Firstly, let me just say that I grew up with the Spyro series. It was my first step into the gaming world and I still cherish the memories of beating the first Spyro game for the first time in kindergarden and first grade. That was back when Spyro was simply an open platformer in which you run around collecting things, beating enemies, and saving eggs. Now, it is something quite different; this game is a platformer, certainly, but it is not as open as it used to be. You cannot go where you want at will, but have to stick to your objectives and travel through each world one after the other, and though you still collect "gems" or crystals, these are used to upgrade and strengthen your character(s) in a RPG (role play game for those who don't know) kind of style.
I wouldn't give this give this game 4 stars in a review intended for older kids by any means; the game had its issues, was simple, the voice acting cheesy in a way that would make any older person laugh, and there were definitely issues with the game in terms of controlling the characters.
HOWEVER. This is an excellent game for a kid. I know it from experience, as my little sister got this game for Christmas when it just came out, as for old times sake, I played it with her. It was a lot of fun for me, but it was incredibly fun for her. She was always begging me to play Spyro with her, and wouldn't play it without me. We finished the whole game through by working together and had a lot of fun with it. But thats just it; this games true fun potential is ONLY when you have someone else to play with. Its a good game, but flawed in that when you play single player the computer AI character still has to follow you around....which poses problems because the computer AI is impossible to control and very very stupid.
BTW, its an interesting game in the sense that it can either be 1 player or 2 player game, as each dragon, Cynder and Spyro, can be controlled by a player. The dragons are connected by a convenient little collar that keeps them from getting to far from each other and acts as a kind of rope to allow them to work together to get places and keep the other from falling off cliffs. This works well....in the two player mode. Unfortunatly, this game is almost impossible to play solo. That is one of its greatest flaws; the AI of your partner, when not controlled by another human being, is incredibly stupid. They will pull you off cliffs, jump into walls, be completely incompetent and battle, and overall make it impossible to play and beat the fairly difficult bosses, especially with the glitchy and questionable Wii mote controller. So unless you plan to play with your kids, or if your kid has a sibling (it would be perfect for friends and family to spend time with each other) I really can't recommend this game. However, if they DO happen to have someone to play with, I recommend it heavily.
And don't listen to what the official review says. The monsters are large and intimidating in a sort of colossus mountain fire monster way, but there is NO WAY they could scare an adult. I doubt it could even scare most children over the age of 6.