Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Share This Review!

Spyro Reignited Trilogy game cover art

Classic Spyro the Dragon returns after over a ten-year hiatus, with his original adventures in glorious HD under Spyro Reignited Trilogy!

ConsolePlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperToys for Bob
PublisherActivision
Genre3D Platformer
Release Year2018
Game Number1 – 3
Purchase (PS4)Purchase from Amazon.
Purchase (Xbox One)Purchase from Amazon.

Well, everybody, it’s finally here. Just like with Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon is back and better than ever! Or at least for one entry. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we hear of them.

Please don’t let this be the end already…

This game is so hyped that even freakin’ Snoop Dogg advertised it!

Snoop Dogg gave his chain to a Spyro droid equipped with a flamethrower. It’s a hell of a time to be alive now. My inner child is screaming.

I had already talked about some of the past Spyro the Dragon games, including the original PS1 trilogy. Overall, they are solid games and the most memorable entries in the series. But with all three games rebuilt with current game development technology, have these games aged well and did Spyro Reignited Trilogy as a whole improved upon them?

We’re going through each entry to find out. And at the risk of making this one particular review about as long as three game reviews, I’ll condense some of the topics and refer to my original reviews. And also, I’m going to judge the Reignited Trilogy as a single package for the purpose of review rather than just three separate games. I already did that! If you want my opinions on the other Spyro games, take a look at this page.

Now let’s reignite this bitch!

 

Spyro in Glorious HD!

Just take a look at the levels.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is what caught many people’s eyes concerning the game. All of the familiar levels remade using technology from the eight generation of game consoles. Overall, Toys for Bob did an excellent job in recreating these levels while adding some new environmental effects to them. And personally, I believe some of the best-looking levels come from the remake of the original Spyro the Dragon.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy High Caves

If you’re not familiar with how classic Spyro the Dragon games play, here’s a quick rundown. Your goal for each game is to collect stuff (mainly, gems and whatever the featured collectible is) to enter new worlds and fight boss enemies. Spyro can attack using his flame breath or run into enemies with his horns. He also has the ability to glide in the air for a short time, to reach some of those tricky faraway platforms.

Sparx the Dragonfly functions as Spyro’s health indicator. As Spyro takes more damage, Sparx’s color changes (yellow -> blue -> green). Eventually, if Sparx “dies,” it only takes one hit to defeat Spyro.

Since I played Spyro Reignited Trilogy for the PlayStation 4, I would like to bring up a nice little touch I observed. The DualShock 4 controller’s LED changes color depending on Sparx’s current health. And if Sparx is gone, the LED turns red. And honestly, I thought that’s a real clever usage of hardware, even if it’s just a small thing.

The Reignited Trilogy features modified controls, which is to be expected when you’re rebuilding three games that are roughly 20 years old now and are operating on a different game engine (in this case, Unreal Engine 4). While the controls are less floaty and may take some getting used to, I actually like them better. Spyro’s jumps are so snappy, even while he’s charging.

There is even a nice little change where whenever Spyro makes a glide, there’s a chance he’ll scale the edge of a platform if he barely misses it. This only happens if you’re really close to making the landing, so don’t count on it too often.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Ripto's Rage!) Shady Oasis invincibility

One of the coolest small touches is how Spyro’s appearance changes whenever he gains a powerup. In the PS1 trilogy, he just gets a color overlay. In the Reignited Trilogy, his scales maintain the same color while various parts on his body light up to resemble a magma pattern.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Year of the Dragon) Midnight Mountain lizard hissing

Heck, if you stand next to a fodder creature, sometimes they even react to you. That is pretty rad.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Artisans

As for other options the Reignited Trilogy offers over the original games, you can now toggle a minimap for all entries. Previously, this was a feature only in the PS1 version of Ripto’s Rage! but oddly didn’t return for Year of the Dragon.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy fast travel level warp

There is also a fast travel option for levels you have already visited, which can significantly cut down on backtracking time, which is a welcome addition. And yes, you don’t have to do any extra work to unlock this. It’s usable right away, no matter which entry of the game you play.

