Retro Review – Spyro the Dragon

Most of the time, 3D games from the 90’s don’t hold up well today. I recently tried to play the Die Hard Trilogy on the PS1. I loved this game as a child, but after 10 minutes of clunky controls and pixelated Bruce Willis’, I felt like scratching out my eyes.

This isn’t the case with Spyro the Dragon. This is a game I could play through once a week if I could justify it. The controls are smooth, the gameplay is captivating and the graphics are amongst the best of the era. Spyro is special because there isn’t anything quite like it. It’s strange how satisfying it is to flying headbutt a Gnorc whilst trying to free a dragon trapped in a statue.

Games have become so huge and so complex these days, it’s quite a relief to have simple objectives that you can complete in a variety of creative ways. The gliding is super fun, especially when you throw in an airborne headbutt or two. The combat is pretty complex, with different techniques faring better against different enemies. For example, your fire breath does not hurt enemies that are wearing armour, so a headbutt is the best way to defeat armoured foes.

The concept is simple. Find the dragon statues, free the dragons, collect the stolen dragon eggs and defeat the Gnasty Gnorc and his army of weirdos. As you move through the various realms, you start to come across more diverse and stronger enemies. Defeated enemies will drop gems, you can also find gems lying around the various levels. Spyro gems are equivalent gold coins in Mario. You can’t really do anything with them, they’re just there to keep you collecting.

As far as a remaster goes, Sony have been dropping subtle hints for a few years, but with the success of the Crash Bandicoot remaster, it’s only a matter of time before we see Spyro the Dragon: Re-Hatched on shelves.

Check out my preview of the upcoming MMO PC game Wild West Online. This game is going to be HUGE.

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