Spyro the Dragon was the first console game I completely finished as a youngster, and that was a big deal for me as I’d had a Sega Megadrive for years prior to the launch of the PS1 and Spyro. I remember specifically I was at my grandparent’s when I had my first sweet taste of pure completion… So Spyro for me is much more than a game, it’s pure unfiltered nostalgia. Obviously I was extremely excited to get my hands on this, and, well… Read on.
First off my good god this game is polished to a glimmering sheen – If you were impressed with the Crash remaster, you’ll be in for a similar feeling with this. I can remember the clunky controls of the original Spyro on PS1, although not awful it was by no means perfect, and this has finally received the overhaul that was much-needed those many years ago. Saying that though, this isn’t the perfect remaster that crash was, it’s still great but the camera angle (Improved by switching to Active) and slight clunkiness mark it slightly down for me, and I did find certain moments where it definitely felt more of a re-skin than a rebuild, especially in some cutscenes.
As I jumped into Spyro: Reignited Trilogy for the first time, the nostalgia hit me like the smell of freshly cooked bacon on a Sunday morning – As I mentioned above this was my jam as a youngster so every moment brought back a ton of memories. A really good job has been done in regards to remastering the game whilst not spoiling anything about it, and certainly hasn’t ruined the happy memory of Spyro for me. I love how all of the sound effects sound the same, even the noises enemies make when you crash into them, but now in stunning HD audio.
For the first couple of hours I was unsure if this was still a good game, especially against the current market – This is, after all, a more classic title instead of anything more modern – Would I really choose to play this over other AAA titles? However the more I’ve played, the more I was certain that I needed to 100% this game through any means necessary. I actually 100%’ed the first 2 hub levels in my first ‘sesh’! For me this will be a game that I jump in and do an hour at a time, but seeing as I had done 54% of the first Spyro title after 3 hours, this may not be a bad thing. Also playing as an adult you realise the clever level design, how small the levels used to be as well, almost like each one is in a contained area but you can go back around it a different way, or over it. The hub levels are an interesting and good way of laying out the game as well as it feels you’re never wasting time; there’s always something to collect or chase – This is definitely different to other games out now, and adds a small spice to the semi-open world. I also noticed a lot more (Obviously) just by finding hidden areas and knowing where to look for the last few gems.
To review the game I played a little of each title, but have primarily focused on the first one; it’s a little simpler as a game, but that’s not a bad thing for me. I like jumping into a level, 100%’ing it and carrying on… But maybe that’s because it’s what I want from the game. You don’t need to go back to the world when something is unlocked or wait for anything, it’s also essentially the same thing throughout. The original game felt a lot more ‘classic’ to me and therefore was more enjoyable, but this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the other 2, nor that I won’t platinum them. The advantages of the other 2 are they’re a bit more open, for example there are animations before and after levels, and there are a lot of alternate side characters with their own personalities that appear more than the single appearance of many of the first game’s dragons. What’s nice about the remaster as a whole is it makes the 3 games feel really well contained, just one continuous journey, and there’s not a great deal of difference between each game; more powers in the two sequel titles, but essentially the same idea (Smash chests, collect gems, help the locals).
The controls and gameplay are really enjoyable and consist of 3 basic things. 1) charging around, 2) breathing fire, and 3) gliding. These 3 controls combined make up the vast majority of the gameplay as you need to manoeuvre your way through each level to get to the end, avoiding nuisance mobs and awkward platforms. To be honest, not a lot of it was ‘difficult’ for me… Which is why I focused on nabbing all of the collectables, to add an extra challenge and to give me more to do; it meant that I had to fully explore each level to find its’ secrets. All enemies could be defeated with a simple charge or breath of fire, and every boss just had to be flamed 3 times to be defeated, similar to how bosses were structured in the classic Crash games… But I need to remember I originally played this game when I was 9 or 10, and it is the same thing just prettier… And the main reason for playing is just simple fun, which it does very well.
Essentially it’s a simple game about a little dragon who needs to help people and likes collecting gems. It’s definitely a lot simpler than other games I’d play nowadays, and even other platformers, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I like that I’ll be able to play this for an hour or two after something else that’s intense to help wind down. Spyro has kept it’s charm and has come crashing into the modern era, and provides a great start for new players and an amazing time for those who played the original. It is undoubtedly worth £30 of your money and is a great present idea for anybody.
I give Spyro an 8.0 / 10