I have to admit, I like Spyro the Dragon. Even though he’s marketed towards younger kids, I still enjoy most of his games. So, today I’ll be talking about one of my favourite Spyro games; Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage for the Playstation.
The game starts with Spyro saying that he needs a vacation (from what, I have no idea) and goes through a portal. However, instead of reaching the sandy beaches of Dragon Shores, he ends up on the distant world of Avalar. There he meets Elora, a faun, Hunter, a comic relief type cheetah, and the Professor, who built the portal to get Spyro there. He also meets Ripto, an evil sorcerer who was also accidentally transported there by the professor. Ripto has taken over most of Avalar and the one thing that can stop him is a Dragon (for some reason), and although Spyro is small for his species, he’s up to the task.
The levels are well designed. It will normally have you have to follow the residents of the land around once, help them out so you can continue and reward you with a talisman needed to eventually move on and finish the game. However, the levels are not linear. There is the path that you have to follow at first, but afterwards you’ll see there is a lot more space to explore. There are 400 gems and a few orbs for you to collect in most levels, and though some are on that first path, most aren’t. Since they both eventually become necessary, you’ll want to find most of them. Though the gems are just found on the ground, most orbs are not. Most of the time you’ll have to talk to a citizen of the level and do a favour for him and he’ll reward you with an orb.
The levels grouped and divided into areas called home worlds. These also have orbs and gems to collect, but no talisman to find. They are also significantly bigger than most levels. These home worlds make it so you can adventure around the levels available in any order you want so long as you complete all of them so you can move to the next home world. At the end of each home world is a boss (otherwise, there are none in the game). The bosses are a piece of cake and shouldn’t be a problem for most gamers.
All this is fun, but I have to say the best things about this game are the controls, which is important in platformers (especially in 3D). In this game, Spyro has the ability to breathe fire, jump, glide, run and ram stuff. The L and R buttons are used to adjust to camera and this game works with the analog stick Playstation controllers. I highly recommend using it by the way because the analog stick gives you better control while running. Running like that moves the pace of the game to a whole other level so you will want to use it most of the game.
If I had to say I had a problem with the game, it’s that this game is too easy. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since this game seems made for kids, but it takes away from the replay-ability of the game. See, in a game like this, the replay-ability lies in finding all the orbs and gems in each level and home world. But this game is often so easy that you can easily find everything on your first visit to a level if you just adventure around a bit (exceptions for when you need a skill you can only use later in the game). Like I said, this isn’t a bad thing, but when I beat and find everything so easily the first time, it doesn’t make me want to play it again after I finished the game.
This game is great. It’s a great 3D platforming game that makes you want to get everything right away, since you often know you can. The animation is also fun to watch, making up for the Playstations graphical limitations with cartoonishly exaggerated movements. The only downside is its lack of a challenge so I feel I have to take away some of its score. I give this game 8 out of 10 levels.