For the PS4 version of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, you can press down the L3 button to have Sparx point towards the nearest gem—which was previously just an unlockable ability in past Spyro games. Again, this is another time-saver.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Year of the Dragon) Mushroom Speedway

One change I wasn’t particularly thrilled about is that Spyro’s movement for certain actions are more momentum-based. Mainly, for swimming, flying and the supercharge powerup. Swimming can feel rather clunky at times, which can mess with the camera angles. And while Spyro is flying, it’s harder for him to make sharp turns, making certain flight/speedway levels more difficult to control. This is a problem for the speedway races in the series’ third game, Year of the Dragon.

And whenever Spyro activates the supercharge ability, he doesn’t enter it right away—rather, he builds up speed first and progressively gets faster. But as he runs faster, he becomes harder to steer. And if he runs into walls, he loses speed immediately. This flaw is most noticeable in the Tree Tops level, where you have to follow a specific supercharge path to reach a faraway island.

Two minor criticisms I have for the game are the frame rate and the motion blur. For the most part, the frame rate is not too bad and doesn’t hurt the game in a meaningful way, but there is some noticeable lag when you’re quickly rotating the camera or attacking multiple objects/enemies at once. Combined with the motion blur though, the Reignited Trilogy can hurt the eyes of people who have vision problems. The motion blur is most noticeable when I tried taking screenshots of the game and found that many of the images are unusable because of how bad they look. The motion blur makes the game look worse than it really is.

One of the most anticipated things about Spyro Reignited Trilogy is the soundtrack. The new soundtrack is based on the original compositions by Stewart Copeland and created by Stephan Vankov. The cool thing about the Reignited soundtrack is that it has a “dynamic music” option, which adjusts the intensity of the music depending on what you’re doing during gameplay. For example, the music quiets down when you’re sitting still, doing nothing.

Overall, I think Vankov did a good job in remastering the soundtracks of all three games. There were some tracks he nailed so well that I actually preferred them over the Copeland compositions.

List of Tracks

[collapse]

But if I have to choose between which soundtrack I prefer the most, it would be the original compositions.

List of Tracks

[collapse]

Compare to the Reignited tracks, which seem to lack the same bold intensity as the originals. Namely, in the percussion and the organs.

List of Tracks

[collapse]

And oddly enough, many of the Reignited tracks lack an intro (such as the beginning percussion present in the Copeland tracks). From what I read, this is to make the music loop more easily, though I haven’t found official confirmation of that.

Of course, if you’re not too fond of the Reignited soundtrack, you can always switch to the original through the game’s options menu. However, there is no “dynamic music” option for the originals.

The overall sound design and voice acting are alright for the most part, even when they enter generic territory. Many of the sound effects lack the same punch that the ones in the PS1 trilogy had. Most of the voiceovers for the major characters are good, though I’m mixed on the minor NPCs. They are hit-and-miss and some just outright miss the inflections and word emphases that the original voiceovers had.

For examples, one hit for me is the fauns at Fracture Hills, who originally had this out-of-place valley girl accent in the PS1 version of Ripto’s Rage! Now they have a Celtic accent, which fits the theme of the level better. One miss for me is the tiki people at Molten Crater in Year of the Dragon. They didn’t have a discernible accent in the original game, but oddly have this deep-voiced New Zealand accent in the Reignited version.

Then you have an intentionally bad voice for Juliet in Zephyr, who originally had this scratchy male voice as a joke. But in the Reignited version, this joke was ruined by giving her a real female voice. How on earth did they miss that joke?

Prior to the game’s release, there was some major controversy based on how the game was packaged. Yes, you know the one I’m talking about: the disc controversy. The one where the disc only contained the first game and the license to download the other two games online.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy license agreement and privacy policy

Personally, this decision by Activision didn’t bother me that much since my Internet connection is pretty good, but it’s certainly surreal having to agree to a policy in a Spyro game of all things.

Some complaints about this issue are either valid or just plain absurd. And here are some of the most common ones I’ve seen.

