Puff the magic dragon? Pfft, please…
The original Spyro the Dragon trilogy from the Playstation 1 era finally made it’s way to the Playstation Store this week. To celebrate the arrival of Spyro and his buddies, we’re reviewing his classic adventures each day.
Yesterday we did our review of the first in the series, Spyro the Dragon, which you can read by clicking right here.
So as promised, today we’re brining you our Rewind Review for Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!
Also, please note that we’re using the Spyro reviews to try out a new reviewing format, one that is easier to read, not filled with pretentious crap and is only aimed at giving you the best possible representation of the game.
What Is It?
Well, depending on where you currently reside, it’s either Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! or Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer. Ripto’s Rage! for North America and Gateway to Glimmer for the UK and Europe.
For the sake of continuity, we’re just going to refer to the game as Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, mainly because it’s easier to type. What do you mean we’re lazy…
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! is, as the name suggests, the second entry into the Spyro series of games.
Where last time Spyro was tasked with saving the other dragons throughout the Dragon Worlds, this adventure takes place in the world of Avalar.
The evil villain that’s causing the mischief is Ripto, an evil sorcerer who rides around of a dinosaur, for no apparent reason other than he can. From the looks of the little wizard, I’d say he’s compensating for something. But that’s just me.
Ripto has been going around the world of Avalar causing trouble for the inhabitants with his magic powers, creating a series of nasties that Spyro has to sort out.
I’m not getting into specifics on the story for the sole purpose that it’s actually not bad as far as video game plots go, and considering the game came out over a decade ago when plots and details were an afterthought, it’s not bad by any account.
Following on and improving on the gamplay present in Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! brings the familiar mechanics as well as adding some nifty new features.
Some of the new features present is the ability to buy new abilities. Want to climb that ladder? Swim underwater? Then you’re going to have to fork out a few of those gems you’ve been collecting, because Moneybags, your “dealer” in abilities doesn’t do freebies.
It might sound a bit stingy making you but the right to do actions, but it works very well and encourages you to hunt down every last gem, as well as go back and play through previous levels.
Ripto, much like Gnasty Gnorc, doesn’t like to get his hands dirty so you’ll be taking on his minions throughout the various levels around Avalar. It’s pretty much the same as in Spyro the Dragon in the sense that the enemies can be defeated either by giving them a head butt or dishing out some flames. There is of course the standard boss levels which require a bit more though than the minions, and just like the games of old, they get progressively more difficult as you go further into the game.
Even though it’s over a decade old, the simple combination of running around, smashing things and defeating enemies still holds strong, in fact, if you’ve played the Lego games of recent times, you’ll see where they drew their inspiration from with Spyro.
Like I said in the review for Spyro the Dragon, the graphics aren’t amazing. Not by today’s standards anyway. You have to remember, this came out on the Playstation 1, a console that is now out-powered by the cheapest low-end smartphone available. So go into it with an open mind and you’ll appreciate it a whole lot more.
That’s not to say it’s horrible, the graphics are bright and colourful, the characters are well animated and Spyro looks as great as ever.
One thing that has been noted by myself and others is that if you’re playing on your Playstation 3 on you HDTV, it’s going to show the imperfections much more than it does on the screens of the PS Vita and PSP. So, for a better looking game, I recommend it on the portables, especially the PS Vita.
Once again, the characters are voiced excellently and Spyro is voiced by the fantastic Tom Kenny, who you may recognise as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants. Not that I watch it…
The music is also top notch, with the soundtrack composed by Stewart Copeland, former band member of The Police. Copeland also did the music for Spyro the Dragon, which was brilliant, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! is no different. The music is probably the best of that generation and accentuates the charm of the little purple dragon’s adventures.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! still plays strong today, despite being released two console generations ago. It’s simple and innocent fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still provides hours of gameplay and fun. For me, fun is the most important thing in a game, the graphics can be dated, the music can be cheesy and the characters silly, but as long as it’s fun then it’s worth your time. Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! fits this quite nicely, it’s a classic that you should definitely put aside some time to re-live, or discover if you’ve never played it.
Presentation: The main menu is easy enough to use, saving and loading takes no toll on your brain. The pause menu is also fairly straight forward, nothing overly complicated. 8
Graphics: There’s a definite upgrade from Spyro the Dragon, but don’t expect the same quality as you see today. Still impressive considering its age. For a more visually pleasing experience play it on the PS Vita 8.5
Sound: Characters are voiced splendidly, the music is once again brilliantly mesmerising and the sound of flaming a sheep is surprisingly satisfying. 9
Gameplay: It’s more of the same really, but with some added features and abilities. The story is amusing and keeps you going, the collectibles are still there to keep you busy long after you’ve defeated the evil Ripto. Fun in it’s simplest and greatest form. Don’t hesitate to get it. 10
End Score: 8.9