Spyro Fusion (GBA)
Imagine for a moment that you make games for a living. You work in an office with an artist and a sound guy, and along with a few other game enthusiasts you make GameBoy Advance games. Now imagine you're given the job of creating a new update to Spyro the Dragon, but there's a small problem. Maybe your whole team hates dragons. Perhaps you've got an absurd deadline, or you just got a 85% pay cut. Maybe they've moved your office into the lavatory. Whatever the reason it's caused this game to suck.

The 'features' of this game read like a clueless manager's checklist. You've got your family friendly merchandisable mascot character, simple goals, a series of mini games, and trading cards 'cause that's what the kids are into these days. It's a travesty from the very beginning - no original concepts were wasted in the production of this game.

The graphics are very bad, or worse. Horribly pre-rendered sprites have sucked the soul out of Spyro, stripping from him the charm and personality we've come to know and love. The backgrounds are often made from a single hue, the platforms you jump on are boring or ugly, and often both.

As in previous Spyro games you collect crystals, avoid retracting spikes and flame or jump on enemies. This is standard Spyro fare, it hasn't changed since 1998, so the developers spiced up the game with mysterious portals, each leading to an ugly and boring minigame. There are five on every level, they're all awful and they're all mandatory. It's in the developer's guidebook: when you haven't got enough good ideas for a game, throw in a series of extra minigames to keep the punters distracted.

You also get to collect cards and trade them with your friends, as if anyone would admit to being your friend if you talked them into buying this crap. Everything about this game is bad. Spyro drives tanks, melts ice and sits in tall robots. If this sounds like fun we're very sorry - it's not. It's ugly, boring, uninspired and dull.

And it has a sibling, Crash Bandicoot Fusion. It's the worst case of rushing a game to market, made worse by releasing what is essentially the same game with a different set of spirtes and minigames. They're clones, but this is (accidentally?) marginally the better version.

Publisher: Vivendi Games
Price: 30 quid
Players: 1-4 (Link)
Rating: 32%