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Spyro Reignited Trilogy - Is Spyro Still Worth Our Attention? - MojoPlays Review

VO: Phoebe de Jeu
Spyro the Dragon returns and this is our Spyro Reignited Trilogy review. This new HD remake of the original series brings the first three Spyro games onto current gen hardware with updated graphics, but is the gameplay still as solid as we remember?

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It’s a name that may only be familiar to all those self-proclaimed 90s kids who grew up with the original PlayStation console! Yes that’s right, Spyro the butt-kicking purple dragon is back, but this time not for an all new adventure or one of those Skylander thingies. Welcome to MojoPlays and this is our review of The Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

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Spyro once again returns to his adventures of old for this remastering of his influential original trilogy. Of course, it’s been 20 years since the character’s debut so this new release came with a massive graphics and art style overhaul which sees all the characters, enemies and worlds from the trilogy getting revamped, redecorated, and reignited!

If you haven’t read up on the lore of Spyro the Dragon recently, it goes a little like this… In each game of the trilogy, you play as Spyro, a little purple dragon tasked with restoring order in some otherwise peaceful world or kingdom. All three of the games, the first being “Spyro the Dragon”, followed by “Ripto’s Rage” and “Year of the Dragon”, sees the player collecting or “saving” some sort of token item, be it dragons, talismans or dragon eggs. Of course, you can’t have this kind of harrowing adventure without a few memorable villains. And that’s where the rogues gallery of Gnasty Gnorc, Ripto and the Sorceress come in to try and stop Spyro at his every move!

At first glance, the look of this trilogy is far prettier than its late 90s/early 2000s original. Developper Toys for Bob have done a great job in giving the games a fresh coat of paint and updating a few of the world unique characters as well. One particularly funny upgrade was this NPC that somewhere along the assembly line may have taken a liking for locally sourced, small batch whiskey and the musical stylings of Neutral Milk Hotel . Hmmm… did they always look like that [Enchanted Towers NPCs]?

It’s not just Spyro’s friends that saw a much needed modernization though, as many of the world’s enemies have gone from rough polygons to fully realized, and sometimes hilarious cartoonish villains that all have their own distinctive traits. This makes coming in contact with all these diverse creatures not just a whole lot of fun, but a constant reinvention of the games mechanics, as you must learn the weaknesses of your foes at the most unexpected moments.

With all this being said, while the new art style is quite eye-popping, it can be a little too eye-popping at times. After staring at the contrast of Spyro’s overly bright purple appearance and the near-neon green grass for hours on end all the oversaturated colors can become quite tiring to look at sometimes, and our playthrough even saw a few headaches along the way. Not to mention, the cute little guy does lose a little bit of his grit with this new makeover. But what are we to expect since the character is coming off the highly successful Skylanders franchise, which saw the series drop everything and go for the ultra-kid friendly route.

A game franchise that so many young gamers have hailed as their “first game ever”, the “kid friendly” label is something this updated trilogy should wear on its sleeve however, as the game is just as fun and easy to pick up as it has always been. This should make it a surefire way to become a hit with a whole new generation of youngins looking to pick up gaming.

Having all three of these classic 3D platformers in one place feels like the way the games should have been packaged in the first place. In this format, the first game, 1998’s “Spyro the Dragon” almost feels like a tutorial for what’s to come, as new elements, including other playable characters and new abilities are added with subsequent games. Though it does almost make the original game in the series feel almost forgettable by the time you get to the infinitely greater “Year of the Dragon”, the third game in the series.

It’s a wonder what they were even thinking when they were making the first Spyro game… Why weren’t you even able to play hockey or skateboard? Speaking of skateboarding… Why, when you are given the ability to skateboard, can you not even nail a sick kickflip? At least you can one up Tony Hawk and land a perfect 900… Moving on...

Everything packaged in the collection feels distinctly like Spyro, from the return of Tom Kenny who nails the voice of the titular character, to The Police’s Stewart Copeland, who was somehow willing to get back in the studio to lay down a new theme to match the character’s updated look. All these elements and more came together to create something truly special. A remaster with a vision that breathes some life back into a franchise that needed some. But now that this franchise is back from the dead, it would be nice to see some new chapters in the book of Spyro with this sleek new style.

If you’re wondering whether a remaster of the original Spyro trilogy is worth the money, ask yourself this… do you like having fun? Christmas is around the corner, and Spyro Reignited Trilogy offers enough content to keep you, your hypothetical kids and any other Spyro fans in your life thoroughly entertained from now until the next inevitable nostalgic remaster of your favorite childhood game. Spyro can glide, charge and fry up enemies just as well as he always has, and whether you’re in it for the sheer nostalgia or playing through the games for the first time ever, there’s a little something here for everyone.

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