Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a collection of the first three Spyro games, remastered. The series was originally developed by Insomniac Games, in the franchise that included, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
Now, the Reignited Trilogy is developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision. This remaster fits into the ongoing trend of bringing back classic games to modern consoles with a few upgrades here and there. Recently, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy which remastered Naughty Dog’s original titles released for the PS4 and Capcom is set to add to its long list of remasters with Resident Evil 2 in 2019.
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy keeps the same magic the original games captured in their colorful and whimsical designs. The graphics are beautiful but also incredibly familiar. As a child, I played the first three Spyro games over and over again until my PS2 fell apart. The original trilogy was only released on Play Station so I was able to play them thanks to the PlayStation 2’s reverse compatibility feature. Gamers often remark about how older games always look worse than what we remember and this is absolutely true of the Spyro franchise. Yet, Toys for Bob was somehow able to create the worlds that my childhood imagination saw while playing the original games and not lose anything. Toys for Bob also develops the Skylanders series so the studio has experience translating child-like narratives into creative gameplay, and working with the character of Spyro.
The graphics have been completely overhauled but the layouts of the levels including the location of enemies and items remain the same. The game updated the look of the dragons Spyro assists through the entirety of the series. Each dragon has a unique look and the old dated models pale in comparison. There are many small details that add to the game that the previous simply were not able to do because they lacked the technology.
One of these is the focus on small set pieces. Flowers, cactuses and the grass are impacted by Spyro’s fire and some plants even “shake off” the flames in an adorable animation. The game also adds the use of a guidebook and mini-map which helps players track the progress of what collectibles they have left to complete levels.
The most famous voice of Spyro, Tom Kenny, reprised his role in Spyro Reignited Trilogy and recorded additional lines for the first game where Spyro was originally voiced by Carlos Alazraqui. Stewart Copeland’s original compositions for the games were remastered but the game includes an option to choose between the original and remastered soundtracks. The remastered soundtrack is mostly the same but it sounds less electronic and more modern. Additionally, the control scheme is basically exactly the same as the original, at least in regards to PlayStation where I played it. I was surprised at how quickly I remembered the button layout, it was practically instant.
However, since the control layout is exactly the same it means there is no way to turn off inverted flying controls. The game doesn’t require a lot of flying and the traditionally gliding is not affected by this mechanic. The flying segments are timed based challenges so one wrong move of forgetting which way is up and down on the extremely sensitive controls can easily force players to have to restart the trial. I am desperately hoping for a patch and until then will be avoiding flying levels like Sunny Flight. Additionally, the menu offers no accessible options for controls or sound. I understand this is a remaster and keeping to the original game is as important as possible but the exclusion of non-inverted flying control options and accessibility options is baffling to me.
The controls are extremely sensitive, so the time flying trails were about as difficult and tedious as I remember. The platforming is about as I remember it and handles well. The objectives can get repetitive but it gets better as the games go on. Toys for Bob didn’t add any additional objectives so the first game does feel like a bit of a repetitive slog at times. However, the introduction of more puzzles and mini-games in the following games, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon help break up the grind.
Outside of just the inverted controls mess, there are few options to change the sensitivity on the camera. Players can choose an active or passive camera setting, similar to the original game. The camera on this game moves so fast at times I begin to feel motion sick. The game also does not offer any accessibility settings including those for subtitles, environmental or otherwise. As someone who occasionally has hearing difficulties, I always use subtitles when playing games so this was a disappointment for me. I understand this is a remaster but not including accessibility features is unacceptable.
Overall, I am happy to see Spyro back on game consoles but do look forward to any patches or updates that address my major concerns in regards to accessibility and the controls. Each game takes about eight hours to complete if you are a collectible hunter like me.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is available now for $39.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
I am happy to see Spyro back on game consoles but do look forward to any patches or updates that address my major concerns in regards to accessibility and the controls.