Reigniting the flame of the original.
|Console: Nintendo Switch|
For Spyro's 20th anniversary all of the original Insomniac games got remade for modern consoles in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Today, I'm taking a look at the this remastered version of the original Spyro game, simply titled, Spyro the Dragon. Why am I taking a look at each game individually? Because I could only find reviews on each individual game which I found rather annoying and have thus decided to that myself.
Let's not make this introduction any longer than it already is and let's dive in!
Now, the gameplay, that's where the game is really at. Aside from the basic running and jumping, Spyro has three basic actions. A head charge, his fire breath and the ability to glide. The head-charge and the fire breath are more than just two different attack options. They have different uses and knowing when to use the one over the other is an integral part of the gameplay. Certain enemies, when they wear metal, for example, can only be hit by the supercharge. Others will attack you when you come to close to them, thus requiring you to use your flames to defeat them.
They also have used outside of battle. The same metal has to be bashed principle also applies to a multitude of treasure chests you find. Let me tell you, finding all of the gems is more addictive and fun then I thought it would be! Spyro the Dragon has three different types of collectables, four if you include the orbs that give you an extra life when you collect enough of them. You have the crystallized dragons, the game's main objective, the gemstones and the stolen Dragon eggs.
|Would you just look at all of that detail!|
While the dragons are, usually, found rather easy throughout each level the gemstones are not. These are scattered throughout the level and require exploration and good reflexes to find. Chaining together the supercharge and glide to reach new areas can be, admittedly, rather frustrating to pull off. Does make it all the more rewarding when you find a secret area with lots of gemstones (and sometimes even a dragon) at the end though! The dragon eggs are less of a treasure hunt and more of chase sequences in which you need to catch up with the goblin-like thief.
In terms of variety in the gameplay, you also have the flying levels and the boss levels. Each land has one level in which Spyro flies high in the sky, avoiding obstacles and trying to meet the levels goals within the given time. You fly through hoops, shoot down orc in planes that kind of stuff. They are fun to do though sadly don't control as well as the normal sections and some objectives can be a bit tedious. The boss fights … are OK. They're well put together for the most part but they don't feel any different then from the normal levels. The bosses are just larger versions of the normal enemies. Combine this with the lack of any 'gravity' to the boss levels, I didn't even realize the first boss level was a boss level. It just felt like any other level in the game. That's a bit of a theme of this game. While it tries its best to add in variety, and does so on paper does, the execution of that is lacking. It all feels a bit too 'samey' to one and other. Combine this with the lack of story and I can definitely see some people growing bored with the game around halfway through.
|A quick look at one of the flight levels.|
The game looks, sounds and runs. From the graphics to the sound design and to the engine, it has all been polished up, even on the lesser Switch hardware on which I played the game. Gone are the large yet empty fields and plains of the original, replaced by lands full of scenery and detail. From the grasslands full of flowers to the added detail of the architecture and the lighting effects it all looks great. This makes the entire Dragon world and its different lands feel alive and much more distinct from one and other.
The entire sound design, from the soundtrack to the effects to the voice acting, has been re-recorded and sound amazing. Finally, the game runs as smooth as butter even on the Nintendo Switch. There was no lag, no drops in frame rate nothing. However, I did run into problems during the loading and transition screens. The load times are longer then I would have liked, it definitely feels like you're waiting a while for the game to boot up and there is some clear stuttering here. I do need to stretch, all of these problems are ONLY during the loading and transitions screens. It has never happened during normal gameplay, but I feel like it needs to be mentioned regardless.
Spyro the Dragon is a really good, and above all, fun game. It looks and sound beautiful and plays as smooth as butter even on the Nintendo Switch. There are a few problems, there's not as much variety here and there are some loading issues but these are really minor in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't hinder the game's many strong points at all, the strong gameplay and the overwhelming sense of fun. And hey, the Reignited version of the game comes with both its sequels in the same package so there's a big change that was Spyro the Dragon is lacking, the other two games pick up the slack.