Spyro Reignited Trilogy PlayStation 4 - Review

A Spyro remaster is something fans (myself included) have wanted for an eternity now. After a few rumblings earlier this year, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy was officially confirmed to be in the makings by Toys For Bob, and the flood gates opened. Fans were incredibly hyped for this game, yet still wanted it to stay true to the originals. But does the remaster live up to the hype? Let's find out!

To kick things off, you'll notice you'll need to download both games 2 and 3 if you buy a physical copy of the game. The "patch" for the download is around 15GB, so for those with slow internet connections, it may take a while for them to download the games and be able to play the sequels. This was something a lot of fans were mad about when news first broke, and admittedly it's something I'm still not that happy about, but at the end of the day I have access to all three games, it just required a little extra effort. However if you are someone who does not have the fastest internet connection, this is something worth considering. Hopefully this is something that's fixed up with a potential Switch release.

Whenever I replayed the original trilogy, I dreaded doing so, only because I wanted to play them in order, and the first game always felt the most boring out of the three. Somehow, Toys for Bob have made the first game feel just as incredible as the latter two games, despite it's lack of content. The amount of detail and depth put into the worlds is phenomenal, with each Dragon having it's own look and personality, rather than a recycled pallet swap. The Dragons from the Artisans world all sport an artsy look, the Dragons from the Peace Keepers world all look battle-ready, the Magic Crafters Dragons are filled with magic, and so on. It's amazing seeing that every single dragon, which only have a few seconds of screen-time, manage to have so much personality attached to them.

The new controls also help the game feeling fresh and bring it into the modern gaming world. We now have full camera control thanks to the dual analog sticks. Though the updated controls now have effect on the gameplay that may take a little getting used to. Spyro's charge does feel a little off at first, but namely because we now have modern analog controls, which gives Spyro various speeds, rather from going from 0 to 100. Much like the camera, it's not long before this starts to feel natural and isn't an issue by any means. I also found the controls in the flight levels to be difficult at first, but after a few attempts, it was like I'd been playing for years. The updated controls really bring this 3D collect-a-thon platformer into this modern world of gaming without having it feel out of place.

Modern camera controls isn't the only thing the games have added, Spyro's roll move from using the shoulder buttons which was only in the first game now appears in the other two, and the life mechanic from butterflies is now present in the first game, meaning collecting orbs from already defeated enemies isn't the only way to score more lives this time around. Skill Points have also been added to the first game, and while they're nothing too challenging, it's still a nice little addition to see. Sparx's ability to seek out unclaimed gems in levels is now present in all three games by default (rather than being absent in the first game, present in the second game, and only attainable in the third game by a power-up). Holding the L3 button will point Sparx in the direction of any gems lying around, which makes the whole process of collecting gems a lot smoother. Universally bringing these additions across all games really helps them feel more linear.

On the topic of controls, let's talk about how they feel. Moving around and gliding feels better than ever, as does charging once you get used to it. What feels odd though, are the new swimming mechanics. With the addition of the new camera, I found swimming to be a less than enjoyable experience, feeling floaty and slippery. In the original games, I found myself charging around underwater with no problems, but whenever I tried to charge underwater in reignited, I'd always hit a wall. Instead I opted to swim underwater the slow way - which gave me more control - only charging when I needed to charge an enemy or break a pot; and even that was difficult at times. Other than that, most of the other controls feel tight and incredibly responsive. The skateboarding in the third game are great, now much easier to control, and much harder to wipe out. Skateboarding was something I loved as a kid, but dreaded when I got older because the controls just felt clunky. With reignited, I've gone back to loving skateboarding and can't begin to explain how much time I've wasted spent skating around Enchanted Towers.

Sheila, Sgt. Byrd, Bently and Agent 9 have also been revamped and feel much better. All four have been sped up and don't feel as slow, and are overall much more enjoyable - Shelia plays more like a kangaroo should, Sgt. Byrd's missiles lock-on to targets easier, Bently is no longer painfully slow, and Agent 9 is so enjoyable that it makes me wish he got his own spin-off title. Even the infamous yeti boxing minigame was doable on my first attempt, and a lot of the minigames that I dread doing, were a rather enjoyable experience. Since I've only played through the games once thus far, I'm not sure if Toys For Bob actually made these arduous minigames easier, or if I just got lucky - either way, I won't complain!

