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Dawn of the Dragon is the latest instalment of the age-old Spyro series. It follows Spyro the purple dragon and his new ally, Cynder, as they battle against the evil forces of the Dark Master and his quest to take over the world.
Playing Dawn of the Dragon can be a bit tricky at first, as the game offers a large variety of moves and actions, but once you get the hang of it the game is interesting and fun. Play is colourful and bright, and the graphics, though a bit patchy in places, are overall very good considering the amount of freedom you get.
The game offers just the right balance of fighting and puzzle-solving as you play it. Occasionally the mostly easy and intriguing puzzles can be perplexing and difficult, strange, I found, in a game aimed at mostly younger audiences. Nevertheless, the puzzles were good, keeping me entertained and mystified for ages as I flew around trying to solve their many-layered problems.
The combat is surprisingly good for a game like this. It offers fast, sometimes mad fighting with a huge variety of cool looking moves, and I really do mean a huge variety, and inventive elemental powers, which are upgradeable with points you get for defeating the various weak gremlins and huge bosses. Even better, certain Wii remote movements combined with button presses result in stylish attacks and moves. Dawn of the Dragon also offers up a lovely feature that has been previously shunned in the previous Spyro games; the ability to fly at any time. This part of the game alone makes Dawn of the Dragon worth it, as it introduces a freedom to roam around the (sometimes) massive, colourful and interesting levels that the game gives you.
Even better, certain Wii remote movements combined with button presses result in stylish attacks and moves.
I was disappointed to find that you could only play as Spyro or Cynder, despite of the variety of characters in Dawn of the Dragon, and indeed the whole Spyro series. This, I thought, was a slight flaw in the game, as both characters are virtually the same and play identically in terms of moves and flight, though admittedly not powers. IF you could play as Hunter, a character who is featured a lot in the game, and also has a very different fighting style to both Spyro and Cynder, the game would of been much more fun.
Also worth a mention is the story. Though it doesn't win any writing awards it is just right for the game, and is brought to life with some really good cinematics and bits of humour. It's also surprisingly complicated for a Spyro plot as it try's engages you with the characters, something not done by the majority of games out there, let alone platformers.
Dawn of the Dragon really adds to the Spyro series, and indeed the whole genre of platform games on Wii. I think that it shows that it can be enjoyed by not only the younger audiences the series was previously aimed at, but by older more experienced gamers who just want to relax and enjoy a good platformer. If you want a game to keep you caught-up for hours on end in a fantasy world, choose Dawn of the Dragon.
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