GameFAQS, Spyro 2:Ripto’s Rage, Title Screen, MrQuiet3
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Universal Interactive Studios/ Sony Computer Entertainment
(This review is based on the PS Vita version, and is available for the PS1, 2, 3, PSP, on PSN)
Made in 1999, a whole year after the first game, Spyro 2 successfully refined and developed the foundation and with that improvement came new exciting features. The greatest virtues of Spyro 2 is smoother tight controls, worlds that have more character to them and fun power ups that add meaningful variety without radical changes. Its negative is a minor issue with backtracking.
But the question once again remains: The predecessor has stood the test of time, but has the successor’s minor issues grown into big problems in today’s gaming world?
Ripto’s Rage, Spyro the Dragon 2 Artwork by ImotepNicholas, Deviantart
Set a year after the events of Spyro 1, our purple hero heads to Dragon Shores to escape his world’s gloomy weather. He ends up in a different realm called Avalar that suffers from the tyranny of Ripto. 4 residents of Avalar ask for Spyro’s help in ending Ripto’s reign and he sets out to defeat Ripto.
Spyro 2’s plot is as simple as the predecessor, but there is greater emphasis on cut scenes with unique characters across the three hub worlds. The antagonist, Ripto is one dimensional but significantly better than Gnasty Gnorc as an antagonist because he is more involved as the game’s villain compared to Gnasty Gnorc’s disconnection until he shows up in the final level. The voice acting is also a step up from the corny performances of the predecessor, with delightfully charming performances by the cast.
AT: Spyro the Dragon by Lauzi, Deviantart
Gameplay engagement is mostly the same as the processor, with orbs and talismans that must be collected to progress into new sections. The sequel has made a noticeable improvement in the fluidity and direction of the control and the once slippery charge attack is now been perfected with the charge jump now able to leap great distances. Spyro also has new techniques of swimming, climbing and head bashing which have to be unlocked.
Orbs are obtained through completing level specific missions or locating them in the three hub worlds. The missions are mostly locate and collect/defeat ex number of objects or enemies with certain levels having unique missions such as Colossus hockey mission and Breeze Harbor’s vehicle section. Power up gates that activate by defeating a certain number of enemies provide temporary bursts of fun and are needed to complete missions.
Gameplay engagement is a blast from beginning to end, but orbs and other collectables from previous levels being unobtainable because the player hasn’t unlocked a new technique creates a minor issue with backtracking. Completions will likely notice this flaw, but casual players will be too invested in the concise level design to even notice.
The sequel also handles boss battles significantly better than the predecessor, and all three offer enjoyable challenge even through there straight forward affairs. The final battle is also more climatic than Gnasty Gnorc, with Ripto and Spyro scrambling for power up orbs, ending with them fighting in the air over a lava arena.
Rebloggy, spyro summer forest spyro world, spyroismagic, 6th Image
Spyro 2 has a more cartoon world than the fantasy setting of the original. This cartoon setting comes from the comical cut scenes when entering a new level and the more imaginative settings of Robotica Farms and Colossus that deviate from the fantasy norm. This upbeat approach is then contrasted by the hub world’s tranquil and calming music, a musical direction that enforces how Spyro is outside his native home and in a new mysterious land.
The production values of a 16 year old game have also aged well with finer details and better texture quality than the predecessor. Steward Copeland returns with his musical talent and crafts a catchy and memorable sound track with the calming music of the hub worlds flexing his musical variety.
GameFAQS, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, MrQuiet3
Spyro 2 is a great example of a sequel expanding its foundations and adding thoughtful bells and whistles to its strong core. Even the small negative of backtracking doesn’t affect the engagement as a whole with only completions being mildly grumpy over going back to older levels. With tighter control, a much better villain and solid simplistic gameplay, Spyro 2 is an game that survived the passage of time and is as fun to play 16 years ago as it is today.