But not all additions are good. Being a remaster, Toys for Bob were able to make their own adaptation of the game, and it created a few personal problems. First off, let's get the nit-picks out of the way. I don't like how they got rid of the infamous Monk chant from Colossus (yes, you know the one). I always thought that was an iconic sound from the games, and everyone I ever spoke to remembered the sound fondly. This wouldn't have bothered me that much, however, once I went to Fracture Hills and found out that the bag pipe song was almost identical to the one in the original, it struck a nerve. Between the two I thought they were two really memorable sounds, and it rubbed me the wrong way that they decided to keep one, but not the other. Again, this is just a very minor nit-pick and obviously doesn't have any effect on the game, but it just rubbed me the wrong way and just let me complain because I'm having a hard time finding many faults with this game.

What did effect gameplay wree a number of glitches I experienced. I only ran into two during my play-through, the first one being in Zephyr where the final 10 gems I needed didn't show up. I googled the glitch and found out I wasn't the only one who experienced this, and a few others over at reddit had the same issue too. Thankfully, leaving and reentering the level fixed this issue, but now my game has an additional 10 gems stuck on it. The second glitch I found was in Cloud Temples, during the Trolls mission, where the second Troll didn't spawn so I was unable to freeze them to advance into the temples. Since I hadn't played the original game for years, I didn't even realize a second Troll was meant to spawn to give you enough height to reach the ledge. I just kept thinking I was doing something wrong when I couldn't glide to the ledge from the first frozen Troll. Again, I took to the internet and found out more folks over at reddit were having this issue, yet leaving the level managed to fix this and I was able to complete it. Whilst this is nothing game-breaking, I have read a lot more glitches online that have been game-breaking, and it's unfortunate the game has them, but we live in a day and age where glitches happen, yet fortunately we can also receive patches, so here's hoping we receive a patch to stop these glitches from happening.
The music is also another hit-and-miss for me. No, I'm not going to complain about the reignited track not matching that of the original, I played through the entire game with the reignited track and thoroughly enjoyed it. What did bother me was the dynamic music (which thankfully can be turned off). For me, I'm always charging through every levels, and in doing so would add a drum beat to the soundtrack making the volume of the track go down, and amping up the volume of this "charge" sound. Instead of enjoying the lovely sound track of the level, all I could hear was this rumbling charge sound and it bothered me to no extent. I wanted to keep it on because I do enjoy dynamic music in games, but once I decided to turn it off I felt I was able to enjoy the music much more. As mentioned before, there is an option to turn this off which is great, and for those who don't like the new sound track, they can always opt out and switch back to the original sound track. Toys for Bob really has us covered when it comes to the games iconic music tracks.

What can't be changed though, is the voice acting. Most of the voices of the main cast are on point, and the only ones I'd say are lacking are Bianca and The Sorceress. Bianca just doesn't sound as angsty/innocent anymore, and The Sorceress sounds like a snobby royal rather than an evil ice queen. A lot of the one-off characters in their home worlds have lost their charm as well, though I mainly found this to be an issue in the third game. The characters with accents (like the goats in Sheila's Alp) seem toned down, the penguins/ducks in Frozen Alters sound less "cool", and the characters in Molten Crater - which I always thought were weird scarecrow/tiki hyrids - now have an Australia accent which just confuses me even more. Again, this isn't something that makes it a bad game, but a lot of the voice acting just felt jarring, generic and bland, lacking that "spark" the original had which made them unique.

Overall, this is an incredibly good remaster of the original games and I think everyone would enjoy it. For those who have played the game before, it's an experience every Spyro fan needs to have, and for newcomers to the series, it's simply a classic game that will keep you entertained for hours. However, if you have a major nostalgia goggles, you're going to find a few of these changes jarring at first. The game feels really 1:1, and hopefully leaves the door open for a new Spyro adventure in the future.

Update: During March, a patch was released for the game, adding subtitles across all three games, the option to turn off motion blur, as well as various bug fixes. After replaying the game after the patch, it certainly makes the experience a whole lot smoother. You can read about the patch here.


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