Review

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review - Fan The Flames

  • First Released Nov 13, 2018
    released
  • PS4

Where dragons dwell.

Many would-be mascots have come down the pike over the years, trying to capture just the slightest hint of Mario-level stardom. Spyro the Dragon never quite got there, but he did manage to star in some of the most charming and accessible platformers of the PlayStation era, and the Reignited Trilogy is a grand testament to the little guy's staying power.

The trilogy includes the first three--and best--titles in the series: Spyro the Dragon, Ripto's Rage (also known as Gateway to Glimmer in Europe and Australia), and Year of the Dragon. His adventures are simple but delightfully cartoonish fare. The first game has him traveling through the five dragon realms freeing his bigger, badder brethren from Gnasty Gnorc. The second has Spyro attempting to take a vacation after his previous adventure, but winding up getting dragged into a realm being invaded by effete warlock Ripto. The third has him facing off against the evil Sorceress, who has stolen over 100 dragon eggs with the help of her rabbit apprentice, Bianca.

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Ignore the graphical overhaul, and these are very much the games that released the first time around on PS1. The fact that they stand up so well mechanically against more recent games is the most pleasant surprise of the package. Movement and attacks are one-button affairs, and the simplicity works in the collection's favor. If there's a learning curve to be found, it's in the fact that it's all too easy to use Spyro's charge attack too recklessly, sending him flying off cliffs or missing the enemy he's aiming for by inches.

Thankfully, Spyro’s moveset need not do much heavy lifting, especially in the first game. Every area has a number of crystallized dragons to find, and once enough of them have been freed, you take a balloon off to the next dragon realm, and repeat until you reach Gnorc's trashy fortress. There's some minor puzzle solving, and an enormous amount of treasure to be found, and that’s about it. If anything, the first game's biggest weakness is that there's so much other stuff to collect, between the hundreds of gems, hidden treasure chests, and dragon eggs stolen by hidden--and super annoying--Egg Thieves, but only freeing the dragons really matters in terms of progress.

The sequels are much better in that regard. Each stage has its own little tale of animated hijinks that plays out, from a tribe of Himalayan telepaths being terrorized by a Yeti, to my personal favorite, helping superspy moppets Hansel and Gretel stealth their way into a heavily guarded fortress of nomadic lizards so they can use their psychic powers and take over. There's a slew of unique challenges within each stage for you to do, usually involving super-powered versions of Spyro's current abilities or sequences where you have to take to the skies and firebomb specific objects for gems. The third game brings new playable characters into the fray, all with their own specific movesets and bonus stages, giving you a very good reason to run around collecting shiny stuff to unlock it all. The linear repetition of the first game never rears its head again for the rest of the collection.

As mentioned, it speaks well of the originals that the Reignited Trilogy doesn't change a thing mechanically and all three games are still a joy to play. The audio has gotten a bit of remixing and reworking but remains fairly true to the original soundtrack, which can be switched to on the fly. But the Reignited Trilogy goes above and beyond here, giving all three games an impressive visual overhaul, essentially making all three games close to a Dreamworks animation. More than just new lush-looking foliage, skin and scale textures, and warm, blissful lighting, hundreds of tiny new details are here, giving each character and enemy more personality. There are a bunch of visual gags and quirks every character will run through if you leave them alone for a moment. The generic gruff dragons from the original are all unique creatures with their own personalities when imparting knowledge to Spyro, same for the dragon babies in Year of the Dragon, who each react like delightful, rambunctious toddlers when they hatch. The Spyro trilogy already felt timeless to play. Now, it’s much more dazzling to look at.

The Reignited Trilogy is the best kind of collection that not only brings a beloved series up to current visual standards but also proves just how well-built the original titles were. Granted, the originals were done by a little studio called Insomniac, and it's not exactly surprising something that team did is a fine example of the genre. But the Reignited Trilogy's developer, Toys for Bob, deserves major kudos for bringing Insomniac's vision to life in the way we could've only dreamed in 1998.

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The Good
Gorgeous graphical enhancements
Much more animation and personality to every character
Simple and accessible without sacrificing fun
Wide variety of activities to do
The Bad
Item collection in the original game feels pointless
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Justin Clark played through all three Spyro games in about four hours each. In case you were wondering, no, L1 + Triangle does nothing this time. A code was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.
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Avatar image for Barracuda54
Barracuda54

So let me get this straight.....

If I buy this in the store for $39.99, I'm basically paying for the first game and a piece of paper with codes on it to download the other two?

What kind of half assed crap is that?

I mean, I have great internet capable of downloading the other two but that's not the point, you mean to tell me that for some ungodly reason you choose to screw your customers over this way instead of just putting all three games on a disc like they did with Crash?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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blueoriole

Spyro The Dragon was one of the first titles I played on the PS1. That was 18 years ago. I absolutely loved it. I haven't played this yet; but I can't wait to download it and get super nostalgic.

