Tagged "Spyro Reignited Trilogy"

Nov 18
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

All it took for Activision to finally cave-in and revive both Crash and Spyro was for one of their multi-million-dollar franchises to crash and burn. That franchise was, of course, the toys-to-life phenomenon Skylanders. So, before we go any further, let’s thank all the parents who refused to buy into Skylanders for a fifth year in a row. Without even knowing it, you’ve given many gamers their childhoods back.

While Crash Bandicoot is often cited as being the PlayStation’s mascot, Spyro achieved something even Naughty Dog couldn’t – to bring free-roaming platforming to the 32-bit format. When it launched in 1998, Spyro was billed as a technical marvel that pushed the system to provide an open-world ripe for exploration. All kinds of trickery happened behind the scenes to ensure a (mostly) seamless experience, including using low-poly backdrops that became more detailed as Spyro made his approach.

Spyro’s two methods of attack – breathing fire and charging like a rampaging bull – weren’t the most innovative of game mechanics, and no steps were ever taken to test player’s proficiency with these abilities or even evolve attacks over time, but the way Spyro bounds around the colourful environments remains playful and fun, collecting gems always proves compelling, and soaring through the air takes a degree of skill.

Some 20 years on, it’s fascinating to see the evolution of the trilogy. The first Spyro focuses on exploration, using Spyro’s gliding ability to reach new areas. Spyro 2 opts for increasingly tricky challenges, introducing the bipedal cheetah Hunter and featuring automatic difficulty scaling, while Spyro 3 is bulked to the brim with mini-games and introduces new playable characters.

There are telling signs in the first Spyro that the developers were still getting to grips with the flight mechanics and camera controls. Even in this remake, the camera has to be manually adjusted far too frequently. Levels during the first half of the adventure feel rather boxed-in too. In fact, that it’s possible to whizz through some early stages, obtaining a 100% completion rate along the way, in a matter of mere minutes.

It’s a shame Toys for Bob didn’t enlarge some of the tighter, more camera confusing, areas. Indeed, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is faithful to a fault. That said, it’s easy to comprehend why the level design hasn’t been tinkered with – scaling obstacles and gliding to hard to reach locations plays a huge part, right to the point of prompting you to stop and look around to find vantage points. We would have liked to have seen the outdated concept of ‘extra lives’ ditched, however – infinite retries not only would have reduced frustration during the tougher sections but also reduce the amount of peculiarly long loading times players are forced to endure.

In the original Spyro, the plucky dragon is out to rescue his elders, trapped inside large – and subsequently easy to spot – dragon-shaped crystals. When it comes to presentation, no expense has been spared. Each of Spyro’s cohorts is as well animated and charismatic as the last, full of detail and personality. From squiffy low-poly characters, Toys for Bob has created magic.

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Nov 13
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

It’s time to free up some storage space. This week sees more than a few big hitters, two of which come packing colossal install sizes; the kind so large that they’re deemed newsworthy.

Despite being a mere remake, Spyro Reignited Trilogy weighs in at 67GB – only 19GB of which is on the disc. The online focused Fallout 76 is larger still, launching with a 51GB patch on top of its standard 45GB install. Big game season is definitely upon us.

After last week’s early access Gold Edition, Hitman 2 finally falls into the hands of all and sundry. EA’s Battlefield V now follows suit, arriving this week via the Deluxe edition. Reviews started to surface over last weekend, mostly clocking in at 8/10.

In fact, it’s a case of 8/10s all-around – the Metacritics for Hitman 2, Pokemon Let’s Go, Spyro and Battlefield V currently stand at 82%, 82%, 85% and 84% (respectively). We’ve rounded up reviews below.

As for Fallout 76 reviews, the servers only went live this evening – a few hours ahead of schedule – so don’t expect them until the end of the week at the earliest. We’d like to think most gaming sites will hold out until early next week, giving plenty of time to acquaint, but that’s perhaps wishful thinking.

PSN is also awash with Playlink titles – Knowledge is Power: Decades, Chimparty, Ticket to Ride, and Just Deal With It! We wonder if Sony kept these on the backburner for a full Playlink assault.

New release showcase:

Battlefield V

Reviews:
90% – Xbox Achievements: “Battlefield V builds upon its predecessor in meaningful ways, DICE stripping away practically every one of the series’ fripperies to get to the nub of what truly makes the series tick. This is Battlefield at its most undiluted and raw, and it’s all the better for it”

9/10 – Press Start Australia: “Battlefield V retains heart in its single player War Stories mode and variety in its multiplayer modes. New & improved personalisation within ‘Your Company’ gives each of the classes a fresh, personal feel to your soldiers, while remaining authentic to the era. A solid road map of content is set to deliver new maps, modes and seasonal events to keep gamers coming back, which is a good thing as no other game does raw gun play and bullet physics quite like Battlefield. It just feels right and Battlefield V is no exception”

3.5/5 – GamesRadar: “Not as drastic a change up as its WW1 predecessor, nor as wild or wondrous, Battlefield 5’s deliberative design sidelines its strengths as a simulative sandbox”

Hitman 2

Reviews:
8/10 – VideoGamer: “Hitman 2 walks familiar ground and provides the type of delightful moments you expect in the maps on offer, as well as a multiplayer mode with bundles of potential”

8/10 – GameSpot: “The addition of other minor mechanical changes–like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines–help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game. But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments”

7.7 – IGN: “Hitman 2 is like a hearty stew: not pretty, but so full of nutrition that you’re bound to walk away full and happy”

Pokémon Let’s Go

Reviews:
4.5/5 – GamesRadar: “Pokemon Let’s Go is a superb surprise, a fully-fledged Pokemon RPG with interactivity that brings the series to life in a way that’s never been done before”

8.3 – IGN: “Powerful friends and new mechanics make for a delightful return to the Kanto region in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee”

Recommended – Eurogamer: “Pokémon’s Switch debut deftly toes the line between returning fans and all-new ones, with a few small wobbles along the way”

Chimparty

Reviews:
7.5 – VideoChums: “If you’re looking for a fun party game that gamers of all skill levels can enjoy together then you certainly can’t go wrong with Chimparty. The intuitive gameplay, enjoyable mini-games, and cheerful graphics and sound make for one happening party”

5/10 – Push Square: “Chimparty is fun in places, but the repetition and occasional frustrations of its minigames means it’s not likely to stay that way for long. As a family game it’s too fiddly to be enjoyable for a sustained period of time, though its visual style is appealing enough to soften the blows of the substandard gameplay”

5/10 – TheSixthAxis: “Chimparty is fun enough to break out for an occasional bout of light-hearted multiplayer when you’ve got friends round, and accessible enough to cater for all ages, but its limitations soon being to show if you spend any extended period of time with it”

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Reviews:
8.5 – IGN: “The Spyro Reignited Trilogy recaptures the magic of Spyro’s original adventures in one nostalgic package”

8.5 – GameInformer: “From a historical standpoint, you can clearly see the foundation for Insomnaic’s Ratchet & Clank series in each level. As a game, Spyro is a blast to control, and collecting gems is an oddly satisfying thing to do. You’ll watch the credits roll on each game before you know what hit you”

4/5 – Windows Central: “Overall, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is an excellent remake of the originals. It’s a lot of fun to play and looks stunning. Unfortunately, the lack of a 60 FPS option, even on the Xbox One X, and the awkward camera controls in some levels detract from the experience. Despite these issues, the remake pays homage to some of the best platformers ever created, and it’s evident that developer Toys for Bob spent many years crafting this package. It’s a labor of love and that shines above all else”

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