Spyro Reignited Trilogy review for PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Toys of Bob
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

For my initial impressions of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy from my trip to the Toys For Bob studio, check out my original article here. After actually getting the full retail version of the game, I can gladly say that everything I felt after my short time with Spyro Reignited prior to launch holds true for the full game. Spyro Reignited Trilogy looks amazing, the new art remains faithful to the vision for the original games, the movement is fluid and incredibly well designed and Spyro feels exactly like you think he should. Whether you are an old veteran who remembers the feel of sprinting through Tree Top or a new player who likes the action platformer genre, Spyro Reignited feels good.

Spyro is a game that is easy to beat but hard to perfect. If your goal is simply to run through and clear the levels and get the boss fights done, it is very simple and can be done relatively quickly. If you want to get all the dragons or orbs, and gather all the gems on a level, much more time and care will need to be given. My daughter and I perfectly showcase that difference. I am a collector at heart, so any game that allows me to go through and collect things is something I naturally gravitate toward. My daughter is almost 4, and all she wants to do is run around and chase sheep and animals, burning them up and learning how to glide. She can sit and play for 3 hours and accomplish nothing, but have an amazing time. I can sit and play for 3 hours, get 100% on a couple levels and have an amazing time. We both get equal enjoyment from playing the game in very different ways. This is one of the biggest strengths to Spyro Reignited. It is such an accessible and easy to play game casually, but an in depth collectathon for those who want to really dig in.

Spyro as a character is a classic. Tom Kenny, who voiced the little purple dragon in the 2nd and 3rd games, returns to voice Spyro for all three games in the Reignited Trilogy. I know that for me personally, whenever I thought of Spyro I heard Tom Kenny in my head. Having him back and breathing that same life and depth into the character makes all the difference. On top of his outstanding vocals, the supporting cast all do a great job adding their talent to the world and making it feel rich and vibrant.

Rich and vibrant also perfectly describes the art style and the updated visuals that the Reignited Trilogy has to offer. I went back and watched some of the levels on YouTube from the original release, and comparing them side by side with the Reignited Trilogy is breathtaking. Obviously with 20 years of technological advancements things will look much better, but it is astounding how much you can see the original ideas and designs behind the rehauled graphics. Additional textures and parts of the background and environment have been added, but nothing feels out of place. Nothing stands out as jarring or stands out to tarnish the memory of a level. Everything that has been added fits and flows within the world and maximizes on the original games in every way.

When it comes to additions, the ?guidebook? that you have throughout all three games is a life saver. This was originally introduced in ?Spyro 2: Ripto?s Rage!? but is now present in all three games. This makes backtracking and finding the gems, dragons and orbs you might have missed much easier and less time consuming. For perfectionists, this is great.

Performance wise, the first game ran great, but several of the worlds in Ripto?s Rage suffered from framerate drops and a good bit of screen tearing, even on my PS4 Pro. These issues all but go away in Year of the Dragon, so maybe a patch will fix the issue. Load times between worlds can go on for a while, but you get to control Spyro as he flies and this helps pass the time. Interactive loading screens, even those with minimal functionality, make a huge difference.

Stewart Copeland, the drummer from ?The Police? scored the original trilogy back in the day, and his work is used for the Reignited Trilogy as well. Stephan Vankov, the Music Remixer and his team took the original soundtrack and updated it, making it crisper and smoother, allowing it to flow better within the game. Stewart Copeland was an advisor during various parts of the project and even composed an entirely new piece of music for the main menu theme. That level of talent and quality really stands out, and Stephan has done an incredible job updating the music while keeping it true to the original. For those who want the full nostalgia trip, the music can be switched to the original score from the pause menu. This also allows players to switch back and forth if they want to hear the differences in real time.

Spyro is such a classic character, and the original trilogy was so formative for so many gamers who were kids at the time but work in the industry today. The Reignited Trilogy comes in at exactly the right time and hits all the right notes. Spyro is just as accessible and fun for newcomers as he is for veterans, with updated visuals, audio and gameplay allowing everyone to really have a blast with these classic games. Whether you played Spyro 20 years ago and fell in love or just saw his mischievous face on the cover art and were intrigued, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is for you.

Note: Activision provided us with a Spyro Reignited Trilogy PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: A