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patriotplayer90

The game plays and looks great. Luckily, I didn't play much of the originals, so it is a new experience for me. The charge, fire breathing, and gliding mechanics and vertical long-distance platforming feel fresh, unique, as does the simple movement of the 4 legged dragon. And it can't be understated how great of a job they developers did with this one. They really brought the game to life.

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lionheartssj1

There's no reason for all three games not to be included on disc. These aren't RDR2 graphics so I doubt the first game would take up an entire Blu-ray. Not everyone has fantastic internet, nor unlimited data. Complete BS Activision-Blizzard, you effete jerks.

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OaklandRaiderz

Not getting it. all three games are not on the disc. This is an issue since I am living in a remote area of the states with wishy washy satellite internet and data caps. If i buy i only get to play the first game and bits of the others. A 40gb dowload? Come on activision

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ASnakeNeverDies

I hate the zbrushy look of poorly rendered digitally sculpted characters and environments. Graphical underhaul, I would call it. And I mean that pejoratively. 😤

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@asnakeneverdies: with respect are you for real?

Your comment is serious?

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@itchyflop: Absolutely! Methinks the game looks awful, especially when juxtaposed against the originals, Itchyflop. 🤢

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@asnakeneverdies: sorry my gaming brother/sister how can it look any worse than the original?

It doesn't, but hey you're not a fan, i get that.

Your jargon has amused me however with some clever use of wording, its refreshing to see!

Its been a pleasure.

:)

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@itchyflop: i feel that way sometimes with redos / remasters and the like but i think this looks good all the same. You can tell they loved the original games.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@itchyflop: Methinks it does absolutely look worse. That said, while I still prefer the originals, on account of more concise, mechanically oriented environmental designs, I don't feel this way about the N. Sane Trilogy, nor the upcoming MediEvil Remake (so far).

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@asnakeneverdies: Again i fail to see how it can look worse than the older version using what it did for the time, it simply cannot look worse.

Its the same game "environmentally designed" with a face lift?

I think it looks pretty "hot" (pun intended) to be honest, as it should.

The original (though i didn't play it a lot) was unique.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@itchyflop: Higher polygonal densities and increased texture resolutions do not guarantee superior presentation. It all depends on the quality of the execution and what's herein achieved are noisier frames, full of superfluous visual platitudes. That's what I believe, Itchyflop.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@asnakeneverdies: how about a more stable polygon density due to later more powerful hardware running it, the character modelling has been redrawn completely and not just with respect to texture resolutions.

It clearly is showing a superior presentation, i fail to comprehend how you can compare a ps1 era game to a remastered "now" generation game (the same game) and comment it looks worse.

From what i know the mapping for environments are identical to the original and thats it.

Can you show me a link or point me in the direction towards "noisier frames" again i cannot see how the original frame rate is more stable than today's rendition.

Again, you gatta be yanking my chain or using a translation tool.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@itchyflop: I use the expression "noisier frames" to convey my interpretation of the non mechanically conducive visual fodder. You completely misunderstand the intent of mine remarks while fallaciously equating artistic merit to technological affordance, Itchyflop.

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Brandsome

I disagree about the item collection being pointless in the first game; you get a whole bonus level for getting 100%.

Online
Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@brandsome: thanks man iv learnt something today, i never really played the original.

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JimAbadon

So, this review may not be award-winning but it still told me what I needed to know so it works for me. I had a softer spot for Spyro than I did Crash so I may just pick this one up. Now, as for the people complaining, well my answer is the same: get off this site if you hate it so much.

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DEVILTAZ35

@jimabadon: Crash is currently in the Xbox sale for the next couple of days anyhow. I might just get that online.

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

Sounds like Spyro has managed to achieve what Crash did last year, namely re-capture that sense of nostalgia and fun that made the original releases so much fun and wanting of a future collection.

Unfortunately, Spyro is not one of those gaming mascots that gets the love he deserves so something like this collection is not only a great thing but long overdue.

I’m not sure if lightning will strike twice as it pertains to overall sales for this collection in comparison to it’s contemporary in the way of Crash but if the reviews piling in are an indication of how it will be received than it would be reasonable to assume that it will have at the very least some modicum of success.

-SPYRO’S BACK BABY! NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@videogameninja: Not even a 1080p 60 mode for Pro or X though. That is disappointing. I can see this doing well on Switch in portable mode though.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@ratchet_fan7: Hey, I know that the dude may write a lot (and I know, I am one to write about that), but the dude's amusing to me at least.

But you? Oh man, you know how many fuckers like you there are that start accounts on GameSpot just to flame people? Dime a dozen schmucks.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@Gelugon_baat: DEVILTAZ35 is making a good point?

