'Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy' aged with grace, that’s for sure
Ah, Spyro the Dragon. Insomniac Games brainchild about a silly, snarky dragon and his dragonfly companion had all the makings at its time of release to be something special. At a time when the Crash Bandicoots and Super Mario 64s dominated the platformer space, Spyro helped to perfect the genre.
Insomniac’s time with the series ended after Year of the Dragon, but their presence was surely felt as the franchise dwindled on. But after a successful remake of the first three Crash Bandicoot games, Activision and Toys for Bob went after Spyro — and it is fantastic.
For the entry price — $40 — this remasters sits at the peak with the best of ‘em. Sure, the games are decades old by this point, but from the moment you boot up Spyro the Dragon to the moment you roll credits on Year of the Dragon, you’d have no idea that this series was ever ont he PlayStation.
That’s because these games, everything from textures and characters models and scenery, have been recreated from the ground up for a modern gaming experience. But the controls feel just as tight as ever. For kids just getting into games now, you’d have no problem convince them that these are brand new titles.
You know how nostalgia often blinds us into thinking a game was better than it actually was? Well, the Reignited Trilogy succeeds in capturing that memory and nostalgia, holding up the notion that these games are just as good if not better than they were when they first launched.
Sure, these are collectathons at their core, but there is something so pure about that at a time when cinematic experiences and story dominate some of the larger AAA titles. There is a place for those games, and there’s certainly space for Spyro.
And graphically, the Spyro games are no slouches. In all honesty, they look like animated films, running on both a standard PlayStation 4 and a PlayStation 4 Pro. The motion blur can be a bit unsettling at times, but you get used to it, and it can enhance the experience — especially during the games’ tedious flying segments.
There is one glaring omission in this package, and that’s the lack of subtitles for any of the game’s cutscenes. For a title that feels so perfect in every other way, it’s a shame that this basic level of accessibility isn’t present. The publisher’s reasoning? There’s no industry standard.
It’s an excuse, but there shouldn’t be one in this regard. Hopefully those subtitles will be patched in.
Overall, the Reignited Trilogy is a pretty stellar fourth (!) wind for the Spyro franchise. The original trilogy, then the Legend trilogy, then Skylanders and now a remake of the originals proves that Spyro not only has staying power, but he might be even more on fire than ever before. (sorry)
Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy is now available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A review copy was provided by the publisher.