By now, unless you’re living with a remote Amazonian tribe, every gamer knows that the original Spyro trilogy has been re-released, remastered and brought up to date. Following on the success of Crash the Bandicoots NSane Trilogy, Toys for Bob took on the role of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for the 20th anniversary of the first game and have done an amazing job at recreating all three games from the ground up with vibrant graphics, new voiceovers and nostalgic soundtracks.
Each world is an absolute work of art, painstakingly developed to feel the same as the older versions but smoother, giving it the feel of an interactive painting. Flames scorch the grass around the iconic purple dragon as he spits fire, reminding older players of how much work the developers have put in to build up the remaster from the older games. Every NPC and enemy looks brighter and bolder whilst maintaining their key features from before. Even unnecessary details such as the starfish fodder looking at you with hearts in their eyes in the world of Sunny Beach and a friendly wave from Spyros best friend, Sparx the Dragonfly really makes the trilogy come alive.
For all of its beauty, each world is relatively short lived which may disappoint newer gamers unfamiliar with series. Even when aiming for 100% completion of the worlds (collecting gems, dragons, orbs and talismans and eggs respectively), one can be flying in and out of the portals in under 10 minutes.
Tom Kenny has been brought back to voice everyone’s favourite small purple horned hero and other voices have been modernised to give a more authentic feel to the characters and worlds. The fawns of Fracture Hills, for example, finally sound Scottish and not like a bad impersonation. And yes, the controversial Bombo has become Bob, the flag stealing, magic carpet riding genie.
Skill points and achievements have been added into all three games to give players something extra to work towards and to further modernise the playing experience. Achievements for the most part are not too tricky to pick up and require little effort or diversion to acquire. The skill points remain the same for Ripto’s Rage and Year of the Dragon, with extras being added into the original game to match the other two. These skill points unlock concept art for the reimagined franchise so dedicated fans can see sketches of their favourite characters.
While some aspects of the games have been made easier, others are much harder than veteran players will remember.
Supercharging egg thieves at the molten crater is now much simpler in this iteration as is keeping the turtles out of the pot in Sunny Beach.
To contrast this, other aspects have been made a lot harder. The majority of bosses across the series have been taken up a notch, requiring more than just a well timed jump and flame (Screw you, Gulp).
The skateboarding and flying challenges have also been bumped up in difficulty, though I will take some of the credit for not landing all of my half pipe spins with no sense of coordination, despite the camera angle not being particularly helpful.
Whilst I am largely impressed by Toys for Bobs work on this trilogy, there are some things I feel could have been improved. As mentioned above the camera angle for some areas of the skateboarding challenges makes it hard to land and you find yourself wiping out when you should have landed. The lack of a hover ability in the first game meant I lost a few lives with some poorly timed jump and glides. This however is not a failure on the part of TFB as they have stayed faithful to how the series was played on the PS1, more as a testament to dedication to keep the trilogy as close as possible to how they were played 20 years ago for most certainly better or worse.
Overall the Reignited Trilogy is a highly recommended purchase for older players of the franchise looking for that nostalgic kick and younger gamers who want to waste a few hours. If you haven’t already, buy it now.
Kind regards. Your not-so-friendly Quin.