It’s become a running joke that the Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been ‘scaled’ up for PS4 and Xbox One, but honestly it’s true. Like Activision did last year with the Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy, Spyro’s remastering is the best looking the little purple dragon has ever been – and he was already pretty cute.
The improvements to Spyro himself are probably the most marked, especially when it comes to personality. His face is so much more expressionate, and full of life, and even a little bit cheeky. Leave him to idle for a bit and he’ll actually look around to you, urging you to make a move. Or hit the water in the Sunny Flights level and he’ll shake his fist at your misfortune.
But our little scaly pal is nothing without a world to explore. I only got to play a couple of levels from the original Spyro, but it’s a stark visual contrast from the original game. There’s now a visible world surrounding each level rather than just a generic backdrop, which seriously helps to up the immersion of the levels in general. But really it’s about the serious visual tweaks that developer Toys for Bob has added. The Toasty Level from the Artisan World in the original Spyro is one of the levels we got to try, and even this small level is now brimming with character. From the individual tiles on the roof of the buildings, to the fact they’ve added actual art to the walls of the gallery inside to more visibly represent the different dragons Spyro saves are both brilliant touches. The original Spyro basically used a few different dragon designs, but Toys for Bob has also ramped these guys up a bit, adding personality and actual character designs, making saving each one that bit more exciting. Plus, you can now even scorch the grass as you breathe fire.
Of course, all these new visual flourishes don’t detract from the fact this still feels very much like Spyro. All that muscle memory from being a kid in the ’90s is still there, and Spyro moves and feels the same as he did all those years ago, even if he does look fantastic nowadays. There were famously some issues with the difficulty in the Crash remaster but, from what I’ve played here – and I played a lot of the Tree Tops level at E3, zooming around on the supercharge ramps – it doesn’t seem that that’s the case here. Jumping feels great, as do the flight and combat controls. Here, it’s all about appreciating how good Spyro can look, and thankfully it won’t be long until you can find out for yourself.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy launches on PS4 and Xbox One on September 21.