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WII
GENRE
Platformer
DEVELOPER
Eurocom Entertainment Software
PUBLISHER
Vivendi Universal
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
November 2, 2004
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Spyro: A Hero's Tail

Spyro: A Hero’s Tail is the second current generation Spyro game from Vivendi Universal and so far it looks to be shaping up quite well. There are going to be many add-ins and extra moves that Spyro can pull off that are more than welcome to this aging franchise. His first appearance on the PlayStation and created quite the stir and now the wind has all been taken away from Spyro’s sails thanks to his last adventure, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. Spyro: A Hero’s Tail looks like it’s going to more than 1-up it’s predecessor and please fans and newcomers alike, but that’s for the reader to decide.

media

impressions

An evil Red Dragon has come to the lands where Spyro resides and has begun planting Dark Gems all over the place. These dirty little gems suck the life out of the world around it and are part of the Red Dragon’s master plan of world domination. As Spyro takes off on his adventure he will need to find and destroy these terrible jewels in order to restore life and beauty to the world.

Now that we’ve got all that story mumbo jumbo out of they way, let’s get on to how our favorite purple dragon plans on going about stopping this evil Red Dragon. Spyro is required to travel through considerably large environments to find, collect, and dispose of the Dark Gems in order to restore peace to the land. After each gem you destroy, the world around you will change back to normal in real-time, which will effect your enemies, alter the environments, change the music, and different objects scattered around you will change depending on where you are. The cool little effect looks nice and seems to be pretty enjoyable to watch.

Along with this cool new environmental changing process, Spyro will be equipped with some new attacks, power-ups, gadgets, and friends. Some of the attacks that you will run across in A Hero’s Tail are an all new Tail Swinging move, a new Wall Kick, and a new element of breath. Which leads me to the next cool thing found in A Hero’s Tail, the breath attacks. Spyro will still be able to use his fire breath to incinerate enemies, ice breath to freeze ‘em, lightning breath to tackle those pesky mechanical monsters, and the all new water breath, which is used to obstruct your enemies and give you an advantage in melee battling.

Along with new breath attacks and moves, Spyro will also be able to use a slew of new special attacks that will give those bad guys the whomping they deserve. There will be a new Horn Drive attack along with some Explosive Brimstone Bombs and nasty Ice Shards. There are going to be more of these new moves but we’re all going to have to wait to see those.

Spyro a Hero’s Tail will also offers new additions to the Spyro cast, all of which are playable. Hunter, the weapon master Cheetah, will be playable along with the dive-bombing penguin Sgt. Byrd, Spyro’s loyal side-kick Sparx the Dragonfly, and the all new Blink the Mole, raring and ready to save the world. Each of these characters will have there own levels where their individual powers and talents can be put to use, so expect some fun with the Spyro family.

Spyro: A Hero’s Tail looks like it could have been a little better in specific areas of the graphics department, some are a bit lacking to say the least. The environments look big enough but there is definitely not enough detail to fill all the space in some of them. One thing I did notice that kind of bothered me was that, as you look out into the distance, you notice a bit of… 2D backdrops. It was a bit disappointing to see this in a game nowadays, but I guess that’s what the guys at Vivendi wanted? But that’s just a minor detail that can be overlooked, who stares at a background as they play the game anyway? On the positive side of things, the character models do look acceptable, well, pretty good actually. The characters look fun, cartoony, and inviting and they sure do carry on the essence of the Spyro games. The effects in this Spyro game look impressive and should keep you wanting to see a bit more in each stage of the game, suspense even, a “Hey that was cool! I wanna see more!” kinda thing. The frame rate moves at a steady rate and at this point doesn’t look like it’ll have the same issues as Enter the Dragonfly did.

Spyro: A Hero’s Tail will be a much larger game, environments and time wise. The game’s worlds will be considerably larger than those found in Enter the Dragonfly and the entire game will be streamed, so there will be no load times to speak of. Due to the games long draw distance you won’t be seeing many pop-ups during gameplay either. Also, the game will be about twice as long, so for those of you who were disappointed in the length of Enter the Dragonfly, fear not, this is promising to be a more lengthy title. All of these are major improvements over Enter the Dragonfly and seem to promise that A Hero’s Tail will be the next-gen Spyro game we’ve all been waiting for.

Something I’ve seemingly totally skipped over is the gameplay. It’s virtually reminiscent to the previous titles but with some new moves and players added into the mix that should keep the game feeling fresh for Spyro fans. You will still be on a classic collecting adventure and will have to accomplish certain goals in each of the levels in order to open the big door to the next area. I personally liked this in the Spyro games and I’m sure that’s why most people enjoy them, they’re fun to play and addicting.

word on the street

With a longer adventure, bigger environments, new moves and a host of new friends, Spyro: A Hero’s Tail should be the best Spyro game to date. There are many promising new additions put into this title and each of which, if done properly, should all add up to create one hell of a Spyro game.

press release notes

  • Innovative Real-Time Morphing Environments: The heroic dragon travels across dark, mysterious lands which change and morph from evil to good during gameplay -- affecting enemies, environments, music, lighting, objects, sky and much more.
  • Five Playable Characters: Spyro the Dragon, weapons master Hunter the Cheetah, dive-bombing penguin Sgt. Byrd, loyal sidekick Sparx the Dragonfly, and the all-new burrowing, climbing Blinky the Mole.
  • Four Spyro Breath Attacks: Fire, Ice, Electricity and the all-new Water.
  • New Spyro Power-Ups: The supercharged Horn Dive, the explosive Brimstone Bombs, and the deadly Ice Shards, among many more.
  • New Spyro Abilities: Wall Kick, Tail Swing and Ledge Grab.
  • New Spyro Gadgets: The Dragonball for rolling ball madness and the Aqualung for unlimited underwater action, among many more.
  • New Enemies: From underwater mermen to pygmy cannibals to the mysterious Evil Red Dragon and his light-sapping dark gems, Spyro encounters new villains in all-new environments.

overall

Spyro: A Hero’s Tail is shaping up to be quite the title. With some great new additions that are more than welcome in a franchise nearing its ninth birthday, it sure is looking good. The new characters and moves add a lot to the gameplay experience and the bigger environments just add to it all. Spyro fans and people who love addicting games, keep an eye open for this one, it’s looking pretty fun.





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Geofferey Winter
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"So THAT'S what it's for!"


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