Enter the Dragon with Spyro 3

Sergeant Byrd starts to pull his weight. Not only can he lift heavy objects, but he has rocket launchers on his shoulders. According to reports the next Spyro game will not be exclusive to Sony.

Well, fans of rival machines can rejoice because Spyro is one hell of a signing. This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when Crash was the king of PlayStation, but since he retired from the platform game (three Years Bandicoot and boy) we have been looking for a new star.

Many have failed – Rayman, Croc, Gex to name a few – and it looked as though we would be replaying Crash Bandicoot 3 for our platform kicks. But |Spyro 3 has wiped the floor with the lot of them; Crash included. Of course it’s not all down to Spyro. The purple dragon may be cute little thing, but he’s not the greatest character in the world and his sidekick, Sparx, is only a wee dragonfly. This may have been a problem in previous games, but not any more. And it’s all down to the four extra characters who have been drafted in.

Playing as Coco added an extra dimension to Crash Bandicoot 3, but playing as Bentley the Yeti, Sergeant Byrd and Agent 9 as the Mensa monkey adds so much more. You have to pay Moneybags with gem currency to buy the services of these creatures and only then can you complete all the levels. For example there is an Agent 9 level in the second world, but you have to wait until you reach the fourth world to find Agent 9 and travel back to complete it.

These new characters are there for a reason too. Crash would have been able to ride on the back of a tiger like Coco, but Spyro can’t jump to the top of a castle and smash it to pieces like Sheila. Nor can he smash through walls like Bentley, or fly around tall towers finding bones like Sergeant Byrd. Even Spyro’s old pals Hunter and Sparx get involved in the fun and games – Hunter flys around shooting mutant cows and you can play as Sparx in four space invaders games.

Getting through each level is a big ask as well. There are six dragon eggs on each level, some just lying around and others presented to you when you complete tasks such as beating Hunter’s high score in the skateboarding park, shooting a mechanical shark and helping lots of Spyro’s pals to safety. Then you have to kill every single enemy and collect all the gems.

This didn’t seem like a tall order in the first game where Spyro’s land wasn’t populated by lots of evil villains. And after the first few levels of Spyro 3 it seems like it’s the same old story. A few fire breaths there and a head butt there and all the enemies are taken care of. But when you reach the third world it really starts to kick off as the bad guys bound towards you in pairs.