  1. I didn’t buy a disc just to download online! – seeing as how most people buy physical cartridges/discs to avoid having to wait for a download to finish, this is a valid complaint. I was slightly annoyed that I had to wait a little bit to get the full game, but it was mostly painless for me. At least I could play the first Spyro the Dragon while I wait for the download to finish.
  2. I have a slow Internet connection and a data cap. – this one is very understandable. As someone with no data cap and a mostly stable Internet connection, I feel for you. It’s especially worse if your Internet connection randomly cuts off. You have every right to complain here.
  3. You can’t sell the game. – no, you still can. The digital copies of Ripto’s Rage! and Year of the Dragon are still tied to the disc, therefore are not permanently yours to keep if you sell the disc.
  4. We won’t be able to preserve the game for future generations! – okay, this one is just dumb. If online piracy and emulation had taught me anything, it’s that there are a lot of people out there willing to try to lift a game’s files for the sole purpose of sharing with other people. People managed to do this for foreign games older than millennials and even some very obscure video games. I don’t think a big name like Spyro the Dragon is going to easily vanish like that anytime soon.
  5. Digital copies of games won’t last forever! – this has always been a risk whenever we purchase digital copies of games, which is why I try purchasing physical copies whenever possible. We don’t know if in 20 years from now, Steam will be around or if you can still download old purchased PS3 games. If you had kept an eye on the Nintendo eShop, many DSiWare games are no longer available for purchase and proper emulation for DSiWare is very difficult. This has never been a singular issue. This is an issue we have to take up to the whole game industry.

Keep in mind that I’m not defending Activision here, but rather addressing some of the overblown BS that circulates about this issue. In fact, I’m not a big fan of Activision as both a developer and publisher. I have no love for the Call of Duty series and these are the same people who butchered Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon on their Skylanders series. And also, they excused the inability to add subtitles to the cutscenes of Spyro Reignited Trilogy as being “there’s no industry standard for subtitles.” I rolled my eyes at that…

I think that about covers it for the general criticisms of the entirety of Spyro Reignited Trilogy. So let’s take a brief look at all three of the entries.

 

Spyro the Dragon (Reignited)

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro 1) game cover art

Out of the PS1 Spyro trilogy, I think the original Spyro the Dragon benefited the most from the Reignited treatment. The original game was very simple. All you need to do is collect gems and rescue dragons. And due to being the first game in the series, it had some limitations or mistakes that made it more flawed to its sequels. So let’s see what the Reignited version did right.

Let’s start with the intro movie that sets up the plot. It’s easily better than the PS1 intro, no contest. The original intro felt a bit disjointed how it cuts to Gnasty Gnorc (the main villain) without clarifying how he was listening to the interview.

But here, the cutscene clearly shows that Gnasty Gnorc was relaxing at home, watching TV inside his treasure vault surrounded by motivational posters (and love letters on the ground?) I simply love the presentation here. There’s more character to it.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro 1) Skill Points

The Reignited version for the original game also has Skill Points, which was a feature introduced in Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! Basically, Skill Points are like achievements in modern games. But oddly enough, the PS4 version of Spyro Reignited Trilogy has separate trophies for you to earn, which feature completely different tasks. So, it’s just weird that you’re working towards two different sets of achievement systems.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro 1) Skill Point Stone Hill pink tulip

Anyways, this game has 14 Skill Points you can earn and some of them are hidden a little too well. About half of them are Easter egg hunts hidden in the most inconspicuous spots of the levels. For example, the wizard hat in the Haunted Towers level is stuck on the roof of a random building (mostly out of view, so you wouldn’t think to check there). And you would have to reach it by gliding from a specific spot in the level. Then you must use the flame attack on the hat to get the Skill Point.

The only purpose for Skill Points is to unlock concept art. This is not a bad reward since the concept art is nice to look at, but there’s no other incentive to get them otherwise (well, maybe for the extra lives).

As I mentioned earlier, I think some of the best-looking levels come from this entry. That’s not to say the other entries lack good-looking levels, but rather the Reignited version of the original Spyro the Dragon left a great first impression on me. When I first laid eyes on the Artisans home world, I was blown away by how gorgeous it is.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Artisans

And many levels here are like this too. There is such an impressive attention to detail here that it makes the monotony of going through all of the levels in the first game that much less noticeable.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But seeing as how the Reignited Trilogy tries to remake all three games faithfully, that would mean also keeping some of the original games’ flaws as well. The original Spyro the Dragon had a minimal story, and the Reignited version maintained this. Gnasty Gnorc gets called ugly, he gets pissed and he turns all of the elder dragons into crystal. Then Spyro goes to beat him up. We also learn nothing about the level bosses along the way, other than that it was mentioned in passing that they’re all Gnasty’s minions. Overall, nothing interesting. I wish they’re more interesting. At least give them some sort of intro cutscene or something…

