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Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is a platformer video game, part of the Spyro series, developed by Check Six Studios and Equinoxe Digital Entertainment and published by Universal Interactive. It was released for PlayStation 2 and GameCube; it was to be ported to the Xbox and Microsoft Windows, but were both cancelled, because the game was received negatively by critics due to its short length, poor controls, lack of content, bad framerate, long load times and numerous bugs and glitches.

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly
Spyro - Enter the Dragonfly Coverart.jpg
Developer(s)Check Six Studios
Equinoxe Digital Entertainment
Publisher(s)Universal Interactive
Director(s)Aryeh Richmond
Designer(s)Saji A. Johnson
Programmer(s)John Bojorquez
Artist(s)Sean Ro
Composer(s)Stewart Copeland
SeriesSpyro
Platform(s)PlayStation 2, GameCube
ReleasePlayStation 2
  • NA: November 5, 2002
  • EU: November 29, 2002
GameCube
  • NA: November 19, 2002
  • EU: November 29, 2002
Genre(s)Platformer
Mode(s)Single-player

StoryEdit

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, Ripto teleports in via a portal along with his henchmen Crush and Gulp, disrupting 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. 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 the celebration being continued.

GameplayEdit

The gameplay featured in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is similar to the previous Spyro games. However, the game's new addition is multiple breath attacks, such as bubble breath (to trap dragonflies), ice, and electric breath. These abilities are attained from the ancient dragon statue in the homeworld. Spyro also has a block move that will deflect long range attacks and send them back at the enemy.

DevelopmentEdit

Development began shortly before the release of Spyro: Year of the Dragon in October 2000, when the contract between Universal Interactive and Insomniac Games were expiring, Check Six was founded by Brent Oster and was the company was named after the 6 co-founders of the company. There were several levels cut from the game, including Enchanted Forest and Baked Alaska, which Enchanted Forest had textures from the level Honey Marsh, which can be seen in the game's data.

There had been development issues surrounding Enter the Dragonfly, with the teams of both Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios not coming to a decision on which idea best suits a Spyro title. The Universal Interactive Studios producer of the project, Ricci Rukavina, would force in his own take on what should and what shouldn't be in the game without consulting with the rest of the development team, causing the workplace to be in a state of toxicity between each member(s) that was never resolved by Universal.

The original pitch was going to introduce an evil dragon who was stealing the essences of other dragons to become more powerful. Spyro would have to travel across the Dragon Worlds to restore those essences and defeat the evil dragon. However, the lead designer claimed that there are no evil dragons in Spyro, so existing villains were chosen to be used instead and shoehorned into a random story. Gnasty Gnorc was planned, at first, to be teaming up with Ripto in an attempt to capture all of the dragonflies for themselves.

120 dragonflies were originally planned to be collected, over 25 levels, a framerate of 60 frames per second, and relatively fast loading times. However, Universal Interactive Studios forced the developers to rush on developing the game in order to be available by winter 2002 and therefore it suffers from an inconsistent framerate, long loading times, graphical glitches, sound issues and lock-ups. Additionally, Gnasty doesn't appear anywhere in the game at all (although he is mentioned by Ripto), there are only 9 levels for the player to explore and only 90 dragonflies for the player to collect.

In addition, 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.

A pink dragon named Ember was created for Enter the Dragonfly and the game would've been her first appearance in the Spyro series. However, the constant changes during development caused the team to not find a place for her in the game, so she was scrapped. Ember would later make her debut in Spyro: A Hero's Tail.

Stewart Copeland, composer of the previous three Spyro games as well as Enter the Dragonfly stated he started to feel a "divergence" with publisher Universal Interactive, stating "I remember the team came in to create the promotional materials for Enter The Dragonfly. They showed me an ad they had, which I didn’t even recognise as Spyro. It was country and western-themed, and I think that’s where the divergence happened for me. We were not on the same page any more."[1]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(GC) 48/100[2]
(PS2) 56/100[3]

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly received mixed and unfavourable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[2][3]

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 found the game; in an interview, he stated, "Spyro has become an abused stepchild... Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly on PS2 and Gamecube was an absolute travesty."[4]

A large criticism for the game was its numerous bugs and glitches. Some reviewers speculated that this was caused by a rushed development cycle to reach a scheduled release date.[5] Matthew Gallant, writing for GameSpot, gave the GameCube version of the game a 3.2/10 and the PlayStation 2 version a 2.8/10, saying "Even the biggest fans of Spyro are going to have a hard time enjoying this game. The leap to the latest generation of consoles leaves them with a slower game, a shorter game (10 hours), and an all-around less enjoyable game, not to mention a buggy one."[6][7] Critics also reported that the technical issues extended to sound. Gamershell claimed: "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."[citation needed]

Another criticism for the game was the 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."[5] IGN shared this complaint, adding "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."[4]

Critics also had issues with control and collision detection. Ben Koshima of Nintendo World Report mentioned, "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."[5] 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."[8]

The PlayStation 2 version of Enter the Dragonfly received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[9] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Talking Spyro with The Police's Stewart Copeland". GamesTM. Imagine Publishing. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Douglass C. Perry (November 8, 2002). "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly review". IGN. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Kosmina, Ben (February 1, 2003). "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Review - Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  6. ^ Gallant, Matthew (November 18, 2002). "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  7. ^ Gallant, Matthew (November 18, 2002). "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  8. ^ "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Review". DarkStation. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  9. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009.
  10. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.

External linksEdit