All of our childhoods have that one special game that is ours, some have Mario, some have Crash Bandicoot, for me I was always about Spyro the Dragon, and while I cannot bear to see the current state my beloved dragon is in thanks to the Skylanders series, it was a welcome relief to see some love and attention given to the Spyro Reignited Trilogy courtesy of Activision and Toys For Bob. The original games Sypro, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro 3: Year Of The Dragon are all included here, and while the entire first game is on the disc, you do need a 50 gig patch to download the other 2 games. Fortunately, the wait has been worth it and all the fun and craziness of the games are intact in this version with a stellar updated soundtrack and drool worthy graphics that make this a great addition to the HD remastered games in your collection.
Using the up, down, left and right directional buttons were never fun in the original to control Spyro with. Fortunately, this has been updated with twin stick controls for both Spyro and the camera, it is a smooth and improved experience with the new Dual Shock controller on the PlayStation 4 system. Similarly, in cut scenes Spyro has a very playful and cheeky side and expressions that really elevate the spirit of the original character. The trapped dragons in the first game each now have their own personalities, sayings and quirks that made finding each one feel unique and special. However, in the third game, rescuing the baby dragons was as boring and uneventful as it originally was which feels like a missed opportunity.
The updates to the score and sound effects are also a much welcomes addition. There is an option to turn on the original sound and music from the original trilogy from the Settings menu and I would recommend doing this just to get a perspective of the difference that this version brings. Toys For Bob have done an outstanding job of thinking of everything when building this from the ground up. The backgrounds and world all look completely new and feel lived in, the hills and skyline have horizons and spectacularly detailed areas. The levels themselves remain untouched gameplay wise, although do feel a bit shorter from the original version.
A big part of these games are the collectibles, and the team over at TFB have given players a Guidebook where you can track your progress. This will really help with replayability once this silly season of new games slows down. Admittedly jumping right into this after Red Dead Redemption 2 felt like a complete gear shift, but re-visiting an old friend was a welcome change. Running through the three classic titles was a beautiful walk down memory lane, and while PlayStation have made the decision to not include it on their upcoming PlayStation mini classic console having it remade in HD is a welcome addition to my PlayStation 4 library.
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy completely overhauls the graphics and sound of the original games yet keeps the gameplay in its original state. Fans of the original trilogy will find a lot of love here and new players who want to experience the game for the first time will have the opportunity to do so here and also be able to jump in on Xbox as well. Hopefully we will hear news of a Nintendo Switch version in the future. Spyro is a beautiful remaster that stands testament to one of the best games from the original PlayStation library.
Review by Alaisdair “Leithal” Leith