But if there is any massive improvement over the original game, it’s Spyro’s interactions with the elder dragons. All of the elder dragons now have a unique appearance (both in body features and the accessories they wear) and different voices. Overall, much better than the palette swaps and similar voiceovers in the original game. It’s to the point where I actually look forward to freeing the dragons just to see what they look like and how they treat Spyro.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pretty much every character model looks good, including the Gnorcs and various other enemies. Even the fairy NPCs have their own unique animations and expressions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

…Okay, on that thighs one, the degenerate in me got curious and found that these fairies be THICC. And Spyro just sits there, silently judging me as he looks at the screen. He knows what I did.

Technology is getting smarter, people! Soon, video games will develop self-awareness and use our male gaze to dominate the whole world!

Joking aside, I think you get the point. Everything in this entry looks amazing. And with the improved controls, it plays amazing too.

But you know what isn’t amazing? The bosses of the original Spyro the Dragon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I know this isn’t the fault of developer Toys for Bob as they were originally this underwhelming. But they are just as pathetically easy in the Reignited Trilogy version. And that includes the final boss Gnasty Gnorc, whose “fight” is basically just one long chase sequence.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Twilight Harbor slime paintball guns

I would also like to bring up the game’s asinine change to guns. In the level Twilight Harbor, there were supposed to be Gnorc enemies carrying machine guns. But in the Reignited version of this level, they’re now slime guns that remind me a little too much of Splatoon.

I know in this day and age, guns are a sensitive topic that is likely to trigger just about anyone. But apparently, this change has nothing to do with gun censorship. According to the developer, it’s a creative decision to supposedly fit the level’s theme better? I don’t know, but this seems doubtful at best.

The reason I say this is because there’s similar censorship in Ripto’s Rage!, in the level Scorch. In the original game, there were clearly enemies using muskets as weapons. But in the Reignited version, those enemies use slingshots instead. Come on, slingshots in a Middle Eastern themed level? And in the same level, they changed a NPC’s name: Bombo the Flagkeeper to Bob the Flagkeeper. This one is probably justified considering the current political climate…

In Year of the Dragon, there were enemies in the Dino Mines level using revolvers and Gatling guns. The revolvers haven’t been censored in the Reignited version, but the Gatling guns were turned into meat grinders that fire sausages. What the fuck?

Come on, Toys for Bob. Don’t lie to us like that. Don’t try to hide the fact that you censored rifles and machine guns to cover your asses, not for stylistic reasons. The least you could do is be truthful about it.

And that’s all I have to talk about for the Reignited version of Spyro the Dragon. Overall, it’s a fantastic remake that captures what made people love about the original game, as well as making small touches of its own that made it extra charming to play through. If you wanted to play the original Spyro the Dragon to see what the fuss is about, then I recommend the Reignited version over the original PS1 game.

 

Advertisements

 

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! (Reignited)

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!) game cover art

Next up is Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, alternatively known as Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer in Europe. However, the Reignited Trilogy didn’t maintain this name change for its European release.

Ripto’s Rage! featured a more involved story with some charming secondary characters. Furthermore, it was the first game in the series to introduce quests and minigames to earn more collectibles. And also, gems serve a secondary role as currency.

And let me just say that I absolute ADORE the new character designs for Elora, Hunter, the Professor, Moneybags, Ripto and his minions. Everyone just looks so good.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Elora is so damn cute and Ripto appropriately looks more intimidating than before. Much more intimidating than… you know… THIS.

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Ripto

They even got the original voice actor for Ripto (Gregg Berger) to reprise his role. Only, I’m slightly bothered by the different performance. The original Ripto voice sounded more villainous and booming. The Reignited Ripto had a slightly nasally voice with different inflections that made him sound like an angry grandpa telling kids to get off his lawn. But it’s nothing significant, though. The performance is good and I’m sure the voice will grow on me. After all, AT LEAST HE’S NOT ENTER THE DRAGONFLY RIPTO!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The levels in the Reignited version of Ripto’s Rage! look nice overall. While they don’t quite blow me away like with the Reignited version of the original Spyro the Dragon, these are serviceable. Levels like the home worlds, Hurricos, Sunny Beach, Skelos Badlands and Mystic Marshes seem to benefit the most from the Reignited treatment.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Ripto's Rage!) Fracture Hills Earthshaper death

Most of the enemies and minor NPCs also look better than ever. Some of the NPCs even have different facial features and different outfits, something that the original Ripto’s Rage! lacked.

