitchiest in the trilogy.  That sounds like a negative, but sometimes it was kind of entertaining.  Not always, but sometimes.

So, now that I’m done with the trilogy, what are my thoughts on the original Spyro games?  Well, in short, I really enjoyed them, and if I had to compare this trilogy to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, I think I enjoyed Spyro more.  Sure, Crash was fun and all, but I really prefer Spyro’s open levels.  Plus, Spyro has a really cool move set compared to other platforming heroes and getting to roast enemies with his flame breath and glide made for a unique gaming experience.  I cannot comment on how these games compare to their originals on the PS1, but if you enjoy retro platforming goodness, then you can’t go wrong checking this trilogy out.  On that note, you can’t go wrong playing the N. Sane Trilogy, either, if you haven’t already.  Both were a blast to play through.

Your turn, dear readers!  What were your thoughts on the Reignited Trilogy?  Which game did you like most?  And if you played the original PS1 Spyro games, how does this new, remastered trilogy compare?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!