I have now completed the first two Spyro games in the Reignited Trilogy, so it is time for another review. As is often the case with sequels, Spyro 2 adds a lot of new features to the Spyro formula. While there are a lot of improvements, there were plenty of frustrating moments, as well. Let’s get to it!
To start, Spyro 2 introduces new characters, including several that make appearances in future Spyro games, such as your new ally, Hunter and the new villain, Ripto. One character that I have not seen in later installments was the faun Elora, which is a shame because I actually really liked her. There is also a bit more of a story in this game, which is nice.
Gameplay is pretty similar, though Spyro does gain a few new abilities throughout the game, such as the ability to swim underwater and climb. While this is generally a nice addition, you are required to backtrack occasionally in order to get 100%, which was not the case with the first game. Spyro is also given the hover ability right from the start, where he can get a little bit of extra air at the end of a glide. I was not really a big fan of this ability, as it had the habit of making jumps a bit more difficult and wasn’t always the easiest to control. Half the time, when I pressed the button to hover, Spyro would simply drop to the ground instead, which sometimes resulted in extra deaths and often resulted in me having to climb back up to a higher spot in order to attempt it again.
On a more positive note, the stages are more interesting this time around. Not only are the locations more varied and creative, there is also a short cut scene before and after and a lot more characters to speak to. To be honest, many of these cut scenes are rather silly, but they and the inhabitants of each level do serve to add more life to the game.
In addition to collecting gems, you also collect orbs, which can be obtained by completing different challenges, which really adds to the variety. While this is generally an improvement, many of these challenges are just mini games, and I’ve never been the biggest fan of those. Furthermore, the orb challenges could range from entertaining to outright infuriating. More on the infuriating in a future post….
Though Spyro 2 is generally a better game than the far simpler Spyro the Dragon that came before it, I will say that this game also had more moments of aggravation than its predecessor. A portion of that comes from the more bothersome orbs you need to collect. Another thing that really bugged me was the fact that the stages reset when you revisit them, and you have to do a lot of things over again. Fracture Hills is one particularly heinous example, as I had to redo an annoying challenge just to attempt a mini game I couldn’t do until I learned the headbash move. And then, if I want the exit gate to reappear, I have to free all six satyrs again and wait for them to play their little song. Not a fun use of my time.
In short, like all good sequels, Spyro 2 generally improves on the series, even if that also means it’s a bit less…relaxing to play than the original. I guess all that’s left is to complete Spyro: Year of the Dragon, and I’ll have a full picture of Insomniac’s original Spyro trilogy. As usual, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, dear readers! What did you think about Spyro 2? Do you like it more or less than the original?
This post was originally published on Virtual Bastion on October 1, 2019.