Spyro: Year of the Dragon Reignited

Spyro: Year of the Dragon Reignited

Year of the Dragon expanded the Spyro formula into a smorgasbord of secondary characters and vehicles that comprise at least as much of the play time as the traditional dragon platforming. Anyone familiar with the cautionary tale of Sonic Adventure just cringed, but there are some important differences between this title and Sega’s infamously divisive one. Firstly, none of the new gameplay styles are antithetical to the series’ established identity, and secondly, Spyro already had a solid grasp of its baseline 3D gameplay from its two previous titles, one of which was largely concerned with quality of life improvements. The gameplay roulette still brings its share of frustrations, but it also makes Year of the Dragon the most entertaining game in the trilogy.

It’s simply impossible to be bored here, because any time the collect-a-thon starts to get dull, you’ll be given control of a rocket-powered penguin or asked to do skateboard challenges. Most impressively, every gameplay deviation returns at least once, preventing them from feeling shallow or token. On the other hand, every single one of them has uncooperative controls and an obvious lack of polish compared to the main event. Despite this, Year of the Dragon has seen the least attention among the Reignited Trilogy, which, combined with the nearly-two-decade gap diminishing much of the freshness of the mechanics, makes it age more poorly than the others. It’s a shame, because Insomniac originally gave it the love a swan song deserves, as evidenced by the music and boss fights, which are better than they’ve ever been.

6.5/10
6.5/10

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