Developer: Toys for Bob, Iron Galaxy
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: 3 Sept 2019
Price: $39,99USD – Available Here $69.95AUD – Available Here
I remember the first time I upgraded my PC. It was also the first time I got to play a game in glorious 60 frames per second. Funny enough, my first thought was “no way I could ever adjust to this”. And that’s for I felt for the next 10 minutes and no more. The transition was flawless. It was Guild Wars, by the way. Everything was crystal clear, the animations were smoother and the character motions were so much better. It was really a step up in my gaming life. So why am I going back to all of this? Well, this is how it feels like playing Spyro Reignited Trilogy with all the improvement and touch-ups, almost 20 years after the original games. 60 FPS switch all over again.
Since this package comes with all three games; Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon, I’ll go through the stories from all the games. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. Stories in all of the Spyro games are rather brief and only serve to drive the gameplay forward (and what items you acquire in the sequels). In the first game, a bunch of dragons decided to trash-talk some magical orc (or Gnorc, as he and his minions are called in Spyro games), he got mad and turned them all into stones. Now it’s up to you to free (unstone?) all the dragons, gather a lot of gems while at it and defeat the Gnasty Gnorc. Simple enough. In the sequel, there is a new villain in a town called Ripto. A very nasty magic-wielding dinosaur is keen to enslave all the dragons. So yeah, gather gems, kill some bosses and earn a bunch of magical orbs for the portal back home. Yep, no more rescuing dragons from Medusa’s stare, we’ve upgraded! In the third and the last game of the pack, we have also been upgraded with new enemies (we are now fighting Rhynocs instead of orcs), new collectibles (chasing for dragon eggs now instead of orbs or dragons) and sometimes we get to play as someone else than Spyro. Wait, what?!
As mentioned, the gameplay loop in all the three games is pretty straightforward. Gather gems (which are used as currency to learn new skills in later games), beat occasional bosses and got through the world after world rescuing your friends. Things spice up a bit in the second and third game, where new supporting characters are introduced and you even get to play as some of them in the last game. When it comes to enemies, Spyro has a bunch of attacks at his disposal. There is the expected flame breath (he is a dragon, after all), a charging attack and different kind of powerups that change his flame properties. Some enemies are weak to flame, some to charging, some to both and later in the game(s) you have to strategize a bit to reveal their Achilles heel. While every Spyro game from the bunch is good enough on its own, this trilogy is also a textbook example how t expand on a winning formula while sacrificing nothing away. The sequels bring new Spyro moves (like swimming, diving, and headbutt attacks) and we get to play as penguin version of 007 (already sounds intriguing, right?), a feisty Aussie kangaroo and even Sparx, Spyro’s trusty dragonfly sidekick. They all come with their own special attacks and gameplay mechanics – if you have enough gems to unlock them, that is. And make no mistake, by gems I do mean those that you find in-game behind every nook and cranny. It is commendable and rare that in this day and age, there are still AAA games not riddled with microtransactions that no one asked for.
The shinning spot of the game. All the original levels from all three games received an insane visual makeover, Spyro’s animations are now smoother and some levels have the enemy layout rearranged. The lightning effects are breathtaking (really, every next frame of the game screams for a screenshot), Spyro’s idle animations are too adorable and some levels will stay in your memory long after you finish the game. This remaster is responsible for a whole week of my tiring work shift due to staying up late playing it and almost missing a deadline for publishing this review. It’s just that addicting and engaging. Not to mention all the beauty in the little details such as burning almost everything throughout the levels. Yep, not just enemies. Your fire breathing leaves gorgeous scorching effects on patches of grass, plants, enemy armor and most of the environment.
To not leave everything shinning in the visuals, the games also feature some stellar work when it comes to the audio department. Plenty of tracks have been remastered, improved in quality and remixed to catch you off guard. Spyro Reignited Trilogy is also recommended to play with a good set of headphones just so you don’t miss out on the marvelous work that went into the audio design of the levels. Enemies tend to yell, have fights with each other and act silly all around. Every level in each of the Spyro games has a distinct and sometimes memorable music theme so it’s not that much of a grind to go back and 100% each level if you feel like doing so.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is truly an exquisitely wrapped up package. After some good impressions with Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy release a few months back, I’m digging this (what I hope to be) new trend in above-average remasters, releases and reboots. It’s like reliving my gaming childhood memories in 60 FPS. On a serious note, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is something definitely worth your money and attention. Amazing facelift of all three games, great price when you consider how much content is in this pack and insane replay value (even more if you consider going for 100% completion in all three games). Now let’s burn some enemies and patches of grass together!
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