Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly
|Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly|
North American cover art
|Developer(s)||Check Six Games
Equinoxe Digital Entertainment
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is the fourth console entry and the sixth general entry in the Spyro series, developed by Check Six Games and Equinoxe Digital Entertainment and published by Universal Interactive. It is the first Spyro game for the sixth generation consoles, PlayStation 2, and GameCube, and the first console Spyro game not to be developed by Insomniac Games. It is also the first game in the series not to be exclusively released on one console, and was to be ported to the Xbox and PC, but were both cancelled. However, unlike its predecessors, it met with mixed reviews from critics.
The story begins shortly after Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The dragons are in celebration of a rite of passage for the young dragons and for the Grand Dragon Parade, with the arrival of new young dragonfly guardians for the baby dragons. However, during the party, a strangely alive Ripto (the circumstances of his return are left unexplained) teleports in via a portal along with Crush and Gulp (their return is also glossed over, although Ripto once threatened to send them back to Molten Crater, where they were before, unemployed) and disrupts the celebration, intent on capturing the new young dragonflies to weaken the baby dragons. However, his spell misfires and the dragonflies become scattered throughout the Dragon Realm. He does not realize this until he gets back to his lair and once Crush tells his master what really happened, Ripto ends up killing both of his henchmen in his rage with one single zap from his staff, which is why he is the only boss in the entire game (this part of the story isn't shown until the player has collected over half of the dragonflies). So, Spyro is tasked with recovering the realm's new crop of dragonflies.
Spyro eventually completes his mission, and faces Ripto. Spyro wins the battle and Ripto runs for his life, swearing that he will be back. The game ends back at the party, with Spyro winking at the camera.
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The game was originally going to be about Gnasty Gnorc coming back and teaming up with Ripto so that the two could steal all of the dragonflies from the dragon realm. The game was to contain around 120 dragonflies to collect, over 25 levels, a framerate of 60 frames per second and fast loading times. However, Universal Interactive forced the developers to rush on developing the game in order to be available by Winter 2002 (with this being the only title that both studios ever produced), and therefore it suffers from an inconsistent framerate, long loading times, graphical glitches, sound issues and lock-ups. Additionally, Gnasty Gnorc does not appear anywhere in the game at all (but is mentioned by Ripto in the intro), there are only nine levels for the player to explore (all of which are in one hubworld) and only 90 dragonflies for the player to collect. Also, the popular characters Moneybags and Bianca appear just once each in the whole game; Bianca at the very beginning (where she mysteriously disappears afterwards and does not return until the player finishes the game) and Moneybags in the Dragonfly Dojo level where he charges Spyro gems for his assistance.
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly received mixed reviews from critics according to aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, which gave the PlayStation 2 version 56% and 56/100 and the GameCube version 48% and 48/100.
IGN gave the game a 6/10, stating that, "Enter the Dragonfly is essentially a replica game, a side step or a lateral move rather than a step forward. So, what it comes down to is this: Are you up for more of the exact same Spyro game?" Ted Price, the President of Insomniac Games, even spoke out about how bad he thought it was. Price said in an interview, "Spyro has become an abused stepchild... Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly on PS2 and Gamecube was an absolute travesty"
The game is known for its numerous bugs and glitches. Some reviewers speculate that the cause was a rushed development cycle to reach a scheduled release date. GameSpot gave the game a 2.8/10 saying, "A train wreck of a game that has no direction, no technical merit, and little appeal except as a game design house of horrors and a showcase for some good music by Stewart Copeland."
One of the main issues with the game is framerate. Ben Kosmina of Nintendo World Report mentions that, "While running around the Dragon Realms (the overworld of the game) if there's too many sheep or moving characters on screen, the game will skip frames excessively. It also happens while running or flying through levels where there are a lot of characters, and even sometimes when there aren't any characters in the area! This is just unacceptable.", IGN shared this thought, and added, "The framerate suffers often, chugging from around a maximum of 30 fps downward, depending on the area. Which is kind of strange, because these worlds aren't much bigger than those on the PlayStation versions of Spyro. There aren't many more enemies on screen, and the textures are still the same, simple flat shaded swaths of primary colors, just like the others. Oftentimes, entire areas pop in because of weird problems with load issues."
Other issues include issues with control and collision detection. Ben Koshima of Nintendo World Report mentions, "Due to the awful control you have over Spyro when he's flying, you'll be plummeting off cliffs, missing switches you're trying to ground pound, swerving all over the place while trying to land properly and falling off small platforms for no reason at all.", Darkstation claimed, "When you try to talk to a character if it does not already automatically pop up and start talking to you out of nowhere you have to get in a specific spot in which you have to get to talk to another character."
Another technical issue is with the game's sound system. Gamershell claims that, "Let's remember some basic school knowledge first: sounds that origin from far away are more silent than sounds which are near us. Not so in Spyro. Something went very wrong with the sound positioning system. Sounds from far away often sound like directly in front of you. Puzzled by this you will expect enemies near you even if they aren't. To make the so caused confusion worse sound samples are 'unstoppable'. The ninja enemies for example have their static attack sound, approx. 4 seconds of *hu* *ha* *zoing**gna* - fry the guy with your flame but you still hear him till the sample is over."
- "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for GameCube". GameRankings. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2013.