You probably saw this coming, right? Our favorite Bandicoot Crash had his day in the sun, so of course his fellow PlayStation pal Spyro the Dragon was bound to see his own remaster sooner or later. Well, that remaster actually showed up last year for lucky PlayStation 4 and Xbox One fans…but what about the rest of the gaming world? Would they also get their fix of lovable, fire-breathing dragon action?
We all knew it was coming, but our long wait is finally over as Spyro Reignited Trilogy has finally arrived on the PC and Switch! Both versions are great, though each offers their own advantages, specifically in the visuals and ways to play. Let’s take a look to see how our purple dragon fares on both.
Long before they introduced Ratchet & Clank or spun webs with Spider-Man, Insomniac Games had Spyro the Dragon. Spyro is one of the classic collect-a-thons, almost as legendary as your Mario or your Crash or your Donkey Kong, so a lot of the gameplay here is going to feel nostalgic for players of a certain age. Personally, the Remasters were my first experience with these games and even then they felt like something I’d played long ago. You’re collecting all kinds of stuff in these games, so be ready to dig around and explore every corner to get the most out of your experience.
As a fan of the Skylanders franchise of old, Spyro’s influence on those games was obvious from the start; both franchises share a nice, bouncy sense of joyous motion that invites you to romp around in a collecting and smashing rampage. As the series “progresses” we see some slight changes to the gameplay. Most notably, swimming was added to Ripto’s Rage!, and you can imagine my surprise when water was an instant death in the first game; Year of the Dragon adds other playable characters as well, which is a nice touch.
You didn’t just come here for the classic experience, though, did you? No, you want those spicy new remastered graphics, and the Reignited Trilogy delivers. For those playing on beefy PCs you can expect those video cards to churn out some impressive visuals. It’s eye-bleeding levels of fantastic and the framerate stays silky smooth throughout. The Switch version is a bit closer to the original Remaster, which means capped framerates and lower-quality textures. On the flipside, you can take this Spryo with you anywhere. Either way, you’re still getting three games that look and perform much, much better than they ever did on the original PlayStation.
Also, since the last time we talked about this game, Toys for Bob actually added subtitles to the cutscenes! You know how everyone talks about how the golden age of gaming was years ago, back when games like this would have just lacked subtitles forever? Yeah, maybe we can start disregarding that kind of take. Regardless, it’s always nice to see features that make games more accessible to all players, and adding subtitles to the Spyro experience was definitely a great touch here.
While the three games in Spyro Reignited Trilogy are essentially unchanged from their original forms aside from the presentation, that’s probably what the diehard fans are after anyway. You’re getting a chunk of your childhood – not my childhood, but maybe yours! – that looks extra nice on top of that. If nothing else you’ll be able to see where the whole Skylanders thing really started, and may one day rise again.