It's amazing how similar the paths of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon have been. Both started things off with a trio of beloved platformers on PSone before they were handed to different developers, who made likeable but inferior adventures that ultimately led to the characters falling into obscurity. Both owned by Activision, the two platforming heroes have reemerged on PS4 in their respective remakes, rekindling lost affection and introducing them to a whole new audience. Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is here and, much like Crash's revival, is a real success.
Toys for Bob has done a sterling job of bringing back the 20-year-old Spyro titles, and they remain a joy to play. There's a simplicity to each of the three adventures that's refreshing after sinking hours into a gargantuan blockbuster; all you need to do is defeat some enemies, pick up some gems, and hunt for collectibles. The Spyro games have always had a reputation for being relatively easy, and that's still true, but the low difficulty makes for a trio of titles that are relaxing to play. You have room to breathe here.
You're free to wander each of the fairly small levels as you like, and play them in any order you choose. Fans of the games will relish all their favourite locations from the originals, as the developer has not only matched the layouts exactly, it's embellished each stage with new details which will surely keep you grinning as you explore. The dragons you must find and rescue in Spyro 1, for example, are now totally unique, rather than the limited range of models and colours in the 1998 title, giving even veterans a new perspective on Spyro's first adventure.
While the presentation has been completely overhauled – and it looks and sounds consistently gorgeous – the controls are uncannily faithful to the PSone games. Manoeuvring Spyro feels like it did 20 years ago, although Toys for Bob has smoothed things out a little. The camera now resides on the right stick, but it can still be somewhat clumsy. Even with the Active camera setting turned on, you'll find it gets snagged in tight spots from time to time, and it struggles to keep up with Spyro as he starts his charge attack, resulting in plenty of near-misses. Generally speaking, though, controlling the little dragon feels responsive and snappy.
It's also nice to see that the first game now more closely matches the other two in some ways. Sparx can now point out the nearest gem in all three titles, Tom Kenny voices Spyro across the board, and you can even earn Skill Points in the original game for the first time. The developer has gone even further, adding in an entirely new feature with an optional mini-map for every level. The art style is also the same across the trilogy, making it look and feel like a nice, cohesive package.
It's a visual treat that's bursting with colour and personality – it's just a slight shame that performance doesn't quite match up. It's mostly fine, but we did encounter some stuttering here and there, and loading times can be surprisingly long. It's nothing that really gets in the way, but it would've been ideal for a game like this to be buttery smooth.
Elsewhere, however, there's a clear love for the character and the series that shines through any technical issues. Character designs and animations are very well done, and the attention to detail across the trilogy never wavers. Even small things like the light bar matching Sparx's colour, or the art galleries you unlock for completing Skill Points, suggest this was a real passion project for the developer. These are three lovingly recreated games that hold up impressively in 2018. Again, just as with Crash, Spyro's now back with a great PS4 release for fans to relive and for newcomers to discover.
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is another cracking remake from Activision. The purple dragon's original trio of adventures holds up brilliantly, with beautiful, colourful visuals and meticulously rebuilt levels. The controls are faithful to a fault; Spyro turns on a dime, but camera issues can frustrate occasionally, and loading times are perhaps a little too long. Overall, however, this is a remake Spyro fans can be proud of, and a threesome of old-school 3D platformers that a new generation of players will come to love.
Great to hear this one does the originals justice like the Crash remakes did.
I've promised myself I won't be buying anymore new games this year but this one is really tempting me!
Great review, Stephen. I'm really looking forward to picking this up. I like what you said about it being quite easygoing — sometimes I just want to play something light without a massive amount of challenge or thought. I'll definitely be getting this to unwind.
got it yesterday and its very relaxing and calming a nice change from the violence and chaos of red dead 2
I got it yesterday, 100% on the first 2 worlds (easy enough with the treasure pointing ability!). I didn't really play the originals much but I'm having a lot of fun with this.
As always, any questions, just tag me into your comment and I'll do my best to answer
Wunderbar! Very good!
@get2sammyb Agreed; the most welcome quote from this review, for me at least, is "the low difficulty makes for a trio of titles that are relaxing to play. You have room to breathe here."
Very much looking forward to starting these up in the near future, and just being able to enjoy enjoyment.
I'm looking forward to playing these. Spyro 2 and 3 are some of my favorite games ever, and I look forward to playing the first one again.
I'll be nabbing this before too awful long. Spyro the Dragon was my first Playstation game, and it's still one of my favorite 3D platformers. I never got around to playing the sequels, so that'll be a treat, too.
Great review. I'm having a blast with the Trilogy. Reminds me of playing the games growing up.
Everyone has gone silent about Pro and HDR support.
I’ve picked this up along with Crash trilogy for a nostalgia fueled Xmas!
Now this is how you do it.
Great review and I'm so looking forward to eventually starting my first ever Spyro adventure.
I'm playing it and it's wonderful !
I think I'll get this after I'm done with spidey and gow plat
@GamerDad66 There is no HDR support.
I’ll have to get this eventually. Too many games I have on my list at the moment.
Looking forward to playing this over the holidays, I think. A nice change from the super serious blockbusters of this year. Great review Stephen!
This is the only game I've ever digitally preordered, after UK PS store updated details that you get 5 dynamic themes with it, and it is such a good price for what you get given how amazing the graphics are now, and the controls feel really good too, I really love the updates detailed in this review...haha and of course I'm a sucker for good dynamic themes! Played well over half of the first one last night and was amazed how much I remembered from my childhood! Happy times 😊
I'll get it next year because I'm buying a lot of stuff in Black Friday and I cannot let go of those deals
Damn. This would have been a day 1 buy if they'd released the full trilogy physically.
I'm really enjoying myself... and with the occasional "Hey! I remember that secret spot now," hitting my memory cells, it's been a blast. I actually wish they would've tightened up the camera though to match more modern games... but oh well.
Playing it on X1, it's a blast (a flawed blast at that, but a blast nonetheless) as said in the review.
Hoping I don't step on anyone's pretty little shoes saying this, but now that I'm playing it, it could definitely use some Switch porting sometime down the line. Aside from the Youtube app showing how gorgeous it would look in handheld mode, it needs to be stated that cartridge support (and downgrading, if you're feeling unpleasant) did wonders for the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy's load times.
I'm over the moon with joy that the Trilogy is doing so well!
Been playing it here and there when I can since release day, still stuck in the 1st game but loving the hell out of it.
What a breath of fresh air, light hearted, fun gaming
Enjoyed what little I played of it alot. For some reason it reminded me alot of sly raccoon. In looks and game mechanics. Another game that would do well to be ported with little tidying needed from the ps3 trilogy.
I've read the community rules, didn't find anything related to necroing a thread so hopefully that is fine in this case.
I am joining this thread because of the recent article about PS4 games that need 60fps upgrades for PS5.
I have completed the the first game in the trilogy on PC, and am really enjoying the experience so far. But I have encountered a major game-breaking issue with higher FPS counts where anything greater than >30 could potentially lock you out of one of the levels. The game objects don't react as expected so hopefully that won't be an issue if they ever decided to upgrade the FPS on consoles.
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