It’s been a long time since we’ve had a fun adventure with the purple fire-breathing dragon Spyro. With all of the craziness from Skylanders and other spin-off games, it was hard to believe if we’d see a traditional take on Spyro the Dragon ever again. But much like the remastering of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy from the original PlayStation, developer Toys for Bob does the same for everyone’s favorite young dragon in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. All three Spyro games from the PlayStation era get a complete overhaul in their presentation and controls, giving us the absolute best version of Spyro we’ve seen to date. Even if you don’t have any nostalgia for these classic games, you’re going to have a lot of fun experiencing them through this fresh lens.
The biggest part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is how much of a change the visuals have undergone. While the original Spyro games were colorful and had their own unique style, the changes to the character models and environments improve nearly every aspect about them. There’s more detail in everything from the grass on the ground, the designs of all the dragons you save, and even the slight movements of Spyro while he is gliding around.
Little additions like Spyro’s tail pushing away the foliage around as it wags gives the once basic surroundings a spark of life, and so does some of the interactions between enemies that lurk nearby. Simply put, all three games are leaps and bounds better looking over their original releases.
But what about how they play? Like the rereleases for Crash Bandicoot, the Spyro games have the same gameplay that you remember from back in the day. Burning enemies while collecting gems and other hidden items is the same, albeit with a few minor changes to the way Spyro moves around and adjustments to some minor old problems.
The controls are similar to the original releases, with either a remixed or original layout available for anyone that wants the more authentic feel when controlling Spyro. Regardless of how you choose to layout your controls, they’re incredibly responsive throughout the entire experience. You couldn’t ask for a better transition of the classic controls than this.
If there’s one thing that might stand out negatively about the Reignited Trilogy, however, it’d be some of the difficulty spikes within certain levels, more specifically the flying stages that always give players a hard time. The tediousness from the time given to complete them and how difficult it is controlling Spyro in the air have always made these stages tough, and unfortunately, nothing about them is different here.
It’s the same across all three Spyro games in the trilogy, so if you didn’t like them back on the original PlayStation then you’re still not going to have any love for them here. Does that same tediousness find its way into other stages of all three games? No, which is a great thing. Though it would’ve been nice to see these difficulty spikes adjusted better for the Reignited Trilogy, that way everything feels more consistent throughout.
The Spyro games came out during a time when console mascots and collecting things in games were incredibly popular. Does the same formula it had still hold up today? Without question yes it does. Luckily for the Reignited Trilogy, however, there are a few extra goodies that can be obtained even after collecting everything in each game and achieving 100% completion.
Skill Points can be obtained from doing some random tasks within each stage, such as burning a specific item or finding something special that is cleverly hidden. Gathering these skill points opens up the Gallery with bonus concept art and other neat goodies for the Reignited Trilogy. Anyone that’s a Spyro fan will more than likely go after each of these to see what new extras are there, but even if this is your first venture with the purple dragon the reward for completing these tasks is worth it.
The Spyro series is a classic trilogy that stood out on the PlayStation as a unique compilation of games, but this remastering further highlights why so many people love this character. Its world is colorful and brimming with a great personality, as well as fun gameplay that will have anyone playing for hours. Though some minor hiccups still remain after all these, all three Spyro games are presented in a phenomenal way that will greatly appeal to anyone, with or without nostalgia. It feels good to have Spyro back again in the way many of us fell in love with him, but it’s even better to see that a whole new generation will get to do so with something even better.
This review is based on a digital review code for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for the PlayStation 4, provided by Activision.