After Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy was released and proved a huge success, fans then wondered whether another certain Playstation mascot would also get the remaster treatment: this mascot being Spyro the Dragon.
Spyro is a platformer game series that was originally developed by Insomniac Games (whose latest release is the PS4 exclusive ‘Spiderman’ game). The first game, simply titled ‘Spyro the Dragon’ was released on the Playstation One in 1998, and spanned over 10 games that were released for Playstation, the Nintendo DS and the Gameboy Advance. The franchise has now found itself on Netflix, in the form of an animated show based on the ‘Skylanders’ spin-off games.
Like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro was another game from my childhood; I remember getting Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage when I was around 9 and I used to play that game, and Crash Bandicoot, regularly. So I was excited to see what the remastered trilogy would look and play like.
Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy is a remaster of the three original games that were on Playstation One: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon. And, after playing through all three games, I can say that developers Toys for Bob have done a fantastic job at restoring these Playstation classics; however it is not perfect.
The visuals are gorgeous, and the cut-scenes are beautifully animated; they wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar or Illumination Animation film. Toys for Bob have done an incredible job at restoring the trilogy visually, and Spyro has never looked better. The updated character models look great too; my personal favourites are Hunter (who’s in the 2nd and 3rd game), Spyro (of course) and Crush (who is the first boss fight in the second game).
One of the main issues I had with the original first game was the sensitive controls; it made Spyro difficult to control and some of the levels slightly more challenging than they needed to be. Thankfully, the controls for all three games have been tightened, and they are now more responsive and more precise. Spyro the Dragon is now more enjoyable because of this.
So, is Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy a perfect remaster? Well…no.
The voice acting is hit-and-miss; some of the voices work and some of them really don’t. Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) has reprised his voice role as Spyro, as well as some smaller characters throughout the three games and, once again, he’s fantastic. However, some of the voice acting for the side characters, mainly in Ripto’s Rage isn’t very good: they’re either not expressive enough or completely over-the-top when the situation does not call for it.
While most of the controls have been tightened, one aspect that has been made worse is the swimming controls during the underwater levels. What was once precise is now overly sensitive and tedious; the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ definitely applies here, unfortunately.
The game camera also isn’t your friend here; this was another huge issue I had with all three original games and, unfortunately, the issues continue here. It still gets stuck at corners and, during boss fights, will dive underneath Spyro’s feet, making the fights unnecessarily difficult. Another aspect that makes some of the boss fights unnecessarily difficult is the speed of the characters that you have to fights in these levels: they’re too fast. Specifically, Gulp and Spike’s laser projectiles in ‘Ripto’s Rage’ and ‘Year of the Dragon’, as well as Buzz’s rolling attacks in ‘Year of the Dragon’. These are too fast, while Spyro is not fast enough to always dodge them. However, these levels aren’t impossible; they’ve just been made to be needlessly difficult.
While I am glad to see Spyro return, and I’ve enjoyed revisiting these classic games, this isn’t a perfect remaster. There are some aspects that need fixing and hopefully ‘Toys for Bob’ will listen to any feedback it gets regarding the game and act on it.