Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review
There was a time back in the mid-’90s that I joined the adult workforce and took on a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday job. A shift like that made playing games a weekends-only endeavor, but when the holiday-driven three day weekends showed up on the calendar, I would have three full days to game my heart out. In 1998, for Labor Day weekend, I bought the first Spyro The Dragon game and challenged myself to finish it in those three days. And I did. But for those three magical days, I was deeply engrossed in the game, seeking out every gem, egg, and secret en route to getting 100% completion. I mention all of this, because that weekend is still very memorable and those memories are flooding back as I play Activision’s Spyro Reignited Trilogy. My life is decidedly different now, but that doesn’t mean any of the magic is gone. In fact, it could be argued that the magic is better than ever.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a high definition remake/remaster of the three core Spyro The Dragon games: Spyro The Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Developer Toys for Bob, who first found success with the Skylanders empire — also featuring Spyro as a character — is the perfect team to bring Spyro back to a new generation. The little purple dragon looks amazing in hi-def, and the games play and feel like their original titles, even though everything has been rebuilt. I particularly like how the grass singes when Spyro breathes fire, and how each land pops with color and grandeur. And the humor is spot on, both for kids and adults.
In Spyro The Dragon, the land of dragons is cursed by the angry mage, Gnasty Gnorc, and all of the dragons are turned to crystal. It’s up to the diminutive Spyro and his partner/living life bar, Sparx the dragonfly, to search through all the realms and rescue the elder dragons. A simple control scheme allows for Spyro to charge, breathe fire, and jump/soar, as the game is much more about exploration than it is about combat.
Getting 100% of the gems, eggs, and dragons in each world and each level becomes obsessive and while 80% of these items are just lying there in the open, some require tricky jumps and the use of Spyro’s other skills. Playing this game again made me smile, so much so that my wife actually worried that I might be having a stroke. Sometimes, it’s just nice to have fun playing a video game. I’m not riding a horse to rob a train, or shooting other players in a war torn city, or battling the Greeks across the Mediterranean; I’m just playing as a little purple dragon looking for other dragons and colorful trinkets.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage opens the series up more by taking Spyro and Sparx to a new land for a much needed vacation, and added some new characters for our heroes to interact with. The new team work together to stop Ripto’s nefarious plans so Spyro and Sparx can enjoy their vacation.
Spyro: Year of the Dragon puts dragon eggs on center stage, as Spyro and Sparx have to collect them all to save them from an evil sorceress who plans to destroy them for her own gain. Again, now allies are introduced and the game expands on the mythos more.
Each of the three games in Spyro Reignited Trilogy show off the move sets and the incredible voice work that the series was known for. Each of the elder dragons has a unique personality and releasing them unlocks a short conversation that makes the hunt enjoyable. Tom Kenny voices Spyro and he returns to record some new lines. Even the series’ original composer, Stewart Copeland, the ex-drummer for the rock band The Police, returns with some new music, making Spyro Reignited Trilogy a remake for fans old and new.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is not without its issues, but these issues have plagued the series for 20 years. Spyro’s charge attack is an exercise in frustration as controlling the dragon in his charge is next to impossible, and if you hit the charge while facing the wrong direction, you will most likely die. In fact, expect to die often, as each game has a hidden level of difficulty as you drill down for the 100% in each level. And the flight-only levels in each world are the bane of my existence, both now and then. Even after 20 years of playing this game series, I’m still frustrated with certain control designs, and oddly enough, I’m not mad at Toys for Bob for keeping them, because it was that difficulty that made the game so beloved in the first place.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is very much a game for all ages and skill sets. Spyro can continue his adventure by finding X amount of dragons to unlock the next area, and most of those are out in the open, so younger players can play the game without worry. Older players can seek out the hidden stuff and get the 100%, so everyone can be happy. It takes about 10 hours or so to play through each game for completion, meaning Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a steal for over 30 hours of fun with a sub-$40 price tag.
I love the character of Spyro and he is the only reason I started playing Skylanders back in 2011. Spyro Reignited Trilogy reminded me of why I adore the character so much and it sure has been fun revisiting these worlds and these scenarios. This is how a remaster should be done, and I want to thank Toys for Bob for not only pulling it off, but for reminding me of that magical weekend 20 years ago. Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a true gem this holiday season, and you don’t need to pull off an insane jump-glide-pound combo to get it.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is available now for the PS4 and Xbox One. This review is based off the PS4 version and a code provided by Activision.
TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.