Jumping back into the world of Spyro feels like watching Saturday morning cartoons, it feels like playing out with your friends and coming home before dark, it feels like stepping back into a game you put down 10 minutes ago, not 20 years. Somehow this little purple dragon and his trusty pal Sparx encapsulate a childhood. Sure, he runs a bit sleeker and he looks a bit fancier, but he’s the same fire breathing, gem stealing dragon he was all those years ago, and this time, I finally got the elusive 120%, and with it, the platinum trophy. (Side note: the 120% was elusive to me, some of you are probably sat there scoffing and thinking, it wasn’t THAT hard! Alas, I wasn’t the most proficient gamer at age 10)
Story-wise Spyro is up there with the greats. There’s a bad guy named Gnorc who gets horribly offended when he’s called ugly, so he does what any self-respecting villain does, he traps all the dragons in crystal. Mysteriously our little buddy Spyro is spared and takes it upon himself to find everyone and save the day, accompanied by his adorable and invaluable companion Sparx, of course.
Securing the platinum in Spyro is by no means a difficult task, you have the obligatory ‘Yay, you passed the current checkpoint’ trophies. You then have the ‘You may or may not do this in the usual completion of the game’ trophies, which are fairly straight forward to nab either as you play through, or to mop up after. Finally, you have what I will lovingly call, the ‘Dear God no’ trophies, the flying levels. Each of the five flying levels in the first Spyro game has a trophy attached to it, either to flame all the fairies in the level (Not too bad, can be done after you complete the level) or to do the entire level without touching the ground. The second is much more rage inducing and I built up quite the collection of colourful swear words trying to complete them, as I seem to have rather the affinity for clipping the water JUST as I come across the last boat or plane or chest.
I won’t go as far as to say Spyro is a perfect game, he still handles a little bit like a tank (possibly a throwback to what he was originally designed as?) and there were times I thought I would start breathing fire when I’d charge at an enemy only to veer just slightly to the left or right and miss them, again, and again… and again. We can probably clock this down to my skill level to some degree and being perfectly honest, having the handling remain true to the original just adds to the nostalgia that emanates continuously from the game.
Spyro is a wonderful jaunt down memory lane for those of us lucky enough to get to play the original, and for people who missed out, it stands as a fantastic example of how much fun you can have playing games, even if they don’t have all the trappings of a AAA title. I take my hat off to Toys for Bob, they’ve managed to rebuild a game from the ground up, while still having it feel exactly the same. Spyro is good old-fashioned fun. It doesn’t have a 60-hour campaign or almost real graphics, you don’t get to make earth shattering decisions that see characters you love die in long and painful ways. Instead, you get to charge your way through levels, beating up the bad guys with relative ease and stealing all their wonderful gems, and really, what more could you want from a game?