I’m trying something a little different for this review. Since Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon follows the same storyline in both the Wii and DS version, I’m combining the reviews into one while also explaining the unique features of each version.

Dawn of the Dragon is the 3rd game and final game in the Legend of Spyro series. The storyline revolves around Spyro recruiting the help of an unlikely ally, Cynder (a former enemy), to face Malefor, the Dark Master. Malefor has engulfed the world with evil, and Spryo must use all his power to stop the Dark Master.

One of the key elements in both the Wii and DS versions, is the ability to switch between Spyro and Cynder at any point during the game. Each character has different powers with their own unique capabilities. Spyro uses powers based on elements such as Fire, Earth, and Ice, while Cynder uses darker powers. All enemies in the game respond differently to different attacks based on their own element. So if you’re fighting an ice monster, your best bet is going to be Spyro’s Fire attacks. These powers are completely upgradeable throughout the game by gaining experience points from fallen foes. Newer attacks will produce more damage and even armor can be upgraded for both Spyro and Cynder to increase their defense stats.


Wii Version

The gameplay in Spyro is very much like a traditional platformer with a twist. Objectives revolve around reaching certain areas by doing in-air flight maneuvers and wall-jumps. You will traverse wide-open areas and be able to fly freely at any time (a first for the Spyro franchise). The twist comes in the way you ‘level up’ Spyro and Cynder’s abilities. In order to progress in the game, you’ll need to upgrade the attacks and defense of Spyro/Cynder, and it works very much like an RPG. Experience points are gained when defeating enemies and your abilities and stats increase. So whether you’re a platform adventure kind of person, or an RPG gamer, you’ll find yourself right at home with Dawn of the Dragon.


The graphics of the Wii version are very detailed and the art style is a good choice for the Wii. Cut-scenes are well-choreographed and are voiced by a stellar cast including: Elijah Wood, Gary Oldman, Christina Ricci, Blair Underwood, Wayne Brady and Mark Hamill. The game really does look great for the Wii and it’s mostly due to the particle effects of attacks and the environments.

Something must be said about the game’s music! It’s been awhile since I’ve heard really great music in the game that actually made me stop playing just to listen! One particular level is almost heavenly and I found myself just flying in circles just listening to the music. If you’re a music lover, you’ll find that Spyro’s is top-notch

DS Version

The DS has two main modes: 2D platforming mode, and 3D flight mode. 2D platforming is controlled using the D-pad and buttons for attacks and movement. You’ll be able to control all of the same moves from the console versions using the A,B,X,Y and L,R buttons of the DS. You can also link combos when fighting an enemy and it almost feels better than the Wii fighting system. The R button cycles through your special attacks, while the L button switches between Spyro and Cynder. The flight mode is very cool and utilizes the stylus and touch screen. You control either Spryo or Cynder in a 3D view similar to a game like Starfox. The D-pad controls your movement while the stylus allows for targeting enemies as your flying.


Graphically, the DS is used very well. The developers decided to do a 2D perspective for the main gameplay, and it works very well. All the characters are rendered in 3D and animations are very fluid. The flight sequences are particularly amazing for the DS and everything is rendered beautifully in 3D. The developers really spent the time developing a game that works and a graphical engine that works.


If you’re a fan of the Spyro games, this is the cream of the crop. With the new free-flying gameplay of the Wii version, you’ll never feel like you’re tied to the ground in any situation. And even if you’re not a fan, you’ll still find one of the best platformers out there whether you get the Wii or DS version.