Spyro holds a special place in our heart. The little purple dragon that could sits right alongside Crash as one of PlayStation's first great platforming heroes, so it's a pleasure to see him given the same treatment with a current gen remake. Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, much like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, brings together all three of the mascot's original games from PSone to stunning effect. After 20 years, Spyro has never looked better, and it's a joy to have him back.
We've spent a couple of hours charging about, gathering gems and setting gnorc butt on fire, and the memories instantly came flooding back. Visually, it's vibrant and rich with character. The dragons you free from their crystalline statues are individually designed here, and it makes finding them even more compelling, just to see what Toys for Bob has done with each of them. The music has been overhauled too, as have all the voices, providing a neat, cohesive presentation that really pops.
You can tell the developer has tried to remain faithful to the controls of the original titles, as moving Spyro around feels nigh identical. If you're a glutton for punishment, you can even opt for the original camera controls from the PSone days, but the camera of course feels much better mapped to the right stick. Spyro turns on a dime and feels great to play, although it can occasionally be tricky lining up a tough glide.
What's perhaps most noticeable, is the quality of life improvements that have been thrown into the mix. For example, in the first game, you no longer need to manually save at the dragon statue checkpoints, the fairy instead simply waving her wand to save your progress. Sparx's ability in the latter two titles to point out the nearest gem has been brought over to the first game, as have skill points, making the difference between the games a little gentler.
What's clear is that Toys for Bob has a love and passion for the character, as it comes through in almost every detail. You can choose to have the original soundtrack play instead of the redone tracks, character animations are lively and entertaining, and there's not a blade of grass out of place. The main criticism of the original titles is somewhat still valid; these games aren't particularly challenging. The levels are well recreated, but you could argue that they feel quite small and empty by today's standards. That's a little unfair, seeing as this is a strict remake of three old platformers, but newcomers might be surprised at the relatively small scope of Spyro.
Having said that, we're having lots of fun reliving some fond memories in Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. If our time with the first game is anything to go by, this a wonderful, faithful remake that will thrill fans of the series. Game design of the late nineties can very occasionally go against it, but it's impressive how well Spyro has been modernised. We're looking forward to sampling games 2 and 3, but the early signs are promising.
Are you excited to start playing Spyro: Reignited Trilogy on PS4? Will you be reliving your childhood, or playing the games for the first time? Charge down to the comments below.