10 years after the last Spyro game released we’re finally get a new one! … Sort of. Riding off the coattails of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy’s success, Activision is remastering the classic adventures of everyone’s favorite purple dragon.
After months of eager speculation, Activision confirmed in April that the Spyro Reignited Trilogy would be gracing our consoles this fall to coincide with the series’ 20th anniversary.
Your favorite classic Spyro games all under one roof
Similar to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy features complete remasters of the first three Spyro games: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Though the word “remaster” is specifically used when referring to the compilation, in reality I’d say it’s closer to a remake. You aren’t just getting a slight bump in resolution and frame rate like you usually see with remasters. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy appears to be anything but half-baked.
It could have been easy for Skylanders developer Toys For Bob (who are helming the development process for the Reignited Trilogy) and Activision to just toss out a quick remaster of the first Spyro game and be done with it, but both companies decided to go the extra mile. Yes, this is likely due to money and the success of the N. Sane Trilogy, but we’re reliving some of our favorite childhood memories nonetheless.
As I mentioned previously, each game’s visuals received an overhaul, making them worthy of a 2018 release. You won’t be dealing with blurry polygons and textures that look all blended together. You’re getting detail! Water will look more realistic (as realistic as Spyro gets). Castles will actually have noticeable stones. The colors will be vibrant, not washed-out. How you remember it as a kid is how it will look today. We all know how we look back on games and imagine them to be much more beautiful than they actually are. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
Some would argue that this removes a certain charm that the originals exuded. With nostalgia affecting our opinions, it’s hard to say definitively if the Reignited Trilogy will lose that spark of magic. Toys For Bob co-studio head Paul Yan, however, assured that they went to great lengths to capture the essence of the original’s aesthetic while modernizing it for today’s audiences.
“When you look at the original game and you squint your eyes at it, there’s a lot of imagination that you had to do at the time to fill in the blanks,” said Yan in an interview. “For us, it’s taking the game, and asking: What do people remember about this? It was important to start with the memories as opposed to how do you interpret exactly what’s on the screen.”
Yan stated that the team at Toys For Bob looked for any opportunities to “embellish and add more lushness and detail” when necessary, but took care in keeping the visuals familiar.
In addition to improved graphics, its gameplay mechanics have received some love as well. While it’s certainly important to preserve the feel of playing the originals, Toys For Bob also wants to ensure that the Reignited Trilogy features satisfying controls that can hold up against the best 3D platformers today. Twenty years have gone by since Spyro first released, and in that time a lot of competition in the genre has popped up. Any old clunkiness would be a hindrance to the experience.
Because the source code was not available to Toys For Bob, the studio rebuilt the classic games using a tool they dubbed the “Spyro Scope,” which allowed them to track variables and use them as a foundation for the Reignited Trilogy.
“We basically had the entire game running, then simultaneously this (tool) is pulling numbers and data on everything: coordinates for the level mesh, the placements for every single character, for every single gem, the value of what those gems are,” said Yan in an interview at San Diego Comic-Con.
As alluded to above, every level will be a perfect recreation of its original counterpart, right down to the location of certain enemies and gems. You won’t be thrown into any new locations unless Toys For Bob has some surprises up their sleeve that they haven’t revealed yet. All in all, over 100 levels are being remade between the three Spyro games.
Alterations and additions
Though the stories won’t drastically differ from what you remember, the developer is expanding on its narrative when appropriate, breathing new life by adding small details throughout the world. So what you’ll be getting are details meant to flesh out the universe and characters more, not turn the narrative upside down.
The Reignited Trilogy will feature a new soundtrack alongside new voiceovers for the characters. Don’t worry too much, though, because you can still choose to listen to the original soundtrack should you prefer that option. Stewart Copeland, who composed the music for the original games, is back and working on a new track for the Reignited Trilogy.
When can you play it?
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is set to release on September 21, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch version has not been revealed, but considering that the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy made its way to Switch recently, I’d imagine it’s not out of the realm of possibility to hold out hope for a Switch release of Spyro.
You can pre-order the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for $39.99. It doesn’t appear to have any special or collector’s editions, but Funko is making a Spyro & Sparx Funko Pop! that will release this September as well if you just want a little something extra in the form of a cute collectible.
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