Review of Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (GBA)

Did you know there was a crossover game between Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot? Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy and Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto’s Rampage are both somewhat overlooked games. But might this be for a good reason?

Spyro the Dragon is one of my favorite video games, and I own every single game in the series. Of the thirteen main entries to the series (not counting any of the Skylanders games), Spyro Orange is my least favorite.

I really hate to give games a bad review, because most every game has some redeeming qualities that I can appreciate. While this is true for Spyro Orange, I still have to say that I simply didn’t like it.

But personally, I think this may just be me. Most people gave it a good review. But as a dedicated Spyro fan, I can honestly say that this game just didn’t feel like a Spyro game AT ALL. That’s why I didn’t like it.

Most all of the other Spyro the Dragon games take place in a somewhat open world. You can run around, explore, fight enemies, collect gems, talk to people, and travel through portals.

In Spyro Orange, on the other hand, you run through a confusing side-scroller map, trying to find and unlock portals. While this doesn’t sound that bad or different (and it actually isn’t too different from the side-scroller gameplay of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning for the Game Boy Advance), this isn’t the part that I hate.

While I don’t especially love side-scrollers, I absolutely hate mini-games. Unfortunately for me, Spyro Orange is FILLED with mini-games. *shudder*

Each level has multiple mini-games where you do ridiculous things to get to an end point. Each level has five mini-games, and each level has basically the same game, rehashed over and over. In one of them, Spyro drives a tank. A TANK. Why would a dragon need to drive a tank? I can’t get over that.

Admittedly, I’m sure some people (especially those who enjoy mini-games) would find this entertaining. But I’m more of an immersive, RPG-adventure-story kind of gamer. Those are the games I love, and Spyro Orange simply doesn’t fall into that category. For that reason, I just didn’t like it.

As a game, I guess it could be fun. The sounds are okay and the music is forgettable, and the graphics are ‘meh’, but it does have things for a player to do. For that, I appreciate the effort. At least it didn’t have much dialogue to hinder the gameplay.

However, I have to keep criticizing this game for the story. The story was not well done. After playing and beating it, I was still very confused as to what was going on. I understood that the Professor had been kidnapped before he could make…some kind of thing, but that was about it. I had no clue what Crash had to do with it.

At the time, I had never played a Crash Bandicoot game, so maybe that was part of it. But after playing, I read the plot of the game on Wikipedia, and I was surprised. I didn’t recall any of the storyline described.

I’ll stop hating on the game for a minute. I will be the first to say that Spyro Orange has some good things to offer. It was different from the other games, and I appreciate that. It may not have been my cup of tea, but at least they tried.

Also, I’m glad they made a crossover with Crash Bandicoot. The idea was fun, and for those that understood the story, I’m sure they enjoyed the experience.

Finally, for those who love frustrating mini-games, this game is full of them! It may be mildly confusing and unexplainable, but at least you have something to do while waiting in a doctor’s office.

To recap, I thought that this game was poorly executed. I don’t like mini-games, but they made up the majority of the gameplay. This is fine for some people, but for people like me, I would recommend skipping this game.

But for those that like side-scrollers and mini-games, Spyro Orange is perfect for you! Especially if you are a Spyro or Crash fan. If you are, you should probably try out both of the games. I’m sure you’d love them.

Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy isn’t for everyone. It was different and fun, and there are a lot of people who will like that. But for me, I’d much prefer to play the other Spyro titles.

What do you think? Have you ever played Spyro Orange? Did you like it? Did you understand the story? Tell us in the comments below.

Copyright 2018 Ammon Hansen

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