Along with Crash, Spyro has carved himself a niche in the platform gaming market. Appealing to gamers of all ages, Spyro is a young dragon who has a score to settle with Ripto, his enemy. Unlike Crash, Spyro has mainly remained on the Sony consoles and handheld games but in terms of platform gaming the franchise is very much comparable to the Crash franchise, and offers just as much of a challenge. This time around he has teamed up with Crash to take down both Ripto and Dr Cortex but will find himself in a strange, unfamiliar world; the world where crash lives.
The storyline for Spyro Fusion remains much the same as the Crash game with a few changes. Instead of taking on his usual enemies, he takes on the enemies typically found in the Crash games and also at some point in the game will take Crash on himself before they realize they have been tricked and set out to defeat both bosses once and for all. Basically if you have played Crash Fusion you know what to expect, just replace the enemies featured in that with the ones missing and you basically have the same game with a different main character.
Like Crash the game is divided into two main areas; the main portal style area and the twenty five mini games on offer. As you progress through the worlds you will unlock new mini games to play and get crystals from. You must have a certain amount of crystals to progress to the boss fight of each level so mini games can not be skipped. While the portal is designed to get you between mini games, you won't find it easy to do so thanks to the lurking enemy characters and number of environmental hazards such as swinging axes trying to impede your progress. You earn crystals by finishing the mini games, some are easy and some are fairly tough but this game is definitely aimed towards a younger market.
One of the better aspects of the game is the ability to play mini games once they are unlocked from the main menu. Rather than having to find them in the worlds you can just choose which one you wish to play and go for it. Also some of the games can be played with two players via the link cable. The mini games in the Spyro Fusion game appear to be a little tougher than the Crash game but rather than being totally different, the developers have only made small modifications to the mini games and because of this there really is no point at all to owning both titles.
Spyro is a much more accomplished character and offers more abilities than crash who really could only spin and jump. Spyro can double jump once a character in the game tells you how to (the game locks the move until this happens) and can also breath fire to defeat enemies. Crash overall seems to offer a more enjoyable game but only just and that may be because Crash seems like a more mature character than Spyro who is aimed at a younger market.
While there are mini games in each world, some are repeated which can bring the repetitive nature across to the gamer rather quickly. Also the game is rather short with only four worlds being featured. Yes you do have to go back and get a second set of crystals to actually get to the final boss which is the developers way of artificially increasing the length of the game, something we tend to frown upon and in this case it doesn't really add a gameplay experience so most gamers may switch the game off and never come back to it because of this repetition. It also doesn't help that some of the warp portals for mini games can be incredibly hard to find.
Spyro Fusion features some quite impressive graphics for the gba platform with 2d backgrounds and great animations for both Spyro and the enemy characters. The cut scenes featured throughout are still scenes with text attached which isn't the most impressive way to convey a story but considering the GBA power it works well in carrying the story. In reality the story really doesn't matter to the game so you will probably find yourself just wanting to see the mini games rather than see what happens next in the story which is particularly linear and cliche.
Spyro Fusion is the weaker of the two games but still overall offers a fairly good GBA gaming experience and is a fantastic game along with Crash Fusion for traveling thanks to the ability to play the mini games individually outside the main game once unlocked. They may not have used the swap system as well as the Pokemon games and collecting cards is no where near as desired as getting new animals to play with but they have done a solid job with Spyro Fusion.
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