Spyro the Dragon is back, and this time, he’s shrunk down to handheld size, as he and his friends take on the baddies on Nintendo’s DS. While this round with Spyro is marked with some enjoyable moments, it’s overall a pretty generic title that makes marginal use of the DS’ touch screen and other unique feaures. There’s a lot that Spyro could’ve done in Spyro: Shadow Legacy, but alas, it’s just another blah romp through the little purple dragon’s universe.
The storyline is pretty simplistic Spyro stuff — our little purple hero’s mentors are sucked into the Shadow Realm, and it’s up the the adolescent (seriously, is he ever going to get older?) dragon to rescue them. This means jumping between Spyro’s world and the Shadow Realm via magical portals, the finding of which is a major (and majorly tiresome) part of the game.
While Spyro is a cute little guy, the world he inhabits is a dangerous, and incredibly frustrating one. Everything is played out in a 3D viewpoint, however, there are definite problems with the camera and sluggish controls. More often than not, you’ll get caught behind an object and press the d-pad desparately to try and get out from it. There are plenty of times where you’ll fall to your death because of the control and visual problems, which means no matter how pretty the characters and environments are, you just can’t enjoy them.
The touchscreen is barely used in Shadow Legacy, which, when combined with the control issues, pretty much relegates this title to a GBA game, rather than something targeted to DS users. The touchscreen is simply used to cast spells, which, unless you are an octopus, will be darned near impossible to work, since two hands are already busy constantly hitting the B button to get through the mindless dialog and fighting to get around a stupid corner. The rest of the gameplay is pretty standard for the Spyro series, as our little friend dashes around the map while busting crates, capturing gems and flaming anything in sight. It gets old fast, and even the kids that it’s targeted to will move on to a new game after about an hour.
For the Spyro series to keep going, the developers and publisher are going to need something new, as there are plenty of other fresh platformer titles out there. Just trying to smash together some platforming and half-hearted RPG play isn’t going to cut it. It’s time for Spyro to grow up, or become the first retired adoloescent.
- Gameplay: 4
- Boring within an hour
- Graphics: 7
- Pretty isometric 3D graphics of the little purple guy
- Sound: 4
- There’s sound in this game?
- Replay: 2
- So boring, it’ll be amazing if anyone finishes it
- Overall: 4
- A huge yawn-fest, even kids won’t enjoy it for long