JEDDAH: Retro remakes are very much in fashion these days, as Nintendo proved recently with its updates of “Pokémon Yellow” — “Let’s Go: Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go: Eevee.” New versions of old consoles have appeared too: the SNES Classic (last year) and the PlayStation Classic (coming in December), so when news broke that the “Spyro” trilogy was slated for a remake, it’s probably safe to say no one was really surprised. Delighted, maybe, but not surprised.
Originally released in 1998 on the PS1, “Spyro the Dragon” became an instant classic. The loveable purple mini-dragon swept into the hearts of children everywhere. Sequels “Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage” (1999) and “Spyro: Year of the Dragon” (2000) quickly secured Spyro’s spot as a household icon (and bane of parents everywhere). Twenty years on from his debut, Spyro is ready to captivate a new generation.
“Spyro Reignited Trilogy” stays true to the nature of the originals. It’s just much prettier. The details are astonishing for something so deceptively simple; everything about the graphics is teeming with life. The lush, vibrant colors pull you in immediately; it’s captivating.
The trilogy also boasts full Arabic localization; a first for publisher Activision. The voice acting — in modern standard Arabic — is superbly done, and manages to remain fun and engaging. The remake also has its own new, reimagined soundtrack, but players can opt for the original tunes too. However, it’s worth noting that the game doesn’t come with subtitles of any kind. Not exactly deal-breaking, but still unfortunate.
These excellent improvements to the graphics and sound are not matched by alterations to the game itself. It still plays very much like the Nineties (which may be exactly what developers Toys for Bob intended). Older players will likely enjoy the familiarity, but new players may be put off by the somewhat outdated gaming experience; we’re long past the point where we can be impressed by “Press X to Jump,” but “Spyro Reignited” offers little in the way of more advanced mechanics. However, it’s still a great way to waste time, or bag some easy trophies for bragging rights. Just don’t expect much depth from the game; there’s little to it besides setting some cartoon sheep on fire and picking up a ton of jewels.
All in all, “Spyro Reignited” packs a serious nostalgia punch, for anyone looking to relive hours spent cross-legged in front of the family TV, fervently trying to get to the end of the level before someone else’s show was on.