Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review
After bringing us Crash Bandicoot N' Sane Trilogy last year, Activision once again reaches back to the days of the original PlayStation to revive and remaster another classic trio of games. Spyro Reignited Trilogy includes the original Spyro the Dragon game and its first two sequels, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon.
The developers of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, who have some experience with Spyro from the Skylanders games, took an approach to the game that preserves the core gameplay and level design of the originals but also takes advantage of some of the gaming innovations and technological advances that have come along in the two decades since the original games were released. The original PlayStation controller had a single D-pad and no sticks, but now you can use the PS4's dual sticks to control movement direction and camera angle simultaneously to control Spyro more effortlessly. The character models in the remastered games feature far more detail, and some characters that were copies of each other in the originals due to limited resources now have unique appearances. Enemies are far more animated than before in their taunts, attacks, and as they go down in defeat. The music has also been enhanced, and you can hear how far game music has come by switching between the original soundtrack and the remastered one while playing the game. The game worlds themselves still look a little sparse compared to today's games, but they look a lot better than they did twenty years ago.
First some of the basics for those of you new to Spyro games. Spyro is a young dragon who defends himself with a charge attack and a short burst of flames from his nostrils. Spyro can jump of course, these are platform games after all, and he can also glide over short distances on his juvenile dragon wings. As you progress through the games you'll pick up a few new tricks, like the ability to add a little extra distance to your glides, that will make it possible to reach areas that you couldn't before. Each game has the same basic layout in which hub zones connect a series of levels and once you achieve a certain criterion the next hub zone and its associated levels is opened up for play. Along the way there are hidden secrets to discover, enemies to fend off, and plenty of treasure to discover. The levels are all built on separate themes, and part of the fun of the game is seeing what imaginative world will be brought to life in the next level and what sort of creatures inhabit it. The levels are all relatively short, but the game makes up for it in their volume.
The trilogy lets you play any of the three games in any order that you want, and to move between them with only a relatively short stop at the main menu screen in between. The game is generous with its automated save locations, so there's rarely a need to retrace some of your steps between game sessions. I did find myself having to re-run a level or two because I hadn't acquired the requisite number of gems to unlock the next area, though, so be careful to be thorough to avoid these type of grind runs.
Unlike the Crash Bandicoot N' Sane Trilogy, modern gamers will find Spyro Reignited Trilogy to be easier to play than most of today's platform games. This is especially the case with Spyro the Dragon which plays the platform theme straight-up without the puzzles and the race and flight challenge levels encountered in the later games, but I can't say that I found any one the enemies particularly challenging to handle. Playing the three games is succession you can really see how quickly the series evolved as the level design became more creative and varied over the three games. The first game is almost best left to kids and nostalgic adults, and other gamers can hit the ground running with Ripto's Rage, move on to Year of the Dragon, and then come back and scoop up the trophies in the first game.
If you're looking for a challenging modern platformer, you won't find it here. However, the game has plenty of charm that will attract new fans in addition to providing a comforting nostalgic experience to gamers who came up in the 90s. Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a great choice for kids, providing them with hours of frustration-free fun.
Final Rating: 84% - Reigniting nostalgia in 90s gamers.