Spyro The Dragon – 20 years

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Today is Spyro The Dragons 20th anniversary, and I just can’t believe the time that has gone and how Spyro is still part of my gaming life, and still brings back my childhood memories of me playing this game, and super excited for the Spyro reignited trilogy, and yes I was gutted that it had been delayed till November, but I have waited this long, I can wait a little longer and trust Toys For Bob for the delay to get it right for the fans.

So as part of the celebrating today, I have decided to replay the original the first Spyro game, and it has been a while as well. But also give a little review as well. (gameplay video below) also, we do a little youtube channel only just started to check us out gamergeekuk.

Developed by Insomniac it is considered to be a classic platformer for the original PlayStation and features a number of elements that were very impressive when it was first released 20 years ago. The ultimate nostalgic game.

Spyro the dragon, quest is to free his fellow dragons from a magical crystal imprisonment. The game begins, with the dragons thriving. However, an evil creature who wants to stir things up a little bit, which is Gnasty Gnorc. He was banished to an isolated world a long time ago, Gnasty then started to experiment with magic and, at the height of his hatred towards the dragons, he casts the ultimate spell that crystallizes all the dragons into lifeless statues, while simultaneously turned all of the dragon’s gems into evil minions. Spyro, however, is the only dragon that avoided the spell ( don’t know how or why ??) and must work hard to save his dragonkin, and take on the evil Gnasty.

A charming little story, but clearly isn’t the highlight of the game, as it takes a little backseat and is the main backdrop of the game, what is the best of the game is the action platforming that dominates the title. You have to guide Spyro through six worlds, each with different areas and themes to explore, so Spyro can free the dragons, gather gems, and reclaim the stolen dragon eggs. The main aim of this game is about running around and gathering items, and adding them to your overall inventory in order to progress between worlds and areas. This formula really doesn’t change during the game but doesn’t become repetitive, it does chance with a  few minor variations during flight/boss levels. Flight levels I always found hard, but addictive.

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Spyro the dragon, can move about freely in the now very dated 3D environments and can dodge roll to either side as well. Spyro can also glide after a jump, sprint forward in a charge, and breathe fire. Most of the enemies are relatively easy to deal with or have to get the timings just right with, either requiring a well-placed headbutt or flame.  These are the only have two attack moves he has, so it really has to be one or the other, which is simple but very enjoyable.

Spyro is an old game, considering the graphics and the fidelity of the sound, but someone interested in a classic gaming experience shouldn’t really be bothered by this — it’s expected, after all. Spyro looks good for a PlayStation game, and sports rather impressive facial animations for such old technology.   I do like the dragons when you release them, I like the voice acting as well, as they give you tips, but also personality does come through. You do get a lot of personality out of the freed dragon as well, as well as Spyro himself, but it seemed like most of the time the dialogue was just trying to help you play. This  was very helpful back in the day, especially when I was so young playing the game, but now obviously, don’t need the hints and tips, but I still find it handy especially to new players of this game

Spyro still works fairly well and, while a little loose, tends to feel responsive enough to keep you connected to the experience. Unfortunately, the camera controls can be a little bit difficult at first, once you get used to them, I am not saying they are brilliant but there are worse out there. It’s certainly not the worst, but having to control the camera with the triggers as opposed to (in the PlayStation 3’s case) the right analog stick.

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Lastly, one drawback for the first game was the gameplay as it doesn’t vary enough, unlike the 2&3 which has side quests and mini-games to enhance the gameplay. So you might struggle a little to keep yourself hooked all the way through the game (I didn’t get bored but I can see why others did). However, there is a lot of stuff to collect, so if you’re enticed by this purple fire-breather, you’ll definitely have enough to keep you going.

If you can work past a few of the camera and repetition issues, you’ll have fun with Spyro and perhaps understand why it was considered such a phenomenal title all those years ago.

Rating-  9/10



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