Yep, it's another Spyro game, and it's again on the stalwart PS2, home to many of the dragon's previous outings... both good and bad. Fortunately, unlike its messy DS counterpart, Spyro: The Eternal Night on PS2 is actually a pretty good game. But that's something of a double-edged compliment - it's just a "pretty good" game.
The Eternal Night picks up right where the previous Spyro title left off, after the young purple reptile's climactic battle with Cynder. Sadly, Sypro isn't going to be getting a break anytime soon, as the ape-king Gaul has gotten into that whole "reviving the lord of darkness" shtick game villains love so much. The storyline is nicely presented, and many of the Hollywood talents from A New Beginning reprise their vocal roles in The Eternal Night, Gary Oldman, Billy West, and everyone's favorite hobbit, Elijah Wood round out a roster of familiar names. While the familiar voice talent is nice, Elijah Wood again shows that he really isn't much of a voice-over actor, and Billy West's character of wisecracking sidekick Sparx is as grating as ever.
The graphical presentation is equally top-notch. While the visuals aren't of the same hi-def quality you'd get on the 360 or PS3, they are still of excellent quality. The character models for Spyro's friends and foes are well rendered and appealing. The varied fantasy environments, ranging from ruins to forests to mysterious locales suspended in space, all look fantastic. The Eternal Night's use of special effects and colored lighting is also very well done, and the darker overall color scheme of the game helps add a lot to the ambience of the levels.
After seeing the amount of effort put into securing a high-profile voice cast and making the visuals look great, the rather standard-issue gameplay is something of a letdown. Basically, if you've played Spyro: A New Beginning, you're getting a lot more of the same with a few tweaks here and there. If you haven't played A New Beginning, we can sum The Eternal Night's gameplay up as such: Run around, jump from platform to platform, don't fall in pits, ram and spit dragon breath at enemies, and solve a few simple puzzles every now and then until you reach a boss. Still sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? There's some effort to mix things up with Spyro's ability to slow down time temporarily, but it doesn't make up for the touchiness jumping and gliding controls, which you'll often be using in tandem with the time-dimension skill. The stages themselves are quite straightforward and the combat is rather simplistic, so there winds up not being a whole lot of depth to the gameplay overall. The stages and boss battles, while visually pretty, lack anything to make them really memorable, and you probably won't find yourself to compelled to revisit them for any reason.
To sum it up, Spyro: The Eternal Night is a solid platformer with some nice visuals and simple but enjoyable gameplay. It doesn't have any huge, glaring deficiencies to speak of, but at the same time, it's simply not cut from the sort of stock that makes a classic. Spyro: The Eternal Night is a fun enough experience, but it's probably not anything you'll reminisce about once it's over with.