Last year, Activision resurrected one of gaming’s most beloved icons, Crash Bandicoot. With a new coat of paint and remixed audio, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy managed to modernize the original three games all while staying true to the original games’ vision. It was a smashing success, and Activision is hoping to replicate it with Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Remastering the original three Insomniac developed titles, Toys for Bob have a tall order of not only updating the games, but also maintaining the original vision. We went hands-on with Spyro Reignited Trilogy at E3 2018 to see just how well this remaster is shaping up.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a remaster of Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. They were all initially developed by Insomniac Games for the original PlayStation, and all are beloved by fans. Toys for Bob, the team behind the Skylanders franchise, are behind the remasters, and they appear to be doing quite a good job.
The standout change is, obviously, the updated graphics. The visuals have been completely remade from the ground-up, and they look stunning. From the environments to the enemies to Spyro himself, the visuals fit in perfectly with today’s graphical standards. Comparing them to the PlayStation originals, it’s astonishing to see how far the industry has come.
In addition to updating the game’s original graphics, Toys for Bob has added their own visual flair to add more character to the game. Spyro’s fire now burns grass, clothing, and hair, leaving a singed effect behind. The dragons rescued by Spyro, which all used to share similar models, have all been redesigned to be unique. For example, the dragon Nevin has gone from a generic looking dragon to a painter, and Isaac is now a staff-wielding wizard. Its little touches like this that make this remaster feel special. Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) is even returning to record new dialogue for Spyro the Dragon, the only entry where the titular hero was a silent protagonist.
Asides from the visuals and inclusion of Kenny, Toys for Bob has remained incredibly faithful to the original games. We got to try out the Toasty and Tree Tops levels with both faithfully recreated. Though the visuals are more detailed and vibrant than their original incarnations, the layouts, enemy placement, and secret areas remain the same.
Nor have the controls changed much. Players will still use a combination of the square, x, and circle buttons to breathe dash, jump, and breath fire respectively. Quality-of-life improvements have been made to make movements snappier and more precise. Additionally, full analog stick support has been added, though players can still move Spyro around with the d-pad.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy may not retain the looks of the original PlayStation games, but it does maintain the heart and soul of the beloved classics. Though our time with the remasters was short, what we did get to play is a testament to the love Toys for Bob has for these games. The visuals are beautifully redone all while preserving the feel of the originals. With over 100 levels, it’ll be exciting to see all those classic levels in HD.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is out September 21 on PS4 and Xbox One.