I have a huge soft spot for character platformers, as you could likely tell from my glowing write up of Billie Bust Up, but it has been rare (get it?) that modern iterations have been consistent enough to maintain interest after the first title. However, if you go back to the PSOne era, there were several, one of which was the Spyro Trilogy, now reborn as the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy.
The demo I played at EGX 2018 was minimal, but it contained just about enough to show the various improvements to the original games. There were three levels to play, one from each of the trilogy, and each one explored different mechanical pointers of Spyro and his moves. I won’t get too weighed down by the story in this preview, which I assume to be the same as the original trilogy, and focus on what was here to see.
The first level was Stone Hill from the first game and, as it is the first level of that game, it gives a simple and easy start and introduction to Spyro. The controls required to finish the level were minimal, but it had enough hidden in it to satiate the curiosity of those willing to explore, and taking out that hidden egg thief is still immensely satisfying.
Second level of the demo was Idol Springs from the second game, so was a little tougher and more involved. The enemies were more plentiful and harder to take down, there were more hidden bits in the level, and there was even the cute narrative portion at the beginning as you saw the Idols begin to come to life. This is much more fun level, not least owing to the injection of humour into the proceedings.
The final level of the demo was a segment from Sunny Villa, namely the skate park segment. This was the one I was most worried about, as historically the controls on the skateboard were slightly clunky. I’m pleased to convey that the controls feel better now. Not the best they could be by any stretch, but they don’t feel like a total mess now. Oh, and taking out those little lizards on your skateboard is still as much fun as it was back in the PSOne days.
Controls across the board feel tighter, now I think on it. All of Spyro’s motions are more instantaneous and responsive, giving a less slippery feel than the original trilogy. Also, all of the visuals and sound across the three levels were vastly improved, with the new remixed scores updating the existing soundtrack in a way that feels both respectful and yet unmistakably modern. The whole just feels immensely refreshed, even from such a small snapshot of the games.
My only gripe in fact is an incredibly personal one, what in the world have they done to Hunter? All of the other characters look great in their new guises, and the dragons from the first game now have wonderfully exaggerated designs of their own, but something about the best skateboarding cat-boy just looks off. Not enough to stop me enjoying the game, of course, but a swing and a miss in terms of character design.
It gives me great joy to say that the little purple dragon is back, and to describe the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy as “better than ever” would be an understatement. I only had a short amount of time with the game, but I’ve already fallen in love all over again with the purple dragon and all of his wonderful sass. Spyro: Reignited Trilogy launches on November 13th for Playstation 4 and XBox One.