I see a conversation with a fellow gamer on here?

I see no "flaming" apparent.

I see a person replying with the value of contempt to the other trying to bully someone?

Whats your beef ?

People shouldn't be pounced on by the likes of you for a comment made not in a "trolling" or "flaming" manner.

Grow up

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@itchyflop: Hey thanks , but i don't think it was aimed at me as where was i flaming someone? . I am still going to pick this up as my local store is selling it for almost half price due to it only being one game on the disc. That is great value at nearly 50% off.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@deviltaz35:

I appreciate the reply.

yeah either im going mad or my hardware is doing something, it was showing half comments only visible, the comments were definitely there that were deleted, later on it was normal.

i dunno, in short.... i was wrong and now i look a knob and quite rightly so!!

Egg=face, however my intentions were good.

Anyway, i loved the original though i regret not finishing it due to other titles arriving and grabbing more of my attention at the time.

This is perfect as i can now and it looks great doesn't it.

I was too immature to appreciate this at the time, more interested in the likes of tekken etc and didn't give spyro the proper time, my gaming interest has broadened now, i think ill enjoy this.

AHA this is one of the titles the wife actually enjoys too so bonus!!

i purchased grip too, nostalgic xmas this year!! (after iv finished red dead 2)

Its half price? doesn't each game comes on its own disc? (spyro)

:)

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@itchyflop:

If you are grown up yourself, you might have considered that the other person whom I responded to already had his/her post removed.

Besides, I wasn't even responding to DEVILTAZ35, like you just wrote I did. The @tag was directed at ratchet_fan7. It's right there, at the start of my previous post.

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@Gelugon_baat: All good i gathered it wasn't aimed at me :) . I had to go back just to make sure i hadn't unintentionally flamed someone though haha.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@Gelugon_baat: how am i able to read it then?

Nice try though

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@itchyflop: Well, it's deleted. You might want to notice that I wasn't the only one responding to that though, and we all got thumb's up anyway - all that happened within one hour before that post was deleted by a moderator, who was alerted to that post with flags.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@Gelugon_baat: no its still here, so try another approach to this debate, maybe a more constructive one.

Why do i need to grow up myself to see this?

i dont know the thumbs up aren't friends of yours? Or followers of game ninja, hey i like the comments he leaves, but i also like the CONVERSATION people can have on here.

There is nothing wrong with DEVILTAZ35 comment, he makes a decent point, and he's free to?

You're wrong to bully him like you are for expressing a point?

He isn't flaming anyone, how is he, explain it to me.

Maybe then we can have a CONVERSATION about why you feel this way.

Maybe you're a kiss ass to video game ninja i dont know, maybe you just like hounding people on sites like this.

All said with respect...........of course.

EDIT : i can only see you comment in reply, no one else's with "thumbs up"?

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@itchyflop: I have already said that my earlier post was directed at ratchet_fan7, not DEVILTAZ35.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@Gelugon_baat: yeah soz my bad i can only see some of posts on here, or older ones and new ones sometimes, its all here now, time to invest in a new machine.

I dunno wtf is going on with my hardware. ( bad workman and tools etc it is not)

Massive Apologies brother/sister.

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@itchyflop: lol thanks for the misguided support anyhow :) . All good . It's still a remarkable game considering in effect it is 4 versions at once from a small studio with a limited budget. I do hope MS and Sony get behind this though so HDR and or some sort of 1080p 60 mode or ultra HD mode could be added in a patch later . Especially for the X. It seems a missed opportunity from Microsoft to not want to ensure this was shone above other versions.

The X needs the wins and needs more support right now for 4k ultra and HD. The results are so stunning when devs get it right :)

Avatar image for gruoch1
gruoch1

@ratchet_fan7: What's your problem? videogameninja has some of the best comments on any game-site. They're often well thought out, he's friendly, and always polite. I'm not ashamed to admit I am a videogameninja fan.

Note to Mods: I accidently hit the flag button while trying to reply. So I may have accidently flagged the previous comment several times. I rescind my flags. Sorry.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@ratchet_fan7: Go away, now.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

Never played these. Too bad it's not on Switch.

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@Bread_or_Decide: Have a look on youtube , cute graphics but that's about it. Very basic gameplay . More for little children. It's Ps1 era gameplay so not worth a full price release anyway.

Hopefully people see i was being sarcastic in all except the price point. Thankfully some retailers are selling this close to 50% off where i am.

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy More Info

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  • First Released Nov 13, 2018
    released
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    8.4
    Average Rating21 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Spyro Reignited Trilogy
    Developed by:
    Toys for Bob
    Published by:
    Activision
    Genre(s):
    Compilation
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief