I’ve already discussed the top six worst challenges in Spyro 2, so it would only be fair if I complained a bit about the more aggravating parts of Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Though I only have four items in this list, two of them are a doozy. As before, I’m only counting challenges that reward you with dragon eggs, so no skill points or trophies (with the exception of one honorable mention…).
4: The Lost Wolf in Enchanted Towers
In this challenge, you have to escort some guy’s pet wolf back to him. In order to do this, you have to work with the wolf to solve puzzles and reach the exit. Though this sounds fun on the surface, and it wasn’t really all that tough, I encountered several issues that forced me to have to leave the area and return in order to reset my progress. One time, when the wolf stood on a button, nothing happened. Another time, I threw the ball just a bit too far, and the wolf ran past the switch. Then it refused to budge from that spot, making completing the challenge impossible without resetting it. And then there was a time when the wolf stood on a button, but I failed to get on the platform that rose as a result. The wolf would not get off the button and let me try again, however, so I had to reset the level yet again! This is why I generally don’t enjoy challenges that require the cooperation of an AI…
3: Defeat the Twin Dragons in Fireworks Factory
In the Fireworks Factory, there is a challenge where you must defeat two serpentine dragons. To assist you, you are given permanent super flame and the ability to fly indefinitely. And believe me, you’ll need every advantage to defeat these two! The more you hit the dragons and decrease their health, the more segments of their bodies they lose. Unfortunately, these segments recover over time, and they regenerate pretty quickly! Paired with the fact that these dragons are increasingly difficult to hit the smaller they get makes for a tough challenge indeed. Oftentimes, the dragons would go into tunnels where I couldn’t easily pursue them, while I was powerless to stop them as they recovered health!
2: Escort the Twins in Spooky Swamp
Now this challenge really bothered me. This time you play as Sheila, and you must escort these two firefly dudes. You escort one at a time, and you must clear the path in front of them so they don’t hit anything. The problem is, the fireflies move pretty quickly and wind along the path, making it very difficult to know where they’re going. To make matters worse, you have to pound down mushrooms along the way that pop back up again after a few seconds. At one point, one of the fireflies actually passes over the same mushroom twice, which usually pops back up on his way back. And when I was able to get him past this point, he would head for the next mushroom so quickly, I usually couldn’t keep up! Nope, this was not a fun one!
Honorable Mention: Skateboard Race in Lost Fleet
Before I talk about the number 1 worst challenge in the game, I wanted to discuss one exception to my earlier rule. This one is a skill point and, therefore, not required to get 100%. The skateboard race in Lost Fleet was a tough one for me because you have to do tricks on your skateboard in order to fill your boost meter, which was not easy while also racing Rhynocs. Even so, I did eventually get the hang of it, and it was no longer too tough once I practiced enough.
For whatever reason, I was determined to get every skill point in this game, no matter how much pain it caused me. To acquire this stage’s skill point, you must get through the course in under 1:45 minutes. Long story short, it’s difficult. It’s really, really difficult. Now I read online that this area gets laggy if you play on it long enough. I think my game did start to lag here after a while (it seemed a little slow, hard to tell for certain, though), but for me, it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as the lag gave me additional reaction time for Spyro’s tricks, making gaining enough of my boost meter to complete the level in time a bit easier. Now that I have this skill point, I’m never attempting it again!
1: Whack the Moles in Crystal Islands
Ah, here we are, folks, the worst challenge of the game. In this challenge, you play as Bentley, and you must whack 20 moles in 1 minute without hitting any of the gnomes. I seriously hated this challenge. For one thing, Bentley is huge and really blocks your vision. A top-down camera would have made it so much easier to see the moles. Also, it seems to be based on sheer luck because there are times the moles refuse to spawn anywhere near you. Pair all of that with the fact that Bentley’s really slow and the gnomes can often get in your way, and you have a recipe for an extremely unpleasant, un-fun challenge indeed.
What were your least favorite challenges in Year of the Dragon, dear readers? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!