“The perfect video game for entry-level gamers… some kind of magic.”
From 1998 to 2000, Spyro the Dragon reigned supreme on the PlayStation. Indeed, Spyro the Dragon and its immediate follow-ups were an indomitable staple of my gaming youth. Therefore, to see the pocket-sized purple dragon and co return in a Crash Bandicoot-like remaster for modern consoles is a very exciting development.
Handled by Activision and developers Toy’s for Bob, the team behind the popular toys-to-life franchise Skylanders, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been in good hands and has been handled with a great deal of care. Through their hard work, Spyro has burst back onto the scene in serious style. The modernised appearance of the original trilogy of Spyro games (Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Revenge and Spyro: Year of the Dragon) is a phenomenal improvement on the graphical capabilities of nigh on 20 years ago. Bright colours, smooth edges and a creative, cartoonish art-style contribute to a friendly-feeling world filled with interesting, unusual and quirky inhabitants. It is a very welcoming environment for a new generation of young gamers to enter, and will undoubtedly feel like home for the fans who enjoyed Spyro’s various worlds the first time around.
With fan service in mind, it is not only the look of the game that has received a glossy re-paint. Voice lines and animations have been synced to perfection, with some cutscenes having been entirely re-produced. At the same time, no reworked character or location looks out of place, with every element singing true to the source material. A lot has changed, but very little has been changed. The nostalgic memories of these come of age games appear on your screen exactly as you might imagine them. That is some kind of gaming magic.
The stories in all three of the included games, however, feel somewhat lacking to my now older self. I recall powerful memories of these glorious worlds from my childhood, but the adult reality of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is that these stories were always somewhat loose; just very encapsulating too. Exploring the worlds of each of the games is a nostalgic delight. Thinking about them too much whilst playing, however, makes these games feel somewhat empty in terms of mechanics. Of course, both the stories and the mechanics improve as you move up from game one to game three, but my modern standards the games all feel… lacking. They are each perfectly enjoyable; wonderful, in fact. They simply lack a level of depth that modern games have made us accustomed to. That being said, for young, entry-level gamers, this package is undisputedly perfect. Parents, rejoice!
Once you have downloaded the games fully, the only real problems are to do with the camera. Particularly in game one, the camera does not always agree with the actions happening on the screen. When charging, for example, it can be hard to aim Spyro in the correct direction. By Year of the Dragon, however, this problem is far lesser, as even at the time games had begun to transition to dual analogue stick controls more effectively.
For myself, it is a phenomenal pleasure to be able to enjoy the first three games in Spyro’s story again. For other gamers, especially those younger than myself, I feel an overwhelming sense of joy and a hint of jealousy that they have this opportunity to experience those adventures for the first time. In both cases, the decision by Activision to bring these games back for a second inning, using modern techniques and console power, is an overwhelmingly positive move. The only real downside, perhaps, is that older fans might find that the re-lived experience is a little easier and much more simplistic than it felt the first time around. If you can overcome that sensation, however, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is easy to recommend. For entry-level gamers, this is the perfect purchase for this year’s holiday season.
The Transition to the Nintendo Switch is amazing, the game looks and plays justs as good as it does on all other systems and being able to play anywhere at any time just add to the nostalgia. For Fans of Spyro who have yet to revisit for the franchise or even gamers that have for the price, you are paying on the Switch the game is well worth a pickup.
- Initial release date: 13 November 2018
- Engine: Unreal Engine
- Composer: Stewart Copeland
- Publisher: Activision
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
- Developers: Toys For Bob, Iron Galaxy, Insomniac Games