Hi everyone. I really wanted to get this off my chest. It's been kind of an issue for me for some time.
First things first, I like the Skylanders franchise. I also like the Spyro franchise. Now hold onto your pitchforks for a second and let me speak. Skylanders itself is a good game, but it's the weakest game in the Spyro franchise (if it can be considered part of the franchise to begin with).
My reasons for liking this game series come from a variety of different places in the game itself. The playable characters in the game are pretty fun and have some very interesting designs, as well as relatively engaging backstories. A few of my favorites for design being Tuff Luck, Flashwing, Trap Shadow,Punk Shock, Sunburn, Drobot, Free Ranger, Gearshift and my most favored of all, Snap Shot. Seriously, their designs are some of the best in the game.
Why did I bring up design first? Because of what everyone in the Spyro community gets their panties in a twist about. Aside from who's better, Classic Spyro or TLOS Spyro. Spyro's re-design, or "Gremlin Spyro" as he's more commonly called by the fanbase. His design, I admit, wasn't the best design the artists could have gone with, but it does kinda work for the style of the game itself. Again, pitchforks down, please. Hear what I have to say first. If you actually clicked the links above, you notice all the detail that they put into the artwork of the characters. They have complex detail in the scales or fur of whatever skylander has scales or fur, as well as adding knots and lines to tree bark and scratches, rust, and dings to skylanders with metal on them somewhere. But, they also keep a rather consistent theme with their Dragon skylanders. Most of them have very short muzzles. Like pugs, but, if a pug was covered in scales and would bite you instead of rubbing it's snergly face on your arms and chest. Take a look at a few examples, like Blades, Camo and Zap. The dragons shown here have very short, very blunt muzzles. The only acceptance to this is Bash, where his muzzle takes up the majority of his face. This is moreover used to show that he's more of a saurian based dragon, he's a little bit more primitive in his design than the others are.
But, I digress. The main reasons that people get upset over "Gremlin Spyro" is because he's a different styled interpretation than what was commonly known at the time. The Spyro fanbase has seen plenty of awesome Spyro interpretations over the years. This one's just a little bit more... stark... than the other interpretations. The artists had a style going, and they wanted to make Spyro fit into that style so he wouldn't look completely alienated from the other draconic characters. It's like drawing your character in the style of TLOZ Wind Waker, or drawing them in the style of Gravity Falls. It makes it seem like the character fits easier into that universe instead of just keeping them in their usual style. If they kept Spyro in TLOS style and tossed him into the game like that, he'd look ten times weirder than he does with the style of the game in mind. I guarantee it.
(Also, I'm gonna leave Cynder out of this whole design debate. That's another story for another journal)
Speaking of TLOS, I'm going to talk about those games as well. These games are by far my favorites in the Spyro franchise. For the third time now, pitchforks. Ditch 'em. My reason for liking TLOS more is because, yet again, of the art style. Sure, the game does follow the infamous "You are the chosen one" plotline with Spyro being an all-powerful purple dragon, but, honestly, it does make the game a little bit more fun. Just a little, not much.
Yet again, I digress. The storyline is a little bit out of the question, but the lore behind the game is rather interesting. Give the game a play or hop onto the wiki to see what I'm talking about. It's intense, it's mysterious, it's full of little plot details here and there. It's rather nice, and it gives ample room to add in a few extra things in your own personal cannon without completely shattering the feel of the story, if you actually know how to do it correctly, of course.
The lore itself, too, is just one of the reasons I enjoy the game. The second reason is the artwork, scenery, and music. The artwork itself is incredible to look at, especially the design for the dragon characters. It's easy to draw, it's fun and varied, and there's a lot of originality to it. It even has one of the better art renditions of Spyro in it. The scenery supports these dragons well, giving them just as magnificent of a background to walk around and fight in. And the music... OH GOOD GOLLY IT IS SPECTACULAR. Even some of the weaker songs in the game have a resounding presence on one's eardrums. It's just so good! It all fits together in a nice, scaly purple bundle.
The only problem that I have with the TLOS series is how much hate it gets. It really is a nice game. It's not the best, it's not perfect, but it's still good! It's got solid voicework, fantastic art, relatively smooth gameplay, and the occasional hilarious glitch. The same can be said for Skylanders as well. It's not bad, but it's not at it's fullest potential either. There's so much more that can be done with this game and it's universe. It's just being tied down.
Thanks for giving my little review type-journal a read, and thanks for understanding, too. Now, I've gotta go barricade my house from all the rabid Classic Spyro fans because of what I said.
Oh, yeah, and one other thing that I don't like with TLOS, the lip syncing in Dawn Of The Dragon is horrendous.