Sunday, April 26, 2020

Egg Hunt - Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon - Part 4

Our elusive Egg Hunt continues, and today we complete Midday Gardens fully, and get as much of Evening Lake done as we possibly can before the next boss fight.

Fun fact: Evening Lake is the only hub world in the entire trilogy that has portals underwater.

This episode is a microcosm of what holds Spyro 3 back from true excellence when compared to its two predecessors. Throughout this episode we play through several challenges that aren't backbreaking or overly challenged, but have elements to them that make them tedious.
  • The Bently section isn't difficult, but nor is there much of substance to it and it doesn't last long enough to feel like
  • The speedway races don't take much skill to win, but they're very basic. So simple that beating them doesn't elicit any real emotion from me, nor do I feel stimulated while performing them.
  • The boxing match is entirely random, with no real form of AI manipulation or tactical thinking that can tilt the odds in the player's favor. If the computer decides to perfectly counter all of our moves, we just aren't going to be able to win no matter what.
  • The twin dragon mini-boss can be tedious since the dragon moves fast enough and the hitbox shrinks so much that hitting one of them for their last point of damage before they start regenerating becomes more difficult than it feels like it should be.
None of these issues on their own is bring the game down too much. Even the best games can have that one section that's just a slog to play, but once it's done we no longer have to concern ourselves with it.

It is the aggregate of these irritating sections, among others, that the issue arises from. While the core platforming is still has an excellent flow and feel, it is constantly interrupted these one off sections that are of varied and questionable quality. While some of them are still a ton of funny, many of them aren't, and because there are so many of them we're often rolling the dice and hoping the next one we find is at least free of those otherwise minor annoyances. In other words, it's death by a thousand cuts.

That said, it bears repeating that just because I don't like this game as much as the first two doesn't mean that it's bad. This is still an excellent game, and I have to applaud both Insomniac for developing it and Toys for Bob/Sanzaru Games for bringing it back in the Reignited Trilogy.

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