Hi, I am 21 years-old and I enjoy playing Spyro. No, I’m not practising my opening sentence for the Nerd’s Anonymous meeting, I say it because I am proud to. I was first introduced to the wonders of Spyro at aged 10 and have recently bought the classic 1999 game (for the second time) to rediscover my childhood. Oddly, the second game in the Spyro series is largely considered the best and I’d have to agree. Gateway to Glimmer is self-contained, fresh and simply the Godfather of games if you will 😉
This classic game is spilt into three home worlds or ‘seasons’ labelled as Summer Forest, Autumn Plains and Winter Tundra . (Spring is missing but you get the picture). Each one is an impossibly pretty, multicoloured haven that I can’t seem to leave in a hurry. Each home world contains roughly 8 or 10 portals in which to kill enemies, collect countless gems and complete tasks that award you with the all-important orbs that will eventually take Spyro home to Dragon Shores.
But enough of that! There’s exploring to be done in your home world. Having mild gaming tourettes, I must collect every last item, paddle in every stream and treat each home world as a level in itself before bothering with the actual factual ones. So much so that I will happily lose lives by gliding off a platform or mountain into thin air for the hell of it. The glide lasts a good while before the graphics remind you this is a no-no and sure enough, Spyro plummets to his death.
But I am no reckless moron (at least not when it comes to Spyro). I only pull this stunt when I have at least 5 lives or more and with plenty of sheep around, my life count rarely drops below 3. (I’ll get to the sheep in a minute. Teehee….sheep). Anyway, Spyro’s health/life count exists in the form of Sparx, his trusted friend and dragonfly who will turn three different colours to let you know how safe or potentially fucked you are. Sparx will glow gold at the height of Spyro’s health and descend into green and blue until he leaves Spyro’s side altogether. This is when Spyro is rather fucked and the next run in with an enemy will result in a return to your last save point.
Fortunately, each world contains little creatures Spyro can kill for Sparx to eat up and restore your health. Unfortunately for me, these creatures are often incredibly cute (with the exception of sheep); such as little worms, baby caterpillars and small birds (in underwater levels, these creatures are made to wear mini helmets to allow them to breathe. How nice!). Sometimes I like to push my luck and survive as long as I can without killing one. But “Get a grip, Rebecca!”, I say. This is a dragon-eat-dragon world and it is what must be done.
Once you are geared up, it is onto the various portals with you which have more themes to them than Windows 7. There are levels underwater, in a desert setting, on a Robot farm and in a futuristic metropolis but to name a few. The list is endless and so is the fun to be had. Each level contains genuinely catchy music and enemies of all shapes, colours, sizes and species (albeit mostly made up). And each task is as individual as the enemies you come across with an endearing humour to them. My highlights include:
– Hopping on a rollercoaster to collect gears and avoid explosives.
– Rescuing satyr’s that play the bagpipes to collectively break open a tower. All while sweet little pigs get up and dance to the tune.
– Reuniting Romeo (A fat git called Colonel Blub) with his Juliet (A tall bird. No, really.)
– Catching orb thieves that torment you with an actual “Na-na, ne-na-na!” (Ah, the mild hand cramp still remains…)
– And shooting down sheep saucers – yes, flying saucers that are controlled by sheep. (I LOVE this game!)
Kudos to the designers behind Spyro who clearly worked tirelessly to create a thoroughly enjoyable and addictive gaming experience filled to the brim with unique tasks and hidden worlds that make this game so satisfying and challenging to play. Whether you’re 8 or 28.