The original Spyro is now twenty years old. It was Insomniac’s second ever game, and a spiritual predecessor to the Ratchet and Clank games. Thirteen years after the original, Activision and Toys for Bob began development on the Skylanders series, a continuation of the Spyro intellectual property.
They are the developers behind the remaster that just released in November 2018, and not only worked to bring Spyro’s graphics to the modern era of gaming, but they also allowed their own style to bleed in. This can be seen through the dragons in the first game which are filled to the brim with personality and character, unlike the generic clones found in the original.
Whilst Toys for Bob are the developers responsible for bringing Spyro to the current generation of consoles, the third game, Ripto’s Rage, was handed off to Sanzaru Games. They are a controversial choice of developer, as they created Sly 4 and ported Secret Agent Clank to the PlayStation 2. With rushed development and a second developer working on the third entry, it unfortunately resulted in a string of bugs and generally lower quality.
Insomniac’s humour, style and wonderful charm is still blatantly present in all its glory
My first reaction when opening the first Spyro remaster was that of amazement as the first area was both energetic and beautiful, a perfect representation of the three games. This is mostly down to the excellent character designs, the vibrant colour palette and the wonderful cartoony style.
The aesthetic of the game has been perfectly modernised much like it was with Crash Bandicoot’s remaster. Aside from the astonishingly pleasing visuals, the game handles incredibly well. Movement is very fluid, the controls are responsive, and I have yet to notice any substantial flaws in the way that the games handle or run.
The remastered Spyro trilogy has two fantastic new features (one of which I sorely wish the new Ratchet and Clank had) as they provide the player with the ability to switch back to the old soundtrack rather than the updated dynamic one. This is great for older gamers who are fans of the original, and allows new players to get a more authentic experience.
The first area was both energetic and beautiful, a perfect representation of the three games
The second new feature is something that was taken from Ripto’s Rage which is the Guidebook. It is now available in all three of the games and allows the player to keep tabs on their progress with the skill-points, gems, dragons and bonuses all tallied.
Spyro has been brilliantly adapted to the new generation of consoles and, in an era where platforming is being neglected, it is a refreshing change of pace to be able to jump back into a classic title with the looks and handling of a modern game.
Toys for Bob may have had a lot of creative freedom, but Insomniac’s humour, style and wonderful charm is still blatantly present in all its glory. Best of all, the two developers’ styles do not clash whatsoever but instead elegantly complement one another.