I’ve always been a Nintendo gamer, first and foremost. (Obviously, this will be a complete shock to anyone who follows me on Twitter). So my teenage years were filled with time on my N64 playing Zelda and Mario. I didn’t even own a Playstation (although one of my brothers did).
My only memory of playing Spyro the Dragon when it first came out was playing a demo of it included on a demo disc with Official Playstation Magazine. (Demo discs – remember those!) Given my love of platformers, and the high praise given to Spyro by some of my favourite gamer people, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy was the perfect excuse to finally see what all of the fuss is about.
The first impression I had upon loading the game up is that it looks gorgeous. Toys for Bob have clearly done an amazing job taking games that are up to 20 years old and making them look fresh and vibrant. These are worlds that you want to explore. To look at every nook and cranny to uncover their secrets.
And thankfully there’s a good variety of different worlds across the three games including in Spyro Reignited Trilogy. All of the usual suspects are here for platformer level themes: grassy meadows, fiery volcanoes, dry deserts, icy mountains and more.
But nothing feels derivative. Yes, these are games that follow some well trodden ground for platformers, but each world feels new and exciting. The original levels are clearly well deserved and varied, and this is magnified with the lick of paint they’ve been given to bring each to life in high definition.
It’s a very good thing that these are worlds you want to explore, because you will have to comb over every inch of them to complete each game. Each world has a large number of gems for Spyro to seek out, as well as the main collectibles within each game.
With gems numbering in their hundreds on every level, it’s easy to quickly rack up enough. But inevitably there were a good number of occasions when I was left missing just one or two, and had to begin a slightly infuriating hunt to locate those I’d missed.
But my determination to find them just shows how much I was enjoying being Spyro and exploring these worlds. And I felt a real sense of achievement at having found every collectible across the trilogy, getting (slightly bewilderingly) 120%, 100% and 117% in the respective games.
Throughout, as I jumped, glided, breathed fire and charged down enemies, I felt a pure child-like sense of joy. It’s a feeling I recognise from playing Mario games, and it’s nice to see another platformer series that can create the same reaction in me.
But don’t be mistaken, this is no Mario. Not only is it a collect-a-thon – although thankfully far from the worst excesses of the late nineties and early noughties platformers (I’m looking at you Donkey Kong 64!) – but it’s also filled with writing that is witty and funny.
Spyro himself is cocky and sarcastic. And each of the supporting cast are full of character. Unlike Nintendo’s identikit adventure where you rescue Prince Peach from Bowser (again), each of these three games has a different antagonist and a different reason for Spyro to embark on his adventure.
I may have been late to the party, but it would be fair to say that I loved Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Apart from the fact that I’ve finished them all now, my only real regret is that it took me so long to experience Spyro in the first place!