Reviewed by Tempest
No alternate review available
"Things are heatin'up! Spyro, the feisty,
fire-breathing dragon is back and he's ready to take on a
whole new adventure.
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! is the sequel to Spyro the dragon released a year earlier. The basic concept is still more or less the same as the previous game; it is a 3D action plateformer game designed for the PlayStation, sub-levels are accessed through portals and the game use a 3rd person view controller by the player. Spyro still has to gather treasures but must find orbs and talismans instead of freeing dragons in order to access latter levels. Despite many similarities, developers included several improvement and other changes over the previous game:
- Spyro can swim and can learn (read: buy) new abilities as he progress through the game; such as being able to climb ladders, swim under water and headbash. He is also getting a bit more experienced at flying as he can flap his wings at the end of a glide in order to give him a little boost. Note that he somehow forgot to roll sideway, and ability that would have made boss much easier.
- Levels are also designed to keep your interest in finding everything with small side-quests that allow you to explore the level more thoroughly. Moreover, each level has its own little setting, which allows the player to not feel like s/he is doing the same thing over and over again.
- The dragons from the previous games have been replaced with various anthropomorphic NPC who have a bit more dialog than the dragon from the previous game. But on the downside, those NPC often speak in game mechanisms and not like a normal person would do. For example, instead of saying "run to the edge, then jump and glide to this platform over there", they will directly ask you to press certain buttons on the game controller which is unnecessary (even for neophytes) and quite out-of-character.
- In each sub-level, defeating enemies no longer reward the player with a jewel but instead they release a "life force" and when enough enemies have been defeated, this activate one or more "power-up" gate that enhances one of Spyro's pre-determined ability for a limited time (such as rapid-dash, high jump, a breath that shoot fireball, etc).
- Savepoints are also much faster as you only need to pass near a fairy and she will record your progress automatically.
- On a little more negative point, NPC such as Elora or Hunter can somehow teleport themselves to the next "checkpoint"; for example, if you meet them at the entrance of a castle, then run down a corridor, they will wait for you at the end for more dialog despite that it isn't really possible for them to move that fast.
- Levels are rather random in terms of whom Spyro is helping. For exemple, in a level, you will help blob-like creatures against bird, while in another fight similar blob-like creatures.
- Finally, a huge thumb up to the developers who managed to make this game from a dragon point of view. By this I mean the way Spyro behaves. For example, in a minigame, Spyro must play hockey, he can skate quite nicely but instead of pushing the puck, he just eat it and keep it in his mouth before spitting it into the net of his opponent... If you were a quadruped dragon, you would probably take such kind of shortcut regardless if this is within the rules of the game (as he can't hold a hockey stick).
So as you see, there are plenty of changes and mostly they are improvements over the previous game.
The story line:
The story begin some times after the defeat of Gnasty Gnorc, the rain has been pouring for an extended period of time in the Artisans (the Land of Dragons) and both Spyro and Sparx are tired of the bad weather wishing to be in a place warm and sunny. Noticing the portal to Dragon Shores, they decide that it's a good choice to go on vacations.
Meanwhile in the world of Avalar, the Professor, Elora and Hunter are gathered around a portal. The Professor has designed it to link their world to the Dragons World in the hope of bringing a dragon to Avalar in order to defeat Ripto, a demon-looking guy who is causing them a lot of trouble. Hunter argues that a dragon would probably just make Ripto even more angry, but Elora quickly point out that a dragon is the only creature that Ripto truly fear. As Spyro steps into the portal to Dragon Shores, he is sent to Avalar instead.
After a brief confusion, Ripto along with Crunch and his steed Gulp, make his appearance. Ripto quickly destroy the portal using his magic scepter before noticing that the trio before him brought a dragon to Avalar. This makes him very angry but before he could do anything a fairy distract Ripto. Gulp trying to hit her with his club miss and knock Ripto instead. His scepter fly off his hands and his none too bright steed Crush eat it. Ripto feeling vulnerable, decide to flee to Avalar's Summer Forest. And thus the adventure begin...
The game follows more or less the same concept as the previous game but when Spyro finish a level, he gains a Talisman and when he performs side quest or search around the main level, he can get Orbs. Talismans are necessary to move to latter levels while Orbs are necessary to repair the portal to send Spyro back to his world. Jewels are used to pay Moneybags so he can teach Spyro new abilities, can open doors, activate bridges, provide access to new portals and so on. If you manage to recover everything, you will gain access to a special and permanent powerup at the end of the game. Note that Moneybags isn't good or evil, he's only interested in money, nothing else really matters to him.
Graphics are not terribly different from the previous game Spyro the Dragon. Much of the problems inthe first game remain with Spyro being relatively well detailled and enemies having poor details and textures. Since it's a console game, the hardware never change or improve over time so it's unrealistic to expect graphics to be a magnitude better as it is often the case in PC games.
The Sound & Music:
The music is not distracting or annoying, some are a bit odd but it contain diversity that should be okay for people with differents music tastes.
Note: the overall is not an average, but more a general appreciation of the game as a whole.
R a t i n g
|Graphics:||(7.0/10) - Good|
|Sound & Music:||(7.5/10) - Good|
|Story line:||(6.0/10) - Average|
|Play Control:||(7.0/10) - Good|
|Innovation:||(6.5/10) - Average|
|Overall:||(7.5/10) - Good
A rating of 5/10 should be considered as something not good but not bad either (# bad points = # good points).