The Legend of Spyro the Eternal Night PS2 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.5
Sound 8.5
Value 7.0
Distributor: Vivendi Games
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
December 2007
Reviewer:
Alex Smith

7.0


The Legend of Spyro the Eternal Night
 

Spyro returns to the PlayStation 2 that may very well be the final game for this console and once again returns Elijah Woods (The Lord of the Rings) as Spyro and Gary Oldman (Harry Potter) as Ignitus, the Fire Dragon and Spryo's mentor. Featuring classic arcade platforming, this current incarnation unfortunately does not give much to the genre that suffers from some truly annoying gaming problems which may truly be the nail on the coffin on this console. That cute purple dragon is still around with some cool abilities and some fun gameplay but in the end, the frustration may prove a little too powerful for some gamers... read on!
 

Features:

  • Four new, upgradeable Breath Attacks (one for each element type), such as Ice Bomb, Electric Orb, Earth Vine, Enhanced Fire
  • Four new elemental melee moves, including Comet Dash, Artic Blast, Earth Pound, Electric Spin
  • Four new Fury attacks Earth, Electricity, Ice, Fire
  • Monstrous new and explosive boss battles against the likes of Skabb the Pirate, Gaul the Ape King and more


The gameplay of this current incarnation unfortunately suffers from poor controls, a sloppy camera, and outrageously annoying enemies that provide a far steeper challenge than normal. If this is a game designed for younger audiences, we wonder how many of them are going to be able to finish it, considering the surprising difficulty we experienced in the first few hours. Of course, much of that difficulty stems from the mediocre technical implementation of the combat system and the camera issues, which are major drawbacks.

 

It is possible to ignore the shortcomings and have some fun for a while, but the game can get very tedious due to lackluster level design and an uninteresting storyline. Spyro has a bunch of cool new moves and Krome essentially copied the gameplay feature that has been flavor of the year, time manipulation. In this way, your adventure can be very fun at times. If only it wasn't dragged down by the erratic and often annoying controls. The primary issue centers on the wild camera and the fact that Spyro will often out-maneuver the camera. Things can get moving very quickly and the camera quite simply can't keep up. It's a pain in the ass to control it during battle, plain and simple.

We mentioned those cool new abilities, and we weren't exaggerating. Spyro may have more capability and power than ever before, and that's one of the only reasons one might want to keep moving forward. As you progress, you not only unlock new skills but you can also level up your current abilities by gathering up blue crystals.

I did like the addition of energy bars, especially for tough enemies and bosses but we spent far too long getting whacked by invisible enemies. It didn't help that our opponents could always knock us out of any combination attack we'd attempt, and too many of the special moves were nowhere near as effective as they should've been. I know we just said the main character has more capability this time around, and that's true, but the fruits of our labor weren't rewarded often enough. Spyro can unleash his Fury attack when the purple meter fills up, and that's probably the one thing that will save you from annihilation during unusually difficult boss encounters.
 

 

Graphically, Spyro's graphics have been pretty consistent throughout on the PS2, and we're not seeing anything different, here. There's some deep color and nice detail, especially in the characters, but a lot of this presentation is mostly bland and even a little blurry in some spots. We've always liked the animations and flashy effects in these games, but by this time, it's in definite need of a next-gen overhaul.

The sound, as usual, is the highlight of the game, although we're still not too happy with it. The foundation of this category would normally lie in the stellar voiceover talents of Elijah Wood, Gary Oldman, Billy West, Kevin Michael Richardson and Mae Whitman. But as we mentioned earlier, it almost seems as if the cast is phoning this one in; either that, or the writing is too sub-par for even the best voice talent to save it. However, at least the voices are still the best part of this category, as both the soundtrack and effects remain overplayed and generic. There is a decent variety in the music, but it's not brought out enough, and the effects aren't bad in quality but still fall into the category of "standard run-of-the-mill."

In conclusion, The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night is a little lacking in the world of arcade fun and playability that is matched with great voice acting. That little purple dragon is as cute as ever, the story isn't terrible, the pacing is better than average, and there are some genuinely amusing moments. But it's nowhere near enough. There are plenty of decent games geared towards younger gamers out there, and in the past, we were always able to say Spyro is one of them, however this one may be too difficult.






 
 



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