I have been a fan of Spyro the Dragon ever since I was a little kid. When it comes to the PSOne classic games that I’ve known and loved my entire life Crash was the first real series I got into. And I still very much love Crash, and hey, we now have confirmed for us today we’re getting a Crash Team Racing remake, coming next year! I’m definitely pumped for that! But for as much as I love Crash, Spyro came and took things by storm and never looked back. It instantly became my favorite PSOne series of all time and that’ll likely never change.
So you can imagine my excitement when we found out, like his buddy Crash, Spyro would be getting the HD treatment via the Reignited Trilogy. I sort of always felt like it would happen, but I mean until it’s proven to exist it’s just a thought. So once we got to that point I was just super thrilled, how could I not be! My favorite PSOne series of all time coming back in full HD glory!? Yes, please! I stream games, as I’ve mentioned recently, and I’ve done the PSOne versions of Spyro 1-3 recently, a few times in fact. So of course I’d be pumped to not only play these, but also to stream them!
Fast forward to the now, with the game being out, and with me having made great progress in all 3 games so far. I even got a Platinum trophy in Spyro Year of the Dragon the other day! I have 100%’d all 3 games, with a few Trophies and Skill Points still to earn. So I’ve not only made tremendous progress with all 3 games here but I’ve very recently played/streamed the original PSOne games, so my thoughts on comparing one to the other is very fresh overall. So let’s dive into it!
There are three main things I think we need to look at with the Reignited Trilogy and the comparison to the originals to see whether it’s a success as a game or not. 1. The graphics of the game. Needless to say it needs to have the look and charm of the originals while also looking like a modern PS4/Xbox One game. 2. The music. The soundtracks in the originals were perfect. And the music in the N Sane Trilogy, in my opinion, was worse than the original Crash games. So this is an important area to look in. And 3. The controls. The game must control well, seeing as how the originals were finely tuned. Well, Spyro 1 was a bit looser than 2 and 3, but still you get it.
So does the Reignited Trilogy succeed on these notes? Let’s look at each point. The graphics. Needless to say the game looks much better on today’s consoles than the PSOne. That was never going to be doubted. But in spite of that it could still look worse, in a sense, if it didn’t have the same charm. If you played the originals like I did you know that while the games are dated, they have a strong charm in the design of the levels. I’ll just say it now, not only are the graphics are much better than before (duh moment haha) but the charm is just as evident as it was before.
In fact, I’d argue there is more charm in this game based on the look of the levels than before. For example, in the Toasty level in Spyro 1 we have a Dragon rescued who’s clearly an artist. In the building you navigate around in before fighting reaching said Dragon and then fighting Toasty you’ll see paintings on the wall. A tie-in to the artist Dragon you rescued from the area! You’ll find examples of pictures and other nick-nacks in the background that never was there before. So this is a big checkmark for sure!
How about the music? I will say that, to me, the music is a lot closer to the originals as opposed to the music in the N Sane Trilogy vs the originals. That being said, the dynamic remastered music isn’t quite as good as the originals to me. They’re not bad, in fact they’re quite good! But some of my favorite themes from the original are a bit too nerfed to me. Such as Spyro 1’s Lofty Castle. I felt like it was a bit weak compared to the original. And the same can be said for Spyro 2’s Icy Peak. The new versions there (and at other levels) weren’t bad per-se, but not as good. But, BUT, there is something huge they have here that very much saves things: original themes.
I’d say that 80% of the new themes I love, but I still overall prefer the original. And guess what! You can indeed listen to the original themes from all 3 games. If you want you can listen to the PSOne themes from start to end of all 3 games. And it’s very easy to swap the music from the Reignited themes to the originals. Simply pause, go to Options, hit Sound and there you go! You can do it on the fly too. It’s literally just a few button pushes and you can swap between them instantly. You can even mess around with the dynamic part of the Reignited trilogy theme as you wish!
Last but not least, in fact perhaps most importantly, how does the game feel? The N Sane Trilogy, which I promise I’m not trying to dump on, had issues with this. I had to retrain my muscle memory with the games because they didn’t feel like they used to. It’s not as if playing the N Sane Trilogy was just 10/10 difficulty because of the controls alone, but it was harder. Needlessly so, and it felt off when playing the games. I’ve had virtually none of that here on the Reignited Trilogy. I mentioned a bit ago that I’ve been streaming the original PSOne games, very recently, before jumping into this game. And I can assure you I felt just a comfortable playing these games with my d-pad playing self on the PS4 controller as I did playing the original games. There are only two issues with the physics of the game.
For one when you’re playing Spyro Year of the Dragon and doing the speedway challenges you’ll hit the Dallas Cowboys Star and it speeds you up. Before when you hit it you simply had more speed but had full control still. Now when you hit it you’re slipping and sliding all over the place in the air before returning back to normal speed. That doesn’t feel a bit off, it is very off compared to the original game. You can get used to it but still, that’s not something you should have to deal with.
And another point is the jump, glide, hover maneuver. In all 3 games there is a delay in the quickness of the move. In the original games you can run, jump, glide, and hover in essentially one quick move and it goes off efficiently and reliably. But now you have to glide for what feels like a second or so longer than it used to take to transition to the hover maneuver. It takes a bit of getting used to. Don’t get me wrong, neither it or the sliding flight breaks the game. By any means! But still, those are points against the title.
And there are glitches, most notably in Year of the Dragon. But those, in my experience, don’t break the game in full or make it unplayable. So let’s look at the pros and cons real quick and give it a rating! My typical rating will be, likely from here on, a “buy/rent/skip” type rating as opposed to a numerical based one. I could always do that, but I’m going to work that route for now. BUT WAIT, there’s more! Let’s look at another solid point before getting there. Build the anticipation a bit ;).
VOICES! The voice work for most of the characters, I believe, is very well done. We have Spongebob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) returning to voice Spyro, which is nice! Honestly I like the voices of all the main cast. Spyro, Elora, Hunter, Moneybags, Bianca, all of them. And the enhanced graphics, alongside better delivered lines, sells the story more than ever before. I think the stories for the 3 games have never had more depth to them as a result. The faces have more expression. You can just see so much more in the story than before. For example, notice in Year of the Dragon when the different friends are trapped in the cage next to Moneybags. They don’t just sit there looking forward in a zombie-like fashion like they used to. They have scowls on their faces, looking at him, moving around a bit too. It’s the small things that really move the story that much more compared to the originals.
Some of the side characters I wasn’t sold on voice wise. Such as the fellows you hang out with at the Tiki Lodge. Wasn’t sold there. But overall the voices too were done quite well! With all that said, now let’s do the rating!
- All 3 games are presented beautifully, never looked better
- Overall the games feel great, good physics most of the time
- You can listen to the original soundtrack if you prefer
- Spyro 1 now has Skill Points, it didn’t before
- Trophies to pursue for all 3 games
- Voice work was nicely done, and the animation sold the stories quite well
- There are glitches that can get in the way, mostly in Year of the Dragon
- The physics, while overall being finely tuned, have moments of being a fit (such as in the flying levels in Year of the Dragon)
- Not all the voices are good, or as good as before anyhow
Overall I give this game a recommendation of: MUST BUY. This game, or games depending on your view, is absolutely amazing. It definitely does justice to the original trilogy, in ways I never expected. It met, and exceeded, anything I thought I’d feel from it. Cannot recommend it enough!