Our thoughts before seeing Spyro reimagined went something like this: 'Oh God, more pastel-coloured, gem-collecting schmaltz from hell'. Now, after a thorough play-test? Well, it's a little like Golden Axe meets Lord Of The Rings , meets The Matrix, meets Ninja Gaiden. Yes, really.
This is a new beginning for Spyro in every way. It's darker, it's combat-based, Spyro actually acts like a dragon now and gone are the cutesy flopsy bunnies and gems. In its place, we've got an Elijah Wood and Gary Oldman-led cast, a barrage of super moves incorporating the four elements and a re-booted plot that sees Spyro attain something he never got in the previous five titles - respect.
Playing this Spyro means mastering combat moves, learning to combine different elements together and stringing attacks to take out bad guys before they have chance to fight back. During our play-through we had four bad guys juggled in the air as we played keepy-uppy with them. We had bad guys bundled up inside snowballs, or dancing about in flames and when Spyro's rage-meter was fully charged, we were performing moves that blistered the entire screen, sending waves of electric and pulses of energy rippling across a level. Nothing was left standing, and that's a remarkable thing to see for a game that began life as kiddie's platformer. We want to go on, but the late inclusion of that pesky ad below means we're unable to cram in everything we saw but, rest assured, when review day comes Spyro will be getting a lot of coverage. We never thought we'd say this, but the purple dragon looks like one of the most exciting titles on Xbox this year. More soon!