It's hard to believe that the original Spyro the Dragon released 20 years ago but it's great that we have a brand new remastered version of it along with its 2 sequels to celebrate the purple dragon's legacy.
I remember playing demo discs that came with Official PlayStation Magazine when I was a kid. One of those discs contained a playable demo for Spyro the Dragon. Having just played through the thoroughly enjoyable Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, I instantly fell in love with Spyro's first magical adventure. In fact, I played that demo over and over again until I got the game for Christmas then I played the full game until I mastered it 100%. The following couple of years saw the releases of Ripto's Rage! and Year of the Dragon. After playing those, I was in disbelief how much the games kept improving. The collect-a-thon original expanded to feature fun mini-games in the sequels and a whole new cast of characters was introduced, some of which were actually playable. I could go on all day but I'll just say that I'm very happy that these incredible classic 3D platformers are now available in one awesome package.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a complete graphical overhaul of the original games. For the most part, it looks absolutely stunning. Each environment is lively and gorgeous and makes the original games seem super-retro in comparison. Of course, I have a huge soft spot for the classic games and their visuals are still lovely and full of charm but I still can't deny just how fantastic everything looks in this collection. Stewart Copeland's musical scores have also changed yet I recognized many of the melodies. The music seems much more subdued in this compilation but it's still great and makes the game worlds feel all the more magical. My only complaint is that some of the character models look exceptionally weird now. I had no problem with anything in the first game but upon playing the sequels, I was really put off by how characters such as Elora, Hunter, and Sheila looked. There's just something off about them that I find very jarring.
One thing that I feel the original Spyro trilogy doesn't get enough credit for is its amount of variety and replay value. There are tons of secrets to discover; even in the original game. Uncovering hidden levels then playing through the impressively challenging flight stages is a rewarding treat. The sequels feature awesome mini-games like skateboarding, new playable characters who control completely differently, and satisfying unlockables like the permanent Super Flame ability. On top of all this variety, each game features a surprising amount of collectibles from the gems that litter stage floors to key collectibles through rescuing dragons, acquiring orbs via side-quests, and hatching baby dragons. Considering Spyro Reignited Trilogy is on modern consoles, there are also plenty of fun trophies and achievements to unlock which add even more replay value. You could play these games for hours and still have tons more to see and do.
Something about the original Spyro games that was mildly problematic was its camera. However, the faulty camera is much more prominent in Spyro Reignited Trilogy. For starters, it's often way too close to Spyro, especially when he's charging. This makes being able to accurately accomplish certain tasks feel like a trial and error chore instead of a rewarding challenge. The camera also moves rather slow which makes trying to quickly spot any surrounding dangers an often futile effort. All of that being said, this issue definitely isn't game-breaking; it's just an occasionally and unnecessarily annoying issue to deal with as you play through certain parts.
If you're a fan of Spyro or 3D platformers in general then Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a must-play compilation. The amount of variety and charm contained within these 3 games is superb and each of them holds up beautifully today.
- + Contains 3 incredible classic 3D platformers in one fantastic package
- + Updated visuals and sound are superb
- + Loads of variety and replay value
- - The camera can occasionally be annoying to deal with, especially while charging
- - Some new character models are weird