Spyro has returned better than ever before, with updated visuals, while holding true to the original’s charm. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy had a playable demo at the Toronto 2018 Fan EXPO featuring one level from each game. For fans of the original three games the demo, and eventually the remake, will help transport players back to when they were younger. Updated visuals have not hindered what the original brought but have only enhanced the games.
Fans of the original trilogy will feel right at home with the remake. The game is an honorable dedication to the late 90s, featuring accurate movement and controls. For example, charging into a wall still has the charming thud and bounce that old-school players witnessed so many times. However, a few aspects feel a touch at odds with the source material, such as the charge-and-jump method for a speed boost. This technique seems to have been altered and now slows Spyro down due to the way he is animated. In the originals, charge-jumping felt as though Spyro leaped through the air gracefully with his horns forward, but it now feels like he is arcing downward to hit harder, ultimately slowing him down. Another alteration is that the camera does not seem to follow the player as well as in the initial trilogy, meaning the user has to be ever vigilant on adjusting the view to see the enemies well enough.
One of the biggest changes to the first game in the saga is the design of the captured dragons: what was once a generic design is now more varied. For example, one of the dragons in Stone Hill is dressed as an artist, sporting coveralls dirtied with paint and holding a brush the size of him. Dragons now come with much more varied looks, giving them a sense of uniqueness that was not achievable on the original PlayStation.
The massively updated details extend to the worlds, which nonetheless hold the same level design imbued with a visual revamp, such as luscious grass instead of a spotted green mat. The lighting and shadows allow the colorful levels to feel much more alive and breathtaking; the fun of exploring in the originals is now accompanied by much more beauty and finding secret areas is more entertaining. The modernization brings the games one step higher than the originals, creating a game that will feel right at home today but still hits all those nostalgic itches.
With the demo, Toys for Bob has done well to demonstrate what Spyro Reignited Trilogy will deliver to fans. The remake is a great example if Sony’s history in the games industry, and where games have come from, along with a new opportunity for people to wear their rose-tinted glasses. The title also provides a great opportunity for children to play in a market saturated with titles targeted at adults and older teens. With the project’s recent delay to November 13, 2018, the developers can give “more love” to the always-deserving Spyro, as the game attempts to hit fans’ high expectations. Spyro made huge waves on the original PlayStation and is now likely to continue to do so with the Reignited Trilogy.