Spyro Reignited Trilogy is out now, and the first title, Spyro The Dragon, was originally released in 1999. I wondered, when I saw the re-release, why I felt zero nostalgia. Then I realised that it was a similar time to the release of Final Fantasy VII, and all was understood.
The Spyro Trilogy is another game highlighting the slightly sad state of affairs, leading me to sell all my previous consoles: Most good games are being remastered, or coming out on the Mini/Classic consoles (‘good’ and ‘Playstation Classic‘ mini doesn’t quite fit together, though). Saying all this, what we have with Spyro is a prime example of how remasters can go pretty well.
Platformers have changed over time and are now so heavily focused on the story. Spyro isn’t too fussed about how good the story is, and focuses mainly on the gameplay, which feels slightly dated but, considering the original release dates, feels quite good. You’re in control of the titular dragon who has some very ‘dragony’ skills. He can breathe fire, run super-fast, glide and spin. Neither of the three games will pose you much problems in difficulty, but you will spend a little time grinding to actually find out where certain things are. It was only after a while, when I realised you could actually pause the game and it would explain what pieces of the puzzle you were missing. I also liked the little touch of telling you when you had gathered everything from an area.
I felt the controls were a little loose, and span around far too quickly, but also enjoyed how quickly I could move without bearing the weight of a real dragon*. On the other hand, the fluidity and quick controls made the game fun and fast-paced. I was running/dashing left right and centre, whilst breathing fire on any odd-looking monster in my way – Hahahahhaaha! It felt true to its original form, but with a modern feel; a feeling a lot of remasters have found it hard to encompass.
(*DVDfever Dom: “How much does a real dragon weigh?”)
The soundtrack is where I was particularly amazed. Firstly, it is worth noting that you have the ability to flick between the old soundtrack and the new one. Somehow, they have managed to take what was already a great soundtrack and modernise it. With added percussion and a more complex use of instruments, the music will accompany you perfectly throughout the game. However, if you are to turn the soundtrack back, you wouldn’t be disappointed and I suppose it would be better for those who are mainly playing for nostalgic purposes. One area which has been heavily improved is the voice acting. There is real humour in the actors speaking, and they play each character with vigour and class.
Graphically, Spyro ranges from simplistic to incredibly beautiful. Some of the areas you visit are quite plain, but contain vibrant colours, whereas others have such artistic backgrounds that make you actually forget you are playing a videogame. Either way, this title is definitely more suited for the younger player and will impress them in the ways I would normally associate with Nintendo games.
Spyro plays differently to a lot of games, as you don’t follow actual levels, but explore areas which have many a secret. Each game will take you about five hours to complete, but that feels right for this genre.. As an experience, Spyro is one of the best PS1 remakes I have played and I highly recommend you put it on your son/daughter’s – or even your own – Christmas list.
Since the awful choice of games available on the Playstation Classic, I hope those who made Spyro will take charge of a few of those other games for which we were so desperate…
- Developer: Toys for Bob
- Publisher: Activision
- Players: Single-player only
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.