Spyro Reignited Trilogy review - the great return of the dragon legend
The great success of last year's Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy paved the way for remakes of platformer icons from the days of the first PlayStation. Producers have received a clear signal that players are eager to return the works that many of them grew up on, thanks to which Sony will release a new version of MediEvil next year. However, we can already enjoy the cycle, thanks to which two decades ago, Insomniac Games studio clearly marked its position on the industry map - we are talking about the Spyro the Dragon trilogy presenting the adventures of the purple dragon .
However, while with N. Sane Trilogy, the Vicarious Visions studio had a relatively simple task, because the original productions with Crash in the lead role aged with great dignity and only the visuals needed refreshing, the Toys for Bob team responsible for the rejuvenating treatment of the pacifier in question faced more of a challenge. Time did not do well with the classic Spyro scenes , as a result of which these games today reject not only unattractive graphics, but also archaisms in gameplay and control.
Fortunately, the developers approached the subject sensitively, rewriting known elements for the new engine, and here and there improving other ailing elements of the prototypes . Thanks to this, the plastic surgery was fully successful and Spyro Reignited Trilogy turns out to be a real treat for platform fans - both the older ones who are interested in this title primarily because of their sentiment, and the younger ones, for whom it will be the first meeting with dragons.
Pixar's missing animation
The first thing that catches the eye of course after launching Reignited Trilogy is the visual setting created from scratch on the fourth generation of the Unreal engine. The game looks fabulous. The artists from Toys for Bob treated this sphere of prototypes in a similar way to what the magicians responsible for Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy did a year ago, without changing the original layout of levels and the location of items, but creating all characters or objects from scratch.
As a result, the former flat texture of the ground is now often overgrown with dense grass, the buildings resembling simple solids have acquired additional shapes, and wherever we look, our eyes are delighted with details that were once absent . The levels change their style quite regularly, thanks to which it is impossible to get bored - we even find ourselves in a swamp, only a moment later to move to the desert wastelands, and a dozen or so minutes later to traverse the frosty mountains.
A lot of work was put into the character models - both the main characters and opponents found in individual locations. All of these creatures look like they've broken off some previously unseen Pixar cartoon, not only looking cute, but often equipped with a set of funny animations.
The most delightful thing, of course, is Spyro himself, whose appearance is inspired by a classic design, and not the terrible refreshment he received during the Skylanders series. The dragon moves in a very natural, sometimes slightly clumsy way that is simply captivating.
The binding has a coherent, colorful, fairy-tale convention - this item looks like a decent computer-generated movie for children. I even carried out a small test - the seven-year-old nephew seated in front of the screen could not take his eyes off the game, and he stared at my actions so much that he did not even think to ask if he could play.
As I mentioned, the Toys for Bob team did not limit themselves to refreshing the graphics, they also introduced some improvements to the gameplay. The most important of them concern the operation of the camera. The necessity to move the view using the R2 and L2 buttons on the pad is a thing of the past (although if someone wants to see what it used to be, they can choose the quasi-classic method of control) - now we have full control over the camera using the right analog stick . It makes a gigantic difference - not only is it consistent with the habits learned from modern games, but also allows you to move much more smoothly and precisely, not to mention the fact that it is easier to orientate yourself in the situation. The original productions needed this change, and it's a good thing they weren't afraid to introduce it.
In addition, in the first part, it was decided to introduce a few minor amenities that were originally only available in the sequels . The options have the option to turn on the map, which makes exploration much easier, especially since the levels in the "one" are more extensive than those from subsequent productions. In addition, the game has been expanded with a set of optional challenges (available in the menu) - completing them unlocks a special gallery.
However, the main character control in the underwater sections has not been improved (which surprised me a lot). When Spyro dives, the camera freaks out sharply and the character's control becomes uncomfortable and difficult. While on the surface all arcade sequences are pure pleasure and even stupid field running can be fun, every necessity to dive in made me a little discouraged.
Two for three
How is it actually played? The first installment of the series, Spyro the Dragon , stood the test of time the worst . This is a classic three-dimensional platformer in which we travel through quite visually diverse levels, constantly having the same goal - to find a few dragons enchanted in crystals and free them. In addition, we can collect crystals hidden in various nooks and crannies, try to retrieve stolen dragon eggs from extremely annoying and very fast thieves and ... that's it. Apart from a few boss fights and scenery changes, the first part reveals all its attractions fairly quickly and it doesn't take long when the monotony starts to bother us. By today's standards, the game is simply boring. She is also not helped by the extreme pretext story.
Luckily, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! (formerly known as Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer ) is already a much better position and after a refreshing treatment it turns out to be a wildly playable platformer . The levels have become a bit smaller, but they have been filled with a number of imaginative mini-games that enrich the fun, the main character gains new skills during the game, which encourages him to return to previously visited places, and the plot has been well developed, in addition to motivation to act, also offering a bit of humor for younger players. The axis of the game this time is collecting talismans and special magic balls, although in the background we still collect gems.