It looks like Spyro is going the way of The Simpsons, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, and rap-metal. That's right gamers, our beloved Spyro series is starting to fizzle out. Having been developed by Check Six Games this time around (since Spyro's original developers, Insomniac, left to pursue other interests), Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, complete with N64 graphics, Carrot Top-caliber annoying sounds, and gameplay that's more bland than a sandwich without mayonnaise, is quite simply craptacular.
The game starts you off by making you sit through a bland opening cinema that explains the game's deep sophisticated plot. Some dragonflies have been stolen. Go save them. Though most platformers don't have good plots, this one is simply horrifying, and the amount of time spent developing the plot is just downright dreadful.
Now, if Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly had some decent gameplay to make up for this utterly boring "plot", then all would be forgiven. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This isn't the Spyro we've all come to know and love, this is some fiery demon in Spyro's clothing. How else could this be possible? The level objectives are boring and trite, featuring all the "collect-em-all" objectives that we've all come to know and hate in the platforming genre.
In fact, the only thing the developers really added that’s original is the variety of breaths Spyro can unleash. Ice, fire, it's all here, and while it provides some modest enjoyment, the breathing gimmick is just that - a gimmick. The vehicle driving elements that are strewn about the game are also quite dull, featuring nothing that could be considered anything remotely near entertaining.
If there's one thing Check Six Games did get right, it was the controls. Though not perfect, they do work well within the game and allow you to perform all of Spyro's moves quite easily. The controls are also very snappy; all of your actions will happen right when you activate them.
Sadly, the goodness that can be found in the game's controls does not carry over to the game’s graphics. Blurry, washed-out and uninspired, Spyro has gone from being a graphical masterpiece to a visual travesty. The animations are weak, the framerate is low, the draw-in distance is terrible 90% of the time, and there isn't one effect within the game that is even worthy of mention.
But all of this; the weak graphics, unmoving gameplay, the taking down of a franchise that once represented some of the best action platformers the video game industry had to offer; none of it holds a candle to the most annoying aspect of Spyro’s latest adventure - the sound effects. They're squeaky, they're cutesy, and by the thousandth time you've heard them in the game, they're annoying enough to warrant pressing the almighty "mute" button on your TV remote. The game's music is also similarly cutesy and worthless, but thankfully it's not as annoying as the game's sound effects.
Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly is nothing but a sheep in wolves’ clothing. The gameplay, music, sound effects, and graphics are all sorely lacking and have mediocre written all over them. Do yourself a favor and let this one sit on the shelf... right where this rushed cash-in deserves to be.