I mentioned my heavy criticism of Season of Ice earlier, feeling that it was bogged down by dull levels, requiring too many blind jumps, confusing level design made even worse with the lack of a map, and cheap enemy placement.
Well I got Season of Flame yesterday and I can safely say this is much much much better. I remember getting this on Christmas Eve the year it came out and loving it the most out of the three Spyro games from 2001-03. Years later that sentiment is still true.
What Season of Ice got wrong, Season of Flame gets right. This time you do have a map (press l+select), and it makes all the difference in the world. Even so, the levels are way easier to navigate, and combined with more colorful locations makes it more fun to explore than Season of Ice. Your objective is to collect fireflies by freezing them, and that's actually pretty fun as well.
The confusing depth perception from the first game is pretty much gone in this one, as blind jumps are very rare to come across. I also love the levels with Sheila the Kangaroo (with platforming levels that play a little like Mario Party) and Agent 9 (run and gun, complete with pressing down+jump to jump down a platform!). There's also more variety in the minigames, and the enemies are rarely placed in cheap areas.
One brilliant touch is the upgraded atlas, which not only tracks down how many gems and fireflies you've gotten per level, but also displays which the missions via icons. And thankfully you do not need to collect every firefly to face the final boss.
Overall I really like this game. There's an increased variety of moves and upgrades (such as super ice and flame breath, a more powerful charge attack, and an extra hit point), the minigames are (mostly) fun, and there's far less to criticize. This game proves that not only can Spyro be done on a portable device, but can be done really well. Anyone disappointed by Season of Ice should try this, as it is much more fun.
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