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Spyro 2 is spitting fire

November 12, 1999
Web posted at: 9:47 a.m. EST (1447 GMT)

by Scary Larry

Action Shots

Look What the Cat Dragon'd In

In Spyro 2, Ripto controls the seasons, and you have to travel through three different ones to catch him and defeat him. Summer Forest, Autumn Springs, and Winter Solstice are all full of comical and colorful enemies and objectives. Forget the young look -- Spyro requires a more mature brain to figure out the puzzles, collect all the gems, and find the rare orbs. Although some orbs and gems are right in front of your fire-breathing snout, others require that you search thoroughly, complete mini-missions, or just plain scratch your head to figure out their location.

The game is not without its simple pleasures, though. Most enemies are ridiculously easy to kill, and the bosses don't require as much skill as they do patience. The worlds are wonderfully illustrated, and contain a mysterious magical quality that makes the game a joy to play - and watch.

Fired Up

Spyro has a few moves bred into him right from the outset, like flying and breathing fire, but he also learns different skills, like gliding, hover-jumping, and head-butting. All of these come into play in a detailed and fanciful graphic set, which showcases the fact that the PlayStation doesn't need millions of polygons to impress. It just needs the right polygons in the right game engine, and Spyro 2 fits the bill. Everything from the large enemies and funny side-characters to the constantly moving backgrounds and amazing water effects make Spyro 2 a winner.

The sounds fare well simply because of the amount of voice talent used. Everyone Spyro talks to has their own unique voice, and the sound effects, from the whooshing flames to the crashing ice, is crystal clear and well-placed. Even the enemy grumbling never gets repetitive or boring.

Spyro's controls are easy enough to grasp - after limited practice. Jumping, flying gliding, and flaming all require simple button presses - you never use the whole controller or all of the buttons, which makes the game simple and fun. The camera doesn't suffer from the curse of most 3D games - it stays where you want it, and you can change it from Passive (a slight distance from Spyro) to Active (always switching to behind Spyro) at the drop of a hat.

Spyromaniacs Unite!

Gamers from every genre may squeeze their faces at the though of this colorful, young-looking game making such a splash, but the fact is that Spyro cuts across all the engine-bending graphics and severe AI of PlayStation games and lets loose with a fun, funny, and fantastically imaginative title.

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