Ah…this game was definitely intriguing. I’ve got to say that it’s probably the glitchiest game that I’ve ever played and I can’t help but feel that the developers didn’t spend a whole lot of time on it. The game must have been rushed or just made for some easy $$$ because the creators could have done better. The core game is actually pretty fun, but suffers from a variety of issues.
The plot is fairly light. The Shadow Realm has been claiming the inhabitants of the entire world so it’s up to Spyro to use a crystal to travel between the world and the Shadow World. You free 3-9 people in each area, rinse and repeat. It’s possible that Red is behind this, but Spyro thinks that the true mastermind may be someone who’s even stronger and possibly more deadly. He’s in for the fight of his life!
The interesting thing about this Spyro game is that it’s basically an RPG so it’s quite different from the other Spyro games. You obtain level ups and complete a lot of side quests to advance the main story and earn easy EXP. Grinding out level ups can take a long time with enemies so the quests are important and a lot of them are necessary to complete the game anyway. By the end, I had completed every side quest, but that’s where the tragic part of the game comes into play.
I made it all the way to the final boss, but I didn’t have enough emblems to fight him. No matter, I’ll go and beat the mandatory side quests to get the final emblems right? Wrong! The instant I left the final boss island, my fate was sealed. There’s no way to get back since the airship that took me there the first time was no longer in service. I was now stranded on the regular island and the ironic thing is that I can’t even beat the side quest with the orb because I need to buy something from the final islands. I doubt this was an intentional level of risk to the game so it just speaks to the lazy game developing once again. I’ve heard of games with game breaking bugs, but this is quite sad.
Supposedly, the only way to avoid this is to make contact with the teleporting pad on the final island so that it’s activated, but I had activated it (Which is how I used it the first time) but it simply stopped working. It seems like the pads go dead after a while since most of them don’t show up on my map even though they did on the walkthrough that I saw. Was my copy also glitched individually aside from the well known game break? I don’t know, but either way it’s not how I wanted to end my experience. I was running around the game for hours trying to figure out where it all went wrong and this is what I get in return.
It’s a shame because the game was mostly enjoyable otherwise. It did have a terribly slow start, I’ll grant you that. The game didn’t explain anything all that well so there was a lot of trial and error at first as you had to teach yourself everything. Once I was mostly done with the first world (Out of 3) I had finally gotten the hang of it all and that’s when I finally began to enjoy the game a lot. Leveling up and completing the fairly simple quests was a blast. I learned each area like the back of my hand and things were going well.
The graphics are sub par though and I’ve seen better looking Game Boy Advance games like Sonic Advance or Mario World. Everyone is really pixelated in this game so I think the character models must have been too big or something. The soundtrack is also a little laughable since there are like 2-3 themes in the entire game and whenever you are in the Shadow World it is just one theme. The same one for the entire game, which is more than a little iffy. They can afford more tunes…right?
As I mentioned earlier, there are quite a few glitches aside from the game ending one. You’ll constantly find yourself falling through the ground or through the sky. You’ll die for no reason or enemies will become invincible. It happens quite often to the point where you actually grow used to it. It’s still no excuse though and it’s part of the reason why this game, which should have gotten an easy 7 drops all the way to a 5. Partially also because I was pretty salted about having to end the game right before the final boss. That’s just such a sad way to go.
Naturally, there is no replay value since you can’t actually make it to the end anyway! If not for the glitch, you could spend some time getting the final level ups and beating the final quests, but that wouldn’t last very long. The actual game is of a decent length though and it should last you around 5-10 hours I’d say. It depends on how quickly you figure everything out for yourself.
There were 2 boss fights before the final battle. They were interesting because the game turns a little 3D, which came out of nowhere, but did help to capture the epic scope of these fights. These bosses weren’t playing around and were a blast to fight. It’s too bad that the game didn’t have more bosses since they were actually created with a lot of detail and dedication. It’s a shame that the whole game couldn’t have that.
To use magic in this game, you have to draw on the screen with the stylus, but it’s very picky so you’ll be drawing the same object many times. It’s a little annoying, but not as bad as the fact that you have to teleport around the place a little bit at a time and usually run out of magic energy so then you have to find some enemies to beat. Otherwise, you can run from area to area, but you can spend a good 15-20 minutes just getting somewhere, which is tedious. Again, if you can teleport anywhere in most versions, then this isn’t an issue. Maybe my game was glitched. If not, then this is just bad game design if you ask me.
I didn’t really touch on the gameplay right? It’s overhead and you can ram opponents, whack them, or shoot fire. You can glide and you’ll get stronger throughout the game. It’s fun since you’ll get abilities that are actually very useful and you’ll wonder how you survived without them. Trust me, they save you a lot of heartache and grief.
Overall, Spyro Shadow Legacy is the kind of game that can break a person’s heart. It had a lot of potential to be good and by all accounts it should have been great. Unfortunately, that’s simply not what happened. Instead, glitches completely destroyed this game and made it create sad memories instead of happy ones. It could have brought a whole new direction to Spyro, but instead it will forever be remembered as the worst game in the series by a long shot. The others were all great, but Shadow Legacy will simply be forgotten. If you want a good RPG, play Final Fantasy instead. Shadow Legacy does have a legacy all right, just not the right one!