The Crash Bandicoot trilogy remaster was one of the biggest hits of 2017, selling more copies than plenty of major new releases. So it should come as no surprise that the next classic PlayStation franchise to get the remaster treatment is Spyro the Dragon.
Following months of rumours, leaks and speculation, Activision officially announced Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the Spyro remaster headed to consoles later this year. Here's all we know about the Spyro remaster, including the official release date, platform support and gameplay information.
When is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy release date?
The first Spyro the Dragon came out back in 1998, making this year the game's 20th anniversary - very convenient timing for a remaster, right? Prior to the announcement of the game, fans speculated that since the original first came out in September (in the US and Japan at least), the remaster would arrive in the same month: September 2018.
Though it was confirmed by Activision during the reveal of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy that the game would be released on 21 September 2018, the game has suffered a delay. It's not too long, but Paul Yan, co-studio head at Toys for Bob confirmed in a blog post that the game release has been pushed back to 13 November 2018.
What platforms will it be on?
Prior to the official announcement, many assumed that Spyro Reignited Trilogy would be a PS4 exclusive. That's the strategy publisher Activision followed with the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and it worked wonders. It makes sense too - the original Spyro trilogy were all PlayStation exclusives, and any remaster would hope to trade in on the nostalgia factor by targeting current PS4 owners.
But, here's the twist; unlike with Crash Bandicoot, Activision has announced that Spyro Reignited Trilogy will be available for both PS4 and Xbox One at launch. While Switch and PC gamers still miss out on the remastered action, it's great news for Xbox fans. We assume that there will be PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support for shiny 4K visuals too.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy hands-on impressions
We were lucky enough to spend a bit of time playing the new remastered trilogy at Gamescom 2018, trying out a few levels, one drawn from each of the original games: Spyro The Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
The first thing that strikes you is that the game looks gorgeous. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy features new assets, animations and cinematics to bring the visuals up to standards with modern games, and the end result looks even better than last year's Crash Bandicoot remaster. The world is detailed, vivid, and full of life, with bouncy character animations and engaging environments.
It's still decidedly '90s though, with all the chunky characters and blocky buildings you'd expect, given enough of a fresh coat of paint to look slick in 2018, but not so much as to let you forget the series' origins.
That includes the soundtrack, which has been fully remastered for the new release, giving players the option to play through the game with either the original music or the new versions. There's even a whole new theme for the re-release, composed by original series composer Stewart Copeland.
The controls are smooth, whether you're running, gliding, breathing fire, or even skateboarding around in a mini-game that's been faithfully lifted from the third game, Year of the Dragon - another reminder of the games' rad '90s roots.
As for the actual gameplay, well, it really depends on how much nostalgia you have for Spyro. I only ever dabbled in the games, so there's not much of an emotional pull here, which meant the simple combat fell slightly flat - but then, like the Crash remake, this is really only for the fans anyway.
This does differ from Crash in one key respect though: while that remaster forced everyone to rediscover just how punishingly difficult the original games can be at points, so far Spyro seems much more forgiving - bordering on being too easy, if anything - so expect more of a comforting stroll down memory lane than a harsh reminder of how much better at games you used to be.
Finally, the user interface has been standardised across the three games - together with a revamped, simpler save system based on checkpoints - which minimises some of the old-fashioned clunkiness.
Oh, and if you want to see how far we've come, it's worth revisiting the original. If you can't remember (or you're too young!) then take a look at the below video to jog your memory!