|Forget that sixties has-been
magical dragon (we all know the song), because for todays generation, especially all
the tykes out there, Spyro is hip and happening. I mean what did Puff have, the sea? I can
tell you one thing (ok, maybe a few): he never had an active-camera mode that you could
toggle, nor the joy of roasting some sheep to fill up on life, nor the ability to learn
new skills and use them to his best advantage to collect items and save the world from a
horrible dictator. Nope, Spyro is no Puff. Hes a lot cooler.
Heres the skinny on the story. As you would assume, you play the lead as Spyro the teenage dragon. It seems that another has accidentally (of course by some half-wit, forgetful scientist) summoned Ripto and his crew who, because there are no dragons, quickly takes over the place, making it their own. Now, you can imagine what happens after this. Since you are a dragon, albeit purple, you are quickly summoned, unbeknownst to you since you believe youre headed off on some grand vacation. So the adventure begins.
As opposed to the last game where you had to rescue the dragons, obtain jewels and fight boss characters, Spyro 2 has you running around acquiring talismans and orbs in order to progress through the game. Of course you still have those pesky boss characters, but theyre spaced out enough to allow more time to enjoy the thrill of running around and torching whatever happens to cross your path. Spyro 2 also opens up a wider range of skills to develop and use through the game, namely swimming, climbing, and power-ups, which are items you are able to spit at your enemies, coals, electrical orbs, etc.
Let me tell you that the gameplay is pretty much the same as the last one. When you access the menu youll be greeted with a different format, but dont let this detract you from the game. The control is fluid and its easy to move about the screen, though at times I found it kind of difficult to get the hang of the jump, fly, glide trick that is required in certain areas of the game.
Expect the graphics to be the same, but the worlds to be more complex with different missions to accomplish in each and ability to return if you dont have the right skill to complete a certain quest. Some of these missions include racing a manta-ray through hoops or rescuing creatures from different places. Most of the time the many quests will involve gaining an extra orb, which youll use to open areas and find boss charactersnot necessarily something you can pass up.
The only qualm I have with this game is that it is very easy to become disoriented when youre in active camera mode. You are given the choice during the game to switch in and out of it, but I kept with it, since in the end it became more fun than frustrating to work with. The only thing is that I found myself memorizing the 3D levels in order to navigate to where I needed to go. For awhile Id be confused, then slowly allow myself to drop into the game, the world and fun of Spyro.
Its nice to see Sony coming out with another great game for kids. One thing that is for sure, is that if I had a child Id definitely have them sitting in front of this game instead of Quake or Unreal. This is a good buy for any family who would like to sit around the television and have a good time playing together.