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Hands-on review: Spyro Reignited Trilogy for Nintendo Switch

13 Sep 2019
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Once again, Activision brings our childhood into 2019. After the success of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, I was excited to try out the Spyro Reignited Trilogy as soon as it hit the Switch.

The cute purple dragon has been a household name since 1998 when he was first introduced in Spyro The Dragon for the PlayStation. That game in addition to Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon are now finally available for switch owners.

How well did this trilogy age? Is the switch a good home for it? This is what I aim to find out.

The visuals:

Activision did a fantastic job with the design of Spyro Reignited Trilogy. The game is gorgeous. It’s amazing how well the original level design done by Insomniac Games holds up in 2019.

Each level introduces a new area in this world that is more exciting than the one before. The animation and the adorable voiceovers make the game feel more like an interactive cartoon on Saturday morning.

It is no secret that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t hold up to its competitors when it comes to graphics. This is the reason why we knew that the Switch port is going to be late.

Activision did a great job dealing with the Switch’s limitations. The graphics are slightly blurry but unless you are looking for it, you won’t really notice it. In my opinion that is is a very small price to pay for having Spyro with you on the go.

When playing in TV mode, the motion blur setting is on by default. This is a matter of preference but for me, the game looked better when I turned that off.

The gameplay:

The Spyro games are basically a 3D platformer collect-a-thon. The three games all come down to the same concept. A big scary “bad guy” attacks the land, breaks things and it is up to Spyro to save the day.

In each level, Spyro has to run around, collecting gems, attacking enemies and saving frozen dragons. Yes! Saving frozen dragons. Spyro can defeat his enemies by either breathing fire at them or by charging at them. 

All three games have a wide variety of enemies for Spyro to defeat with even some boss fights. Each boss fight has its own gimmick, but none of them is difficult to defeat. 

The gaming mechanics differ between the three games. In the first game, they introduce the players to the basic mechanics of jumping, sliding when you fly, breathing fire and charging. The second game adds in a few more mechanics, and the third game just throws all rules out of the window and introduces new characters, mini games and even skateboarding!

I prefer the simple game mechanics of the original game and would rather keep playing as Spyro.

Things they did well:

Activision did a great job on the port, gameplay, design, etc, but the things that sets this game apart is the attention to detail.

While this might not matter to most people, I think they deserve praise for the fact that they tried to make the loading screen interactive.

While waiting for the level to load, you can control Spyro in the loading screen by turning him right and left and making him breathe fire. That helps you get used to the mechanics of controlling him while making the wait seem shorter.

Things they did wrong:

Is there even anything saved on that cartridge? When buying a physical copy of a game, you expect the majority of it to be available on the cartridge. That wasn’t the case here.

The physical copy of Spyro Reignited Trilogy requires an 8.5 GB download, which will not sit well with most players. The Switch already has a small storage space and unless you own an SD card with a lot of storage, 8.5 GB is a lot.

The verdict:

If you are looking for a challenging platformer, Spyro is probably not the game for you. If you enjoy discovering beautifully designed levels while trying to collect everything possible to reach 100% completion, then Spyro is a must have.

Even though the game is not difficult, it actually does a great job keeping it exciting by the introduction of new concepts throughout the trilogy.

With the release of the Switch lite in a few weeks, Spyro Reignited Trilogy would be a great purchase for a laid-back game to enjoy on the new handheld device.