Talking Point

This Spyro Game is Completely Unplayable

There's some really bad games out there but you don't often associate unplayable with Spyro. Well the purple dragon made a couple of GameCube appearances, once of them being memorably bad.

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Ever play a game that's so bad that it makes you cry? Well my friend's little brother had this experience when he first picked up Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. This unplayable game is the result of the purple dragon's license being sold off to Universal in 2000, and an entire new team working on the game from scratch.

It's really too bad because Spyro is such a beloved character. Going through the motions with 3 excellent games for the PS1 in the late 90s, Spyro really became an early icon for kids of this generation.

Spyro established Insomniac as a company and, with Crash Bandicoot, really cemented the PS1 as a legitimate contendor in a market dominated by Nintendo and Sega for 10 years. However, all good things must end, with Insomniac wanting to focus on Ratchet & Clank and Universal wanting to distribute the game across the board which meant it got to be on GameCube for the first time! This probably left a bad taste in ultrafans mouths but at the end of the day, and IP is only as good as the people who play it. Letting a cash cow like Spyro simply fade to the wind would have been a terrible business decision for all involved so the purchase makes sense.

The thing that doesn't make sense is the timeline. The final product is so clearly rushed. Filled with more glitches that No Man's Sky on launch day, this thing was so buggy and barely playable. The voice acting is horrendous, the character models look like someone's kid's failed art project, and the entire game is just clearly a title that was only made to say "hey we have Spyro now!". Having Spyro developed by someone other than Insomniac really does feel sac religious, not to mention that Spyro's development has shifted to different companies so many times since this.

There's a great video essay on some of the specific flaws in this game that Matt McMuscles covers here:

If you want to hear even more detail about why exactly this game is so bad please check out our segment on Enter the Dragonfly in Episode 8 of The GameCube Was cool! Skip to 48:54 to hear all about everyone' favourite purple dragon.


Mike Laine

Mike is a designer and developer by trade who has a passion for gaming and the social connection they provide. Of course his favourite console is the GameCube but he got his career in gaming started with a GameBoy Color complete with Space Invaders, Super Mario World, and Pokemon Red. Ever since that Christmas he's been hooked on all things Nintendo all though he does have quite the love hate relationship with them. Mike has worked in the world of journalism and has many friends and family in the radio and TV business so has been exposed to the world of podcasting for many years now. His goal is to remind people that the GameCube existed, that you played it at a McDonald's at some point, and you probably even enjoyed it.