Developed by:Toys for Bob Published by:Activision Genre(s):
  • Platformer
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Cost:$39.99 ESRB Rating:EVERYONE 10+ Players:1 Release date:November 13, 2018 Reviewed on:XBox One

    Spyro Reignited Trilogy

    Back in the days of the original PlayStation, it seemed like that pesky Bandicoot got all the fame. For some of us, however, the true mascot of the system (and perhaps that generation as a whole) was a little purple dragon named Spyro. It’s clear the game left an impression for a lot of people, including game developers. One of those devs was Toys for Bob, who brought Spyro out of obscurity for the once-mega selling Skylanders games. With the toys to life craze finally out of the way, the developer has finally gotten a chance to focus on Spyro again.

    The result is a modern revamp of the original trilogy, all done up in a shiny, modern sheen. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is packed with late 90s 3D platforming love. If Spyro was before your gaming time, the three games that made up the PS One trilogy are Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. All three games use the same basic mechanics of jumping, gliding, bashing, and breathing fire, but they evolve nicely over the course of Spyro’s adventures.

    In the first game, for instance, water was a fatal obstacle (as was so often the case back then), but Spyro learned to swim by his next outing. Flying sequences became more advanced, new playable characters were added, and all of them were chuck full of clever mini-games and side quests to collect shiny baubles, eggs, and other fun distractions. Spyro started out strong with gorgeous open levels involving a series of hub worlds with gateways to individual levels.

    This series helped open up platformers industry wide. It might not have been the first game to use large hub worlds full of secrets, but it was easily one of the best examples of a 3D platformer done right. Each straight-up platformer level was filled with things to find – from 400 gems hidden all over to actual hidden levels and special challenge stages.

    While games have created vastly larger worlds since the late 90s, developer Insomnia Games managed to pack such an absurd amount of diverse gameplay into each of these games that the Trilogy still holds up fantastically. Granted, these are still clearly 90s games with 90s design sensibilities. Some of the jumping and, especially, gliding maneuvers needed to reach certain areas (usually more secret parts of the maps) can be mind-numbingly difficult to pull off. Just the same, the overall difficulty level doesn’t seem nearly as hard as the recent Crash Bandicoot remake. Spyro has a far better balance of all-ages friendly gameplay and hardcore challenges. Younger gamers can still play and enjoy most of the levels without having to worry about the really difficult-to-reach bits.

    Toys for Bob didn’t just take the original games and reskin them with better textures. This is a full-on remake from scratch. All new graphics and a ton of refinements from top to bottom makes this trilogy feel very comfortable on current-gen hardware. Spyro is as adorable as ever, but far more expressive and detailed. Auxiliary characters (like the adult and baby dragons) look vastly better than they used to and the levels are smooth, gorgeous, and full of visual details. Yet despite that full-on makeover, the levels all feel familiar and absolutely true to the originals. Going through the remade worlds, I was constantly surprised how easily I recognized levels I’d played countless times before on the PlayStation. Everything feels spot on to the core material, just better in every way.

    Another high point of the series is the score, which was famously done by Stewart Copeland – best known as the drummer for the Police. When so many other games were just using regurgitated techno or uninspired generic game tunes, Spyro had this whimsical jazz score that fit the games perfectly. Reignited, by default, uses a kind of remixed version of the original score, but lets you switch to the original music at any time.

    If there’s any particular black marks here, it’s that the camera still needs a lot of tweaking (but now you can at least control it!) and there is a bizarre lack of a subtitles option. As someone who has continued to replay the PS One Spyro games over the last 20 years, this Reignited Trilogy is a true gem. Insomnia packed them with clever, creative challenges amidst so many diverse landscapes that the quirky adventures of this little dragon still feel fresh.



    There is an incredible variety of gameplay styles in these games that keeps them feeling fresh. However, that 90s-era legacy still holds on tight with plenty of unforgivingly precise platforming action, maddeningly difficult areas to reach, and a camera that frequently doesn’t have the player’s best interest in mind.



    A total graphics overhaul does Spyro good. The game retains its cartoonish charm and adorable characters, but every aspect of the visuals has been brought up to modern standards and everything looks great.



    The quirky jazzy original score still holds up perfectly and the new re-mixed score is great too. Character voices are upbeat and fun as well.

    Replay Value:


    I’ve been playing the originals on and off for the last 20 years and I still love them.

    Final Score:


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