Nowadays, you'd never see a game all about a small purple dragon jumping and gliding to collect gems, fight evil, and save his kind in a simple good-vs-evil plot. That's exactly why the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is a welcome return to an innocent time in gaming, which many of us remember so fondly.
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is a remake of the first three Spyro games from the original PlayStation era, and exceeds in everything you'd expect from a current-gen re-imagining. It's important to note that these aren't remasters as such, as the developers at Toys For Bob were tasked with remaking all three games from scratch, using the originals only as reference. They had no assets, no engine, nothing to get them started. The studio created their own software which collected data throughout playthroughs of the PS1 games, such as collision factors and jump distance. By power of that data and Unreal Engine, we have a masterful recreation of Spyro and his adventures in all of their glory.
As soon as the controls are placed in your hands, you will first be left in awe from the amazing graphics. The lighting and colours fall brilliantly into place, making you feel like you are playing a Pixar film. You'll jump around, burn the grass, glide from every ledge you can, and just take moments to admire the recreation of each level in its impressive detail. All the while the iconic background music will be playing, and you can switch between the re-arranged or original versions from the settings.
Now, if you're worried about these games becoming too different in their transition to modern consoles, then I can put your mind at ease. Spyro still looks like the small unlikely-hero we know, and he moves all the same as well. The controls are exactly like in the classic PlayStation games, only with the welcome addition of controlling the camera with the right stick. Fear not, old school veterans, as you can also switch back to the retro controls if you wish, assigning the camera movement to the triggers. Whether you've played the original games or not, you'll be hopping and gliding with joy in no time.
As the games progresses, you'll find more and more things to do. One of the most memorable is the skateboarding in Spyro 3, which gives you a level that you can skate around in trying to collect gems from places all around ramps and tunnels. That game also introduced more characters who are playable in their own unique levels, and certain parts of the levels are only accessible with them. This adds extra depth of gameplay and content when exploring the worlds in the game.
However, one question remains about the games, regardless of how impressive the recreations may be: does the gameplay hold up today? If you're buying the trilogy, you want it to be for more than just nostalgia. Well, fear not, as the Spyro games are still packed full of challenges, collectibles, secrets and characters that you will love. Unlike the recent recreation of Crash Bandicoot, which is notoriously challenging and linear, Spyro offers a raw look into the early days of open-ended gaming with full 3D environments to explore.
If you enjoy collectibles, or just want a simple-yet-detailed game to run, jump, and glide your way through, then you'll not be disappointed with Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. The games and their level design definitely hold up in 2018, with plenty of content and charm to keep you coming back. On top of this, the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is not a full priced game. If you love Spyro, and like what you see and hear of the game, then there'll be no catches to disappoint you. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a blast from the past, with an amazing and impressive passion put into bringing the games back, better than ever.