Friday, 18 October 2019 11:40

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review

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Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy consists of the three original Spyro games from 1998 (Spyro the Dragon), 1999 (Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage), and 2000 (Spyro: Year of the Dragon), all remastered. If you enjoyed the original games, you won’t be disappointed in the new, updated HD graphics that bring the beautiful world of dragons to life.

Fans will love the new HD graphics.

As a fan of the original, I most looked forward to exploring the beautiful worlds that I had once traversed. I was euphorically lost for hours revisiting the different worlds, exploring their remastered animations, backgrounds, environments, and sounds. It brought me back to my childhood of rescuing dragons, gathering gems, and saving dragon eggs. The graphics were all that I hoped they would be, and my younger children were eager to watch over my shoulder and take the wheel when allowed.

One example of what really brought the remastered world to life for me was that the developers, Toys for Bob and Iron Galaxy, updated the models of the dragons you rescue. In the original games, the rescued dragons often had the same model as a previous dragon you had rescued. Some had a few variations, but it felt like I was rescuing the same dragons over and over again despite their different names. In the Reignited series, every dragon was different. You never ran into the same model twice (at least if I did, I didn’t notice it), and it really improved the gaming experience.

Spyro offers a range of gameplay for the casual gamers to the perfectionists and completionists.

For the casual gamers, there’s plenty to do and explore. As you save dragons from Gnasty Gnorc, defeat Ripto, and rescue dragon eggs from the evil Sorceress, you can enjoy simple attacks (fire breath and charge) and gliding and jumping through the world. There are numerous worlds to access through different portals to explore and collect treasure from, a plethora of enemies and bosses to roast, and (in the later games) additional ways to spend treasure to activate bridges, elevators, bellows, and even rescue caged friends and allies. Later on, you can play allies that provide you new vantage points and different elements of an enormous world.

Playability for the casual gamer just looking to explore is really good. As an example, my five-year-old was eager for a turn because of the recent Skylanders TV show that features Spyro, who has been her favorite character for about a year now. She was able to take the Steam controller, mess around, and figure out most of the game by herself. I only had to give a few tips on gliding and charging, and she was able to figure out the rest and defeat the first few levels on her own.

However, if you’re a perfectionist or completionist like me, the game offers a more difficult challenge. I wanted to collect all the gems and master the levels rather than just play through and enjoy the updated game. I wanted to hit one more ramp or find new ways into the secret areas. These goals required more skill and combining different abilities, which is to be expected. Often I’d repeat levels to ensure perfect gameplay, giving myself a more difficult challenge just to prove I could do it.

Gameplay mostly remains the same, but I felt there was a difference between the original jump/glide and the Reignited jump/glide.

(Note: It’s been several years since I played the original, so I could be remembering this wrong.)

In the original Spyro series, gliding replaced a standard double jump. Instead of jumping higher when you pressed the second jump button, you glided forward. This allowed you to see higher in the sky at the top of the first jump, and you could glide along a wall if you double jumped/glided next to a wall. 

In the Reignited series, gliding from pressing the second jump button feels more aggressive. You immediately glide forward instead of hovering briefly before gliding. As a result, if you try to glide next to a wall, you bounce off of it instead of gliding alongside it.

Everything else seemed to be the same as I remembered. Attacks were the same, exploration was the same. Besides the glide, the developers did a great job staying faithful to the original series. 

However, the developers missed an opportunity in updating the viewable distance to match current standards.

Back in the day, Spyro’s viewable distance was amazing. You could see so much further ahead than other games, giving the world a bigger feel and a heavier majestic feeling. When the developers remastered the game, they kept the viewable distance the same, which is really short according to today’s gaming standards.

While keeping the distance the same is staying faithful to the original game, it loses the awe I felt playing the original Spyro the Dragon for the first time and for the first playthrough. Now the worlds all feel smaller and less majestic.

Expanding the viewable distance to be more comparable to today’s standards could still be considered remaining faithful to the original feeling of the game. They could have pushed the boundaries of viewable distance, as they did back in 1998, to bring back the awe and feeling that there’s so much to explore. It could have been a part of remastering the graphics. And while I respect that the developers wanted to keep the game the same, I feel like they missed a chance to extend the wonder we felt in playing the original.

The camera is another feature they could have improved with the remastered version.

The camera was clunky in the original series. It had a manual control that was difficult and sometimes inverted. And while the camera controls are much better in today’s games, the developers didn’t fix this issue in the Reignited series. The camera is still clunky, and while they gave us a button to help fix some of the original quirks, the button doesn’t help much. It just moves the camera to face the direction Spyro is facing when pressed, which isn’t what we always want or need during gameplay. So unless you always want to look where Spyro is, the camera update isn’t much of an update.

The remastered Spyro the Dragon has better playability than its sequels.

Maybe this was due to me to loving the first original game the most, or that I looked forward to reminiscing about the first game more than the others, but while playing through all three remastered games, I found myself enjoying the first one more. It was a true journey going down memory lane, roasting bad guys and exploring the world as a dragon. (I’ve always loved dragons.) Part of me wishes they had released the trilogy as separate games. After playing the bundle, I would have been happier to simply own the first and replay it.

Sometimes I experienced glitches despite my computer having more than the required specs for the game.

Sypro Reignited Trilogy requires the typical Windows 7, Intel Core i3-2100/AMD FX-6300, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2GB)/AMD Radeon HD 7850 (2GB), Version 9.0 DirectX, etc., with the game recommending an Intel Core i5-2500k/AMD FX-8350, 8 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 (2 GB)/AMD Radeon RX 480, DirectX Version 9.0, etc. I tried this on two different computers, both of which have better specs than the developers recommend.

The trilogy also has full controller support, so I mostly played on my Steam controller. With my better-than-recommended setup and controller, I still experienced glitch-like pauses where the game felt like it needed to load content. An example is when I turned around a cliff bend, I’d feel the slight glitch as if the rest of the level needed to be drawn or loaded. While it didn’t ruin my experience, it was annoying at times and made the game feel not as polished as it was supposed to be.

Some levels caused more frustration than others. The worst glitch was when I was on the fifth ramp of a power charge and I had to veer right to get to the final ramp to reach the secret area; I’d get a short glitch — really short, as in around a tenth of a second — however, it was just long enough to cause enough trouble and I’d lose a life. This happened on more than one occasion for timed challenges or tricky boss fights. I started spending even more time on the level collecting gems and exploring before I’d attempt something that was timed, simply to give the game more time to load. After I experienced the glitch and died, I’d be able to perform the required maneuvers without the glitch, as the system usually didn’t repeat the same glitch after I’d been on that level awhile. I started relying on that fact and knowing I’d need to waste lives at times during glitches and that they wouldn’t repeat later on, though sometimes I just had to waste the life (thank goodness Sypro has unlimited lives) and try again once the level was fully loaded.


The Verdict:

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy stays true to the original games and provides a wonderful new visual experience to explore. Despite a few glitches and keeping some of the old issues, it’s a wonderful game and I’m looking forward to spending many more hours roasting baddies and saving dragons. If you liked the original games, you won’t be disappointed. Spyro will make all your dragon dreams come true.

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Cherise Papa

Cherise Papa is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for writing novels and playing games. With a thirst for lore and massive damage, she heals raids, conquers civilizations, smashes things with two-handed weapons, tames dinosaurs, and eats other snakes. Accompanied by her husband and gamer toddlers, she explores new worlds and logs too many hours on Steam. Her gaming drink of choice is rich hot chocolate with peppermint candy canes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, or handfuls of marshmallows.