Spyro has a special place in my heart. The original three were among the first games I ever played on a console. In the early 2000’s, if my memory serves me correct, on the Playstation 2. To this day, I have clear memories of the rugged worlds and angular characters of which the original trilogy consisted. Spyro: Year of the Dragon even remains part of my physical games collection to this day (no idea what happened with the first two games though).
So when it was confirmed that the original trilogy was being completely remade for Xbox One and Playstation 4, I could barely contain my excitement. I had hoped for a Spyro remaster ever since the success of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and now it was coming for sure. The only thing I was slightly worried about was developer Toys for Bob, as I had never heard of them before. But they could not have done a much better job.
Spyro: Reignited truly looks incredible.
Spyro is back
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy feels exactly like the classic trilogy, which is an achievement considering 20 years have passed since the release of the first Spyro game, and games have changed considerably since then. Obviously it looks quite different, but seeing Spyro in 2018 worthy graphics for the first time is nothing short of incredible. And running around in the various levels the games offer feels just as amazing. Enemies have also been given a proverbial new lick of paint, and for as far I was able to make comparison images in my head whilst playing, it’s impressive how Toys for Bob has managed to truly make them look and feel like remastered versions of the enemies I faced as a kid.
If you’ve played the original games, you may also remember the various humoristic cutscenes Insomniac made back then, both for story and brief ones when you saved a dragon. Like the world, the enemies and of course Spyro himself, the cutscenes also feel just like old times. Toys for Bob has managed to recreate the humor inside them just fine. You probably won’t see yourself laughing at your television, but some lines will likely at least draw a smile on your face, or even cause a little chuckle.
Speaking of the short cutscenes when you save a dragon in the first game; they give you a good although short look at their amazing designs. In the original, all dragons had basically the same model, with some variation in color and the occasional minor physical change. For Reignited, Toys for Bob designed a unique model for every single dragon you save, their designs intended to reflect the particular dragon’s personality. Considering how short you actually get to see each and every dragon (a few seconds at most), it’s cool to see Toys for Bob took the time to design 80 different dragons.
Is everything just pure amazingness then? As much as I want to say yes, it’s not. There are still some points of critique I have for this game, although whether it’s actually criticism depends on how much you want Spyro: Reignited Trilogy to be like the originals.
For starters, during the first couple of hours the gameplay and controls felt a bit iffy at times. I fell down platforms quite often in the first few levels, because Spyro didn’t jump or glide high or far enough. As the hours progressed however, I got more used to properly timing my jumps and glides. Throughout the game, I noticed more and more how Toys for Bob has managed to really nail the gameplay from the classics. This was especially noticeable once I started playing the flying levels from the various hub worlds; levels in which you have limited time to collect 4 sets of 8 items. Fly through 8 rings or destroy 8 boats, for example. Just like 20 years ago, the timers in these levels are strict, and leave little room for error. And if you want to get 100% in the game -or collect all achievements/trophies-, you’ll need to collect everything in one go. To summarize my experience: the flying levels were just as annoying as they were in the early 2000s, and I was very glad optimal flying routes had already been posted on YouTube.
Spyro is truly Reignited
In the end though, my points of critique are mostly just minor annoyances in very specific parts of the game. Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is a great package for both nostalgic gamers who grew up with the purple dragon, and younger gamers who enjoy platformers. A handful of annoying or sometimes possibly frustrating moments cannot deprave what is really the best modernization Toys for Bob could’ve made of three true Playstation classics.
Toys for Bob has truly reignited Spyro.