I actually feel bad whenever I push a Fracture Hills Earthshaper into lava. That sad frown he gives as he accepts his fate is just heartbreaking to watch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The minigames have somewhat improved overall, though some are just as frustrating as before—the infamous alchemist escort mission is still a pain in the ass. While I did complete this side quest on my first try, I had a few close calls due to the slower animations of the Earthshapers. Charging them stuns them for an even shorter time and the alchemist’s walking path is still illogical and asinine. The only reason I completed this minigame so fast is because I already know his path by heart from playing the original Ripto’s Rage!

The trolley minigame in Breeze Harbor is better overall. I used to struggle so much in that minigame due to the oddly stiff controls. But the controls are smoother this time around and the cannon’s accuracy is better.

The turtle soup minigame in Sunny Beach is better. Instead of swarming you with multiple turtles at a time with a fixed camera, the turtles spawning is more gradual and the camera is that of the normal gameplay’s.

Strangely, the flagkeeper minigame in Scorch is harder. The bombs you had to dodge seem to have a larger range than before, so I had to use a cheese strategy to avoid them more easily.

There is also the ox miniboss in Metropolis, where it’s harder to flame the bombs at the correct angle and the ice physics are more slippery than before. It took me several tries to get a perfect win from him for a PlayStation trophy.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Ripto's Rage!) Ripto boss

The boss fights are still good and challenging, though there are some odd minor differences. Crush is slightly easier since he moves even slower. Gulp is harder since his body slam move is trickier to avoid, and it takes longer to get weapons to use against him. Ripto is about the same difficulty as before.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Ripto's Rage!) Dragon Shores roller coaster

So if you collect all of the gems, orbs and talismans, you will gain access to Dragon Shores. And strangely enough, the Breaking Canon website got many search results from just one specific screenshot I took from the original Ripto’s Rage! I don’t know why. I guess there are people out there who struggle with this rollercoaster minigame, which is basically a reworked trolley minigame. So, alright then. I’ll give some hints for this minigame for those who might need it.

  1. Time your jumps carefully. Watch out for the baby turtles and other riders. The riders in particular may give you trouble when they’re in the way of a balloon.
  2. Whenever you come to a fork, the track will force you to take the right track by default. You need to hold down left to take the left track. Apparently, this seems to work with just the left analog stick, but not the d-pad for some odd reason.
  3. In the third round, your coaster is equipped with a cannon. Shooting the red balloons is easily the trickiest part of the challenge. You need to time it just right, usually before you complete a sharp turn. Jumping and shooting might help.

Overall, the Reignited version of Ripto’s Rage! is a solid remake and I don’t have major problems with it. Well, maybe except one. What happened to the epilogue that normally unlocks after getting all 16 Skill Points?

This is the one thing that is really missing from the remake. The cherry on top of the mountainous sundae. Some small story content to give an expanded conclusion. But instead, finding all of the Skill Points unlocks more concept art. Definitely a missed opportunity here, considering only a few Spyro players knew about Skill Points.

 

Spyro: Year of the Dragon (Reignited)

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Spyro: Year of the Dragon) game cover art

Now we’ve come to the final game of the trilogy, Spyro: Year of the Dragon. This entry is the most ambitious one because of how it tries to bring in many different gameplay styles in one tiny package. This was a common trend for games in the late ’90s, to the point where games seem to try to outdo each other in which one has the most minigames stuffed in.

Luckily, most of the different gameplay styles in Year of the Dragon were done competently with few detractors. And the Reignited version does a few things better. And a few things worse.

Year of the Dragon introduces two antagonists: the Sorceress and her apprentice Bianca. Bianca’s portrayal and new design are fine. They’re more or less of what I expected (though she resembles Lola Bunny now…) But the Sorceress though…

I’m sorry but I am not a fan of the Reignited portrayal of the Sorceress. In her original portrayal, she was more vicious and intimidating. She came across as a serious, threatening villain with a certain degree of narcissism. She was a major contrast in the original game, which is befitting for a good antagonist.

