- Game: Spyro Reignited Trilogy
- Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Toys for Bob
A Spyro Reignited Trilogy review code was provided by the publisher.
Insomniac’s iconic purple dragon has been through a lot. During the late 90s, Spyro rose to prominence as the other half of PlayStation’s platforming mascot duo (Crash Bandicoot was the other part of that equation). After the success of the first three Sony Interactive Entertainment published games, Spyro transitioned into a third-party hero who glided over to handheld devices and non-Sony consoles. And sadly, that’s where his descent began to take shape.
Taking notice of this, Activision gave the green light to Toys for Bob and allowed them to reinvigorate Spyro with a new series – Skylanders. Skylanders’ “toys come to life” theme became a instant success and ended up pushing out numerous sequels and collectable figurines. While the young fanbase those games catered to were satiated, older followers of Spyro’s earlier adventures were left wanting. Thankfully, Activision and Toys for Bob took notice of this thirst for a remake of Spyro’s PS1 classics and announced the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
Similar to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a remake compilation of the character’s first three games – Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Each title has received an amazing touch-up job in both the graphics and sound department – Spyro’s colorful worlds look fully realized and his lovable gang of fellow critters retain their visual/vocal properties. The nostalgia feels elicited from this collection become evident as soon as Spyro opens his mouth – the character’s original voice actor (Tom Kenny) returns with re-recorded dialogue. Plus the original soundtrack sounds even more fulfilling than before thanks to its remastered sound quality. It’s clear that a lot of love and care was especially paid to this compilation’s visual and audio presentation. Longtime Spyro fans have nothing to worry about in that regard.
Each game within this collection remains unchanged gameplay-wise. During Spyro’s heyday, “collect-a-thon” platforms were all the rage. Unlike those games however, Spyro’s first three titles weren’t as overbearing when it commanded players to pick up the items needed to fully navigate his worlds. The original Spyro the Dragon stuck to a simple yet wholly enjoyable formula – collect gems, free dragons, complete challenge stages, and defeat bosses. What helped Spyro the Dragon stand out from competing platformers was its finely-tuned pacing, approachable difficulty, and open-world feel comparable to N64 platformers of the time. That style of gameplay is still enjoyable – headbutting enemies, flaming hapless animals, and flying off to new worlds as Spyro within the context of a throwback gaming format excels.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! doesn’t tinker around with the winning formula introduced by its predecessor too much. You’re given new collectibles to find and new abilities to unlock, but the basic structure of your adventure is instantly familiar. This isn’t a bad thing, though – Spyro 2 simply improves upon everything that came before it and does so without sacrificing anything that made people fall in love with Spyro in the first place. The addition of minimal side endeavors gives this sequel some more meaningful tasks to complete, which helps break up the moment-to-moment gameplay and gives the gameplay a bit more variety. Spyro 2’s full remake job provides this memorable experience the welcome makeover it so richly deserves.
The final (and undoubtedly the best) part of this remake compilation is the third and final PlayStation exclusive in the series – Spyro: Year of the Dragon. This massive sequel retains the mechanics of the last two games and installs new playable characters, minigames, and more expansive hub worlds. This remade title could have been released all on its own and still been worth the price of admission.
There’s a lot to enjoy here – the addition of critters allows the game to offer up different styles of gameplay, which goes a long way towards refreshing the familiar Spyro formula. Spyro: Year of the Dragon still stands out as the finest title of the original trilogy. This remade edition makes it even more of a standout gem amongst the current-gen platforming crowd. All three games are rewarding experiences, but they all suffer from a singular issue – an annoying camera. It tends to get stuck in places while Spyro is charging ahead, plus it’s quite the task to manage during the game’s more intense sequences.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy Takeways
Activision and Toys for Bob have done a bang up job with Spyro’s original PlayStation trilogy. The heavy coat of remake paint splashed all over each game helps them fully realize the vision of its original creators. The re-recorded dialogue, remastered soundtrack, and gorgeous looking worlds you’ll explore all must be commended – these elements come together to do an awesome job of reminding gamers of Spyro’s pre-Skylanders run.
What’s being offered here is a collection of games that are still enjoyable for longtime fans and are incredibly welcoming to gamers who need a new platformer to invest in. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy may not be incredibly challenging, which may be an issue for those looking for something a bit harder to engage in. Plus the camera options for all three games can sometimes be a headache to manage. However, this compilation still manages to offer three rewarding experiences for anyone who chooses to embrace them.
Our Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review Score: 9 out of 10