The first game I ever played on the PlayStation 1 featured a little purple dragon named Spyro and was developed by a little studio called Insomniac. Not only was the game’s little protagonist immediately lovable, but the game featured one of the first 3D open worlds in gaming, which blew my tiny kid brain. I recall getting lost in Spyro’s world for hours on end, with my parents having to drag me and my little brother from the console kicking and screaming.
Toys for Bob, the guys behind the toys-to-life Skylanders series, have taken their passion for the franchise and used it to painstakingly recreate the original game from the ground up. And with nostalgia being the “in” thing nowadays, with many ’80s and ’90s franchises making a return, there couldn’t be a better time for the purple dragon to soar back into our lives.
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy consists of remasters of the original three Spyro games, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Thankfully, Toys for Bob didn’t just splash on a new coat of paint during the remastering process but actually had to reconstruct the assets and levels from scratch, taking great care to make sure every element stayed true to the originals. The worlds look vibrant. Spyro is just as lovable as I remember. And running around breathing fire is still just as much fun. The developer should be commended for obviously putting so much love and care into these games.
Each of these three games sees Spyro going on a journey to save his world and defeat some sort of evil foe. The first game Spyro the Dragon sees little Spyro travelling to five different realms in order to save his dragon friends from a spell cast by the evil Gnasty Gnorc turning them all into crystals. In Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage Spyro’s vacation plans are bought to a halt as a Warlock called Ripto invades his realm. Of course, it’s up to Spyro to once again stop him. Lastly, Spyro: Year of the Dragon has Spyro taking on an evil Sorceress who has stolen dragon eggs in an attempt to, you guessed it, take over the realm. Don’t expect a deep story from these games as they hail from a time when collecting coins and gems and jumping on the heads of enemies were more important than an engrossing narrative. It was just about having fun and getting lost in an imaginative world.
During his adventures, Spyro will be scouring his environment hunting down collectables and gems and using his charge and flame abilities to take down various run-of-the-mill henchmen and, of course, some inventive bosses. As expected, each of the games tends to build on the one before with each bringing a new mechanic or feature to the previous game’s formula. While the first game sets up the main Spyro gameplay mechanics, the second adds the ability to buy more skills such as swimming, with the third allowing players to play as some of Spyro’s friends each with their own unique move sets.
There is no denying that the games look gorgeous.
Now, while the Spyro Reignited Trilogy does look gorgeous sporting its new coat of bright HD visuals and shiny particle effects, I did notice that I was getting strangely motion sick on occasions. After some research, I discovered that this was due to the motion blur effect during some parts of the game. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the game though, but it is important to take notice of this. Hopefully, Toys for Bob will patch in the ability to turn off the motion blur or at least tone it down at some stage.
Having said this, The Spyro Reignited Trilogy games look like something Pixar would have come up with. Each character oozes personality and even the Elder dragons that Spyro saves in the first game have been given their own distinct personality that was sorely lacking in the original. There is no denying that the games look gorgeous.
Overall, I have to say that not only did I have a great time venturing down the rabbit hole of nostalgia, being reminded of just how great these games where even back on the PlayStation 1, but I was continually amazed at how much love went into the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
Toys for Bob did a great job of staying true to Insomniac’s original vision and updating them just enough to compliment these already great games. While many classics tend not to hold up very well, especially after almost 20 years, The Spyro Reignited Trilogy proves that great game design and attention to detail never ages.
Whether you want to experience the nostalgic feeling of playing as one of PlayStation’s most celebrated heroes or just want to dip your toes into the wonderful world of Spyro for the first time, you can’t go wrong with giving this adorable purple dragon a chance.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Spyro Reignited Trilogy proves that great game design and attention to detail never ages.
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