But here, she has a goofy appearance with a more pompous voice. Despite her actual dialogue, she still blends in with the general cartoon zaniness. This character portrayal was missing that contrast that made her into the darkest villain in the PS1 trilogy. It really comes to show how some small changes could give you a much different impression on a character.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thankfully, the other major characters are on par or have improved from their PS1 portrayals. Sheila is as chipper as ever, Sgt. Byrd seems less stiff and more eager, Bentley is still a laidback genius and Agent 9 is even more batshit insane than ever.

Ah, crazy Agent 9. How I miss thee since Season of Flame.

Their updated designs also reflect their personalities more. Sheila definitely had the most changes, now sporting red hair and a ranger vest. Adorable. Sgt. Byrd wears an ace of spades card on his helmet and has this waddling walk animation. Adorable. Bentley has more defined fur with a beast-like face. Adorable. Agent 9 has a “no Rhynoc” symbol on his uniform and has some extra sharp fangs. Freakin’ ADORABLE!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hell, they even play better. Sheila is about the same as before, but her high jump and stomp attacks seem to be more effective. Sgt. Byrd got a major upgrade; he can move much faster and his rocket launchers have stronger homing capability. Bentley’s speed and jumping height are increased, and he plays with an over-the-shoulder camera.

Agent 9… holy crap. He’s much quicker and you can aim his shots while in third-person. It’s a lot less clunkier than before. My only real criticism with him is that he can’t instantly throw bombs with a subtle tap of a button (he has to aim first). Furthermore, he plays like an actual first-person shooter in his segment during Fireworks Factory. Just fun all around.

Even Sparx the Dragonfly is slightly better in his own stages. His normal shots seem to have a wider collision now, making it easier to clear hordes of enemies.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Year of the Dragon) Harbor Speedway Hunter minigame

Alas, poor Hunter. Not only did his hidden minigames in the speedways gain a level in difficulty, but they seem more flawed than usual. For example, it’s possible to outspeed the sheep saucer enemy in Hunter’s pursuit minigame, which was never an issue for me when I played the original Year of the Dragon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And like with Ripto’s Rage!, the other minigames have more or less improved in small ways. And some are just too far gone to be saved. Yeti boxing is still awful. I’m convinced that no remaster can save that travesty. And the firefly bomb escort is still irritating. Otherwise, everything else like Agent 9’s first-person segment and the water tunnels have improved.

But what in the hell happened to the skateboarding segments? I don’t know what it is, but Spyro’s controls during these minigames seem to be even jerkier than before. This makes landing after completing a trick even harder. This is especially noticeable when you enter the racing segments, which are filled with bizarre physics glitches. Toys for Bob, please release a patch to fix this.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Like with Ripto’s Rage!, the levels of Year of the Dragon are competently remade. My only real complaint is the sky boxes for some of the levels. The one in Cloud Spires went with a generic blue sky instead of the original mauve color that gave the level a more moody atmosphere. And the levels intended to have dark night skies often have bright purple colors instead. It just looks odd in places. But hey… that’s probably just the nostalgia talking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m very mixed on the new designs of the minor characters. Overall, the Rhynocs look great—their designs look even more thuggish than before. After having played the GBA Spyro games (and saw Rhynocs looking a bit baby-fied), it’s refreshing.

But I’m not digging the designs of some of the NPCs. As an example, one of the weather imps in Cloud Spires delivers a depressing line like…

The Rhynocs have shut down our cloud generator, and I may never see a rainbow again.

…But with a big, goofy grin on his/her face. Sure, they’re adorable and all, but that combination of the line and that character design is rather off-putting.

And of course, our main collectibles: dragon eggs, which hatch into baby dragons. When I saw the redesigns of the elder dragons in the Reignited version of Spyro the Dragon, I had high hopes for the baby dragons. Maybe not a unique design for all 150 baby dragons (that would be an insane amount of work), but just enough variation to stand out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh boy, I wish that were the case. Granted, these are cute designs, even when they can look a bit derpy. But it’s like the same two body types were used for all of the baby dragons.

One is scrawny and has a long snout. The other is round and pudgy. Then just make them all palette swaps of each other. And also, recycle animations. I swear, they still got one baby dragon to cry underwater using Spongebob Squarepants physics.

