Spyro the Dragon: A Short Review

For the past decade or so, I have been trying to catch up on the major PS1 games that I had missed.  For about $10 per game on Amazon (with a few exceptions), I was able to play all of the old PS1 Final Fantasy games, including a few SNES ones that were remade and bundled with other games.  I caught up on the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy thanks to the N. Sane Trilogy.  And last of all, to complete my PS1 tour, I have begun the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.  I have played through the first game thus far, and below are my thoughts.  (If you’re interested, we’re also playing through the full trilogy on our Virtual Bastion Youtube channel.)

Unlike Crash Bandicoot, I was familiar with the Spyro series before ever playing the modern remakes of the original three games.  I had a couple GameCube Spyro games, one on the GameBoy, and I played The Legend of Spyro trilogy across three consoles, GCN, Wii, and XBox 360.  Though these games were…okay, I was really interested to see what the original Spyro games by Insomniac were like.

As I began to work my way through the original Spyro the Dragon, I was admittedly surprised that, out of the Spyro games I had played prior, the one that most accurately portrayed the series was Enter the Dragonfly, my first console Spyro game.  Your main abilities are Spyro’s flame breath and charge attack, and you explore various open levels, where you collect gems, rescue dragons (or dragonflies, as was the case with Enter the Dragonfly), and chase thieves.  Fortunately, the original Spyro game was more fun…and far less glitchy.

Even so, Spyro the Dragon is a relatively simple game, with the majority of your time spent running or gliding around and collecting a grand total of 14,000 gems scattered about every nook and cranny.  The game does, however, get more interesting at about world three, when the Supercharge ability is introduced, which is required from time to time for some rather tricky jumps in order to reach every collectible.

I read that this series is really meant for kids, and it’s not surprising.  I suppose it should have seemed obvious from the start, but in my defense, there are plenty of E-rated games out there that adults can enjoy as much as younger gamers.  As such, it does explain why the game is as simple as it is and why the dialogue isn’t particularly interesting.

The main appeal for an adult gamer like myself was finding all the secrets.  As I mentioned before, the first two worlds are a little boring, but after that, it starts to become more difficult to find all the secret rooms and passages in each stage.  And for someone like me, who really enjoys getting 100% in most of my games, it was really satisfying whenever I managed to discover a particularly well-hidden location.

In general, this is a game that you just need to appreciate for what it is.  It’s fun, it’s simple, and it’s silly, particularly the enemies, many of which are downright goofy.  While I cannot comment on the original PS1 version of the game, this modern remake looks really nice, as well.  The graphics are colorful and clean, though there is a bit of a motion blur issue, though it’s not something I really noticed unless I was trying to take screenshots.  And then, anything moving tends to look pretty blurry.

Despite the game’s kid-friendly feel, I did have fun with the original Spyro game, and I look forward to checking out the other two games in the trilogy.  And now it’s about time I invited you, my dear readers, to share your own thoughts.  What do you think about this game?  Did you get to originally play it on the PS1, or is the Reignited Trilogy your first experience with Insomniac’s original Spyro trilogy, as well?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

This post was originally published on Virtual Bastion on July 23, 2019.

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