Poor old Spyro. The plucky little purple dragon's suffered terribly over the last nine years of his life, bumped from one developer to another in a franchise that was spiralling out of control. Luckily, last year Krome Studios took him in and attempted to breathe life back into his near flat-lining adventures with the solid A New Beginning, hoping to reboot the series.
Relight My Fire
Thankfully the risk was worth the reward; with the developer producing a solid old-school platformer with enough charm to interest gamers and give the green light on this sequel, The Eternal Night. Predictably, it's a game that takes little risk in changing the gameplay dynamic that made last year's re-imagining a success. However, for once, that is not necessarily a negative.
Spyro mixes platforming agility with combat abilities in a large, beautifully realised game world. Maybe we've become entirely jaded with cyberpunk utopias and dark anti-heroes but there's much to enjoy in the fantastical realm that Spyro inhabits. Everything, from the smallest insect to the biggest foe, is lovingly crafted and the music is genuinely ear-pleasing.
Platforming and combat is split roughly 50/50 and both have problematic issues. We found the double-jump temperamental, with the A button often needing to be pressed in a quick double-tap, while other times needing to be activated at the pinnacle of your first jump. We thus had our hearts in our mouths every time we needed to make a potentially fatal leap, but not for the right reasons.
Fighting is a blend of Remote waving and tapping the C and Z buttons for special attacks. But it's criminal that the game hasn't got a lock-on system for targeting enemies - a cause for concern when you're having to manually shift the camera in the direction of your attacker or when you're trying to focus on killing bigger foes first.
Nevertheless, these problems never succeed in toppling Spyro from his rightfully claimed perch atop the decent platformers currently on the market. We still found ourselves enjoying the game even with these problems. It's never going to keep pace with the likes of Mario Galaxy, but you could do a lot worse with 35 quid this month