Nostalgia is quite a powerful emotion. An emotion that plays on all our senses. Sight, smell, hearing and of course feel. I’m not going to explain or give a definition of what nostalgia is. I will, however, state, that developers know exactly how to utilise this emotion when releasing remakes and remasters. This, of course, is when they do things right. Because if things are done wrong, your memory of the game will forever be tainted and sometimes it is just better left where it is…in the past. So, does Spyro Reignited Trilogy taint the memory of the classic purple fire breathing Dragon…let’s find out.
One of the coolest things about remakes and remasters is the upgraded graphics. I remember playing Spyro back in the early 2000s on the original PlayStation. And in my memory, just as it probably is with all of us, the game looks amazing. Levels were incredibly fun to run around in and explore. The character designs were admirable. The movement of Spyro back then was revolutionary since it was an ‘open-world’ 3D space to explore. Going back to the original today on the PlayStation did not leave me with the same emotions. And this is where Spyro Reignited Trilogy truly reignited my flames for the purple fire-spitting dragon’s origins.
As mentioned above, the levels in the Spyro titles were incredibly fun to explore. Be it the home base hubs that house all the levels that you’ll travel through portals to get to, or the levels themselves. Reignited truly takes this and pulls it off in a gorgeous way. What’s more, is that the levels themselves are short which is perfect for the Switch to pick up and play and yet not too short to leave you bored or wanting more. Each level is also designed with specific themes making it seem that you’re travelling around the globe, be it lush green forest areas or icy chilled snowy locations. Each level is also accompanied by respective enemies equipped with elemental or physical attacks.
Of course, this is no Ghosts & Goblins or Ninja Gaiden, but an increase in difficulty would have been welcomed.
Spyro is far from helpless though. Equipped with a dashing head butt, fire breathing, gliding and power-ups spread across the levels that last for a limited time, such as increased firepower or shooting fire projectiles underwater, enemies have no chance. Once enemies have been dispatched and the level is safe again, the fun doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of side quests to do within levels, such as taking out additional enemies, playing a hockey match and even shutting down a factory’s power supply. Some of these additional quests can only be done once Spyro learns new abilities such as climbing and swimming. Yep, our fire-breathing dragon can swim not only above but also underwater. This, of course, gives the player even more replayability value.
As it was in the original titles though, don’t expect much of a challenge. Enemies can be taken out usually with a hit or two. Boss battles aren’t that much tougher either. Discover what the trick is within each boss level and all you have to do is wait for the boss to power down and attack his weak spot. Of course, this is no Ghosts & Goblins or Ninja Gaiden, but an increase in difficulty would have been welcomed. Instead, I found myself struggling more with the platforming sequences, such as trying to glide to a higher platform, not making it and falling to my death in an abyss. There are however a few levels that will test your skill, and that’s the timed levels. Flying continuously through a level littered with items to collect or destroy, Spyro has to complete a race through rings and gates that’ll give the player added time to the clock, so to complete the level with a 100% collection of all items was enjoyably challenging.
All in all, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect home for the fire-spitting purple dragon’s trilogy and origins. The voice acting’s on point along with the remastered soundtracks. The games also look good in handheld mode and even better in docked mode. Which gave me more reason to run around and explore every nook and cranny (although there are a few frame rate drops during loading screens and sometimes during gameplay). This remake of the original trilogy does absolute justice to the series and finally has given many new players the introduction they need to Spyro. Yes, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is not the next addition in the Skylanders series, but rather where the dragon and his universe was born. Enter the dragon. First, we received the Crash Bandicoot remake, now Spyro. I can’t wait to see what’s next.