Spyro the Dragon 2 Review
August 15, 2018
With the announcement of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, I've been psyched about Spyro for the past few months. You can see my review for the original here. I decided to give Spyro 2 a try since the first one was so awesome.
Differences from Spyro 1
Spyro 2 has quite a few differences from the original game.
First and formost, Spyro can swim now. I'm not sure how I feel about it, on the one hand, why wouldn't a dragon be able to swim? They are reptiles, and reptiles can definitely swim. On the other hand, he is a dragon, with fire in his belly, so I can see why water would kill him too...Overall I prefer Spyro not being able to swim. There are some water levels in the game, and they are just ok. Nothing spectacular. However, I think water levels are usually horrible, so the fact that they were ok is good for Spyro 2. But it is more fun with Spyro not being able to swim in my opinion. There is more of an adrenaline rush around water in the first game.
Spyro can now climb...ladders. I don't know why they added this. In real life, dragons clearly can't climb ladders. They can fly! Who needs ladders when you can fly? But anyway, there are ladders in this game, which I think is a cheap way to get out of better platforming in certain levels.
The hub worlds don't have enemies any more. They are kind of lifeless.
Instead of saving dragons turned into statues, in Spyro 2 the goal is to collect "orbs". These are green balls with an awkward animation each time you collect one. They aren't nearly as cool. Saving a dragon was exciting, he would say something cool and the animation was cool too and only took half a second. Plus, you could clearly see dragon statues in the distance, and knew that was the goal. And it felt good saving a dragon. Orbs are usually given for "completing" a level or beating a mini-game. Neither of which are as fun. I don't really remember the point of the Orbs in the story, but they are a negative in my opinion.
Spro 2 is full of new characters to interact with. Most of them are a huge waste. First there is Hunter, a large cat who walks around on two legs. He teaches you how to do some basic controls and is involved in some mini-games. Hunter is the worst. In Spyro 1, they just threw you into the game, no explanation was needed, you could easily figure out how to jump and glide and run around on your own. In Spyro 2, they treat you like an idiot who can't figure out anything without an explanation and the characters tell you how to play the game. It is just an annoying waste of time. Then there is a girl animal, I can't remember what animal she was. She was a waste too. Then there is Moneybags, a fat bear with a monicle who makes you pay him gems to unlock new areas. Moneybags is clearly a bad guy, Spro should be able to fight him, not pay him gems.
Each level also has new characters, usually a group of good guys being harassed by bad guys. They are almost always annoying, and talk too much, slowing down the action.
The first level in Spyro 2 is one of the worst. You realize that the game thinks you are an idiot and explains EVERYTHING to you even if it is totally obvious. But it also has some inaccessible areas, meaning you can't finish the level in one go. You have to come back to this level later. I hate when games do that, I like to play a level and be done with it. Spyro 1 was really great about this. There are a few more places to back-track here and there, and overall it isn't bad, but I wish they didn't have any.
Spyro 2 is full of mini-games. Most of them are horrible, stressful wastes of time. For instance, Spyro plays ice-hocky, throws bombs at a bull, rides a mine cart, and races Hunter the cat to do stupid stuff. These minigames are by far the worst part of Spyro 2.
New Level Design
Spyro 2 has a lot of great levels. There are all sorts of themes: Icy Nepal, Robots Farming, Cavemen, and everything else, and they are mostly great. The platforming is good and there are a lot of cool secrets to find. They all pretty much have the same formula. The "good guys" in the level are being harassed by the bad guys. When you start the level, a good guy will explain the problem and you need to help them. I prefer Spyro 1 where you just get thrown into each level and figure out what to do and where to go on your own, but Spyro 2's levels are still great.
The graphics are good, they seem a little smoother than the original game, but I actually prefer the original's graphics. Things seem a little too smooth and kiddy in Spyro 2, but they are still good.
The sound and music are great. The voice acting is highly annoying, and I'm pretty sure I heard Spongebob Squarepants's voice on a few of the characters!
The key element in a platformer, the gameplay is excellent. It is mostly the same as the original game, with Spyro running around, blowing fire, headbutting, and gliding around, collecting gems and finding other collectibles. Again, the mini-games are a major detractor from this fun gameplay, but overall it is still VERY fun.
Overall, Spyro 2 is a good sequel. It isn't as good as the original, there is too much extra crap thrown into the game. I hate it when a game treats you like an idiot and tries to explain the obvious. And the mini-games are such a waste. Despite this, it is still an amazing platformer, and I do recommend Spyro 2 if you like 3D platformers. I'd give it an 8 out of 10.