“Spyro Reignited Trilogy” stokes nostalgia in the best way

The first “Spyro the Dragon” game released for the PlayStation in 1998, and 20 years later the original trilogy has been remastered for the current console generation.

The update to the series has remastered “Spyro the Dragon”, “Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage” and “Spyro: Year of the Dragon.” This remaster was done by the developer Toys for Bob, who has previously put Spyro into the popular “Skylanders” video game series.

“Spyro Reignited Trilogy” has splashed a new coat of paint onto the old games, updating the graphics, voice acting, menus and more. The graphical changes to the trilogy are really the main draw, with every model and character looking beautiful while maintaining the charm that the original trilogy presented.

There isn’t much in each game as far as a story goes, but the plot has never been the main draw of the Spyro games. Each game’s story essentially boils down to Spyro having to collect enough knick-knacks in order to defeat the antagonist. The minimal story is acceptable because getting through the collect-a-thon of each game is a great time.

Every level in each game aside from the flying levels plays out as a scavenger hunt from point A to point B, where the player is working to the end of each stage while collecting dragons, orbs or eggs in each game, respectively. The draw of the Spyro games is the tiny dopamine rushes that are littered throughout each level when the level is finally perfected or when a player finally gets a difficult skill point.

The remastered trilogy does a great job of maintaining those moments, adding some improvements that help the player hit those moments faster. One such improvement is giving the player the ability to locate hidden treasure in a level just from the press of a button, a feature that previously was only in “Year of the Dragon”.

The majority of the remaster has a pretty easy level of difficulty, however there are some spikes in the difficulty that make the game more frustrating than fun at times.

These spikes tend to happen about once per game, so they are spaced out far enough from one another to not ruin any of the overall experience. The increased difficulty also usually focuses around either getting a skill point or getting 100 percent in the game, so the spikes make sense where they are.

However, burning through 20 lives trying to get that last dragon statue in Tree Tops in the first game or learning quantum physics in order to get the skill point in the Gulp fight in “Ripto’s Rage” doesn’t feel fun, it feels like a chore.

The flying course levels feel extremely satisfying to complete, but the first few run-throughs might take a minute to get a handle on where everything is. On top of figuring out each course, players will have to get used to inverted flight controls as there is no way to switch them off during the flight portions of the game.

Aside from those small gripes, the remasters do an excellent job of preserving the spirit of the originals. Whether you played the originals and want a nostalgia filled romp, or if you never played a Spyro game in your life, “Spyro Reignited Trilogy” is a great time.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars