Review: Spyro

Spyro: The Dragon first appeared over 20 years ago for the original Playstation. Now, 20 years later, we see the same Spyro games again in a remastered version on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The Reignited Trilogy features the first three original games from the franchise.

Originally, Spyro: The Dragon, Spyro: Ripto's Rage, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon were developed by Insomniac Games. The well-known studio behind the Ratchet and Clank franchise, but also the recently released Spider-Man game for the Playstation 4. The remasters of the three games are developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision. Activision acquired the rights to Spyro a few years ago and mainly used it to release the Toys To Life franchise 'Skylanders'.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy isn't the first Activision remaster of a classic. Earlier we saw Crash Bandicoot appear in the 'n Sane Trilogy. Same principle as Spyro, all three classic games re-released for the current generation of consoles.


 

To get warm

Spyro's charms have clearly not been lost over the years. The demand for the same kind of treatment as Crash has received has soared after players have seen how entertaining the old Crash Bandicoot still was after a remaster. The same goes for our favorite purple dragon. While playing, different memories come to mind. "Ah yes, this is what this level looked like!" and "I can remember this well" are several thoughts that came up several times during my playthrough of the remaster of the three games.
A nice addition to the trilogy is the support for trophies and achievements. The reason why this is a nice addition is mainly the parts you didn't play before, or simply skipped for whatever reason. Different trophies or achievements require you to complete certain challenges that you may not have thought about before, or didn't know was possible. The firing of cannonballs by spitting fire on the fuse was well known. On the other hand, I never knew that there are several pillars of fireworks that give you gems when you set them on fire.
As a small child you play games in a completely different way and you are less alert about what is happening in the world and you could replay each level about 100 times without it feeling a bit repetitive. For example, I've never been actively looking for the last gem per level or saving all other dragons before. In the remaster you immediately notice that there are a lot of hidden things that you can now see or look for more easily than 20 years ago.

As beautiful as then

I don't know if it's just me, but when I think back to games from the past, I remember them better than they actually were. This is no different for Spyro and when I think back to the game from the past I see the Remaster in my head and that is a good sign. This means that the remaster has been very faithful to the original design of the game. The world looks the same, Spyro looks the same, and the enemies are all the same. Of course they all look a lot better, 20 years later, but the essence has remained the same. It is therefore very nice to see how everything has turned out, 20 years later.
This also applies to the music in the game. It looks appealing and just like the game's visuals feels like a good remaster.

Also just as easy

A disadvantage of the remaster is that the games are just as easy as they used to be. Spyro comes from a time when 3D platformers were just beginning to flourish. Super Mario 64 promised great success for the genre, but was extremely challenging at the time. Mainly because of the controls and the sick camera controls. Spyro managed to handle it a lot better in terms of control. The difficulty of the three games is very similar and although the games individually get a little more challenging further into the world, it generally remains a fairly simple game. Spyro's controls are very well done, including in the remaster. Completely completing the game is therefore a piece of cake and it will hardly happen that you do not reach levels in a single or two attempts.

Verdict

Spyro has not lost his flame over the years. Skylanders and the Spyro DS games didn't quite catch on here, but this 'new' Spyro game is a nice throwback to the 90's, and the time when gaming started to flourish. The game looks great, but stays true to the classic experience in gameplay, design and appearance. While this brings the most benefits, towards the end it's a bit of a shame that it was once again so easy to play through. This will get you through the games within a few hours. Fortunately, we don't have to sit still when it comes to gaming in this busy November month.


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