Spyro 2 is pretty much the ideal video game sequel. At its heart, it follows the same formula as its predecessor, but it enhances that formula while adding in several new features. Though I loved the original, it didn’t take long for me to decide that this one was better.
In this game, Spyro inadvertently ends up in the world of Avalar and soon finds himself caught up in a plot to defeat Ripto, a villian who’s been causing trouble in that area. Assisted by new friends Elora, the Professor and Hunter (all of whom I was quite fond of, especially Hunter), Spyro has to visit various worlds in order to collect orbs and talismans so he can open more worlds and eventually reach Ripto.
The worlds were interesting and fun to explore. They were all fairly distinct and never really felt repetitive. My favourite was probably a place called Aquaria Towers, where you explore a base at the bottom of the ocean and later get to swim around outside it – finally getting out into the open ocean was really exciting. Another was Robotica Farms – some farmland which is run by robots, which was a rather quirky setting. I was also pretty fond of Magma Cone, a level which has you flying around the inside of a volcano.
With a game like this, the quality of these levels is one of the most important things. Though I enjoyed the levels of the first game, they were all essentially deserted locations, with the exception of a few enemies. This time, each level is full of wacky characters who’ll have a problem for you to solve upon your arrival (e.g. rescuing baby turtles, restoring a water supply or catching thieves) and once you’ve done this initial (usually linear) task, you can then go wherever you want and find other tasks to complete.
On top of the improved levels, this game also gives Spyro himself a more versatile play style. I was very pleased, for example, that he can swim now, as it opens the doors for a wider variety of settings and challenges. Spyro is also given the ability to fly much more often and in more fun and interesting ways than before.
So if you’re looking for a delightful slice of 90s 3D platforming, then look no further. This is a lovely game and one which has aged very nicely. I played it for the first time roughly twenty years after its initial release and I still had a lot of fun.