Come on now. This is 2018, not 2000. We can do much better than this.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Year of the Dragon) baby dragon concept art

And the annoying part was that the concept art teased me on what kind of designs Toys for Bob had in mind. They had different designs for wing size, snout size, crest size and accessories. Yes, there are some palette swaps, but enough variations to make them contrast more.

But you don’t really see this in-game. In fact, they altered a baby dragon in the level Frozen Altars. There was a dragon named Ba’ah, who originally hatched out of his egg with the appearance of a sheep, before revealing it’s a costume. It’s a great visual joke. The Reignited version ruined this with a generic design and animation.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Year of the Dragon) Desert Ruins ladder glitch

Out of all three games in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, I seem to encounter the most glitches in this specific entry. From Farley the wolf being unresponsive to Sparx not picking up a nearby gem, this game feels the most unfinished. I wasn’t deliberately trying to trigger these glitches either. They just happened. I also recently learned that this game allows you to glitch through walls, gain full control of Spyro during loading screens and climb on air. Many of these are avoidable, but damn. That’s some bizarre stuff.

Something just dawned on me. If you remember the development cycle of the PS1 version of Year of the Dragon, it was rushed out to meet a release schedule. The original disc was infamous for having an incomplete soundtrack. And just from the general lack of story content in the endgame, you could tell it was rushed. This seems to be the same case here, but somehow worse because of the new glitches.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of which, I made a previous complaint in my review of the PS1 Year of the Dragon regarding the lack of buildup to the Sorceress boss fights. And as you may have guessed, this was not addressed. Toys for Bob could’ve gave the Sorceress better closure as an antagonist in this game, but they chose to keep it as faithful to the original game as possible.

And honestly, this is pretty disappointing. While it’s great to be faithful to the original game you’re basing a remaster on, I think it would be admirable to at least attempt to add new content that improves the whole experience.

And the strange thing is that Toys for Bob actually did this for some of the cutscenes in Year of the Dragon. All of the imprisoned animal characters you eventually free (minus Sheila) have dialogue in the cutscenes they first appear in. And honestly, I thought the cutscenes came out better for it!

So again, I reiterate. The Sorceress should’ve had at least a cutscene where she and Spyro banters for a bit. That would bring in some much needed closure for the game’s story.

And just like with the Reignited version of Ripto’s Rage!, there is no epilogue to unlock after getting all Skill Points. Nah, more concept art. What’s the deal with that?

So here you go. The epilogue of the original Year of the Dragon.

So yeah, the Reignited version of Year of the Dragon was the roughest remaster of the trilogy. Does it make it bad? Not at all. This game made some massive improvements over the original game in many ways, though you could tell that it needed some polish. So hopefully, Toys for Bob will release some patches for that. That is, if Activision wanted them to…

So that ends my review of Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Just like with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, it took a few well-regarded games from the 1990s – 2000s and breathed new life into them. The gameplay is definitely Spyro just as we remembered him and the graphics are a massive leap from the originals. So if you want to reexperience the trilogy or play the original trilogy for the first time, I highly recommend that you go pick it up. This game shows exactly what people originally loved about the Spyro the Dragon series and how it rocked our PlayStation back in the day.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

$39.99
8.8

GAMEPLAY

9.5/10

STORY

8.0/10

GRAPHICS

9.5/10

SOUNDTRACK

8.0/10

Pros

  • Spyro controls more smoothly than before, mainly when he's on the ground.
  • Most of the minigames have improved overall.
  • Some very impressive environments and character models that showcase what 8th generation gaming technology can do for games with a cartoon style.
  • The new designs of several characters are much more charming than before.
  • The cutscenes are so well made that the animators can probably make a good TV series out of them.
  • The addition of useful features from the beginning such as level maps, quick travel and gem locator.
  • While the soundtracks aren't as good as the originals, they're still solid overall and imitate the originals really well.

Cons

  • Intrinsic flaws with the original PS1 games also carry over to the Reignited versions.
  • Certain actions like swimming or flying are more momentum-based, making sharp turns harder to execute.
  • Voiceovers are hit-and-miss compared to the old ones.
  • The whole disc controversy, where you must download two of three games online separately.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon seems to be the glitchiest of the three, with a softlock happening to me at one point.
Liked it? Take a second to support Orion on Patreon!

Leave a Reply