We’re a few months away from the September 21st release of Spyro: Reignited Trilogy; and yet, we’ve thus far only seen footage from the Spyro the Dragon portion of the game. That is… until yesterday afternoon! Between getting our first look at concept art of the second game’s protagonist (Ripto) last week and San Diego Comic Con next week, we knew something would be coming soon. And judging by the new gameplay, that something is everything!!
I’m a huge Spyro fan, but the second game, Ripto’s Rage, was my favorite. In fact, I actually place it in my top 3 Favorite games of all time. I’ve beat it more times than I can count and even listen to its soundtrack when I need to focus – cause I’m weird like that. So before I start babbling on and on about this gameplay footage from Playstation Underground, watch it for yourself. And then join me afterwards down below for analysis.
Okay, first thing first. LOOK AT THOSE GRAPHICS! Even though there’s a strong chance this still isn’t final gameplay, this does show gameplay that is much further along than what we were seeing for the Spyro: The Dragon segment of the game. The detailing is spectacular and it looks like a lot of the concerns fans originally had with Spyro’s movements have been fixed. Then again, maybe it’s just the nature of Ripto’s Rage that allows this demo the chance to really shine.
You see, the reason why I and many other gamers keep Ripto’s Rage in such high regards is because it’s truly the pinnacle of the Spyro trilogy. From countless mini games to each level having comedic intros/outros, this was the game that gave the series character – both literally and figuratively. In this footage we see Spyro licking his claws in boredom, the foremen hitting their heads with hammers and cursed idols chasing helpless villagers. This was all a part of the original game and the developers – Toys for Bob – have gone above and beyond the call of duty to recreate all of this. As I mentioned in my Top 3 Reasons To Be Excited For The Spyro: Reignited Trilogy article , Toys For Bob actually created a program that mapped out every existing asset in the original Spyro games. This is how they are able to mirror the original game’s layout and characters mannerisms/ paths so well.
Though looking closer at this gameplay, we see a lot of places where they added their own flare. For example, look at the giant fish head. He has torches in his eyes as well as a more toothy grin. Or take a look at the Cursed Idols. Their new forms capture all the fury and (potential) silliness of the originals, but there’s actually some new stuff too. For example, the Shield Idols no longer wield a simple round iron shield, but rather the lid of a coal barbecue. Whoever made that style choice at Toys for Bob deserves a raise, because that was a brilliant liberty to take when designing a bunch of kebab / marshmallow-wielding idols.
Additionally, take a look at the location itself. The simple overgrown stone temple of the original has swerved hard into the Mayan look. They didn’t just give this game a fresh coat of paint, but actually went hard core with all the background designs.
The Still Unknown – Music:
Since this was a Playstation Underground segment – with a lot of discussion going on – we couldn’t get a decent listen to the music. This is perhaps one of my biggest loves from the original game and I’m curious to hear how they redo it – if they touch it at all. So I’ll hold off on this commentary; but if it’s anything like eluukkanen’s remastered version, I’ll be perfectly content. New yet referential.
The (Few) Criticisms:
Finally, there are a few things I can point out that while not terrible, do still raise a concern. For starters, the NPC character models are overall spectacular. Zoe has never looked so good and the foremen do look nice as well. That being said though, I do miss the original cutesy look of the foremen. It’s not as drastic a change as we saw with the Gnorcs in the first game, but there’s still something off. A poster on 4chan made their own rendering of how the Foreman should look and that’s when realized what was off: the eyes. The small beady eyes give them a air of cute muppet and if we have this complaint now, it’ll certainly stick around for later levels like Colossus Zephyr. Additionally, there’s some other weird choices, such as how the Orbs look flat and no longer bounce.
That being said, even these complaints are a stretch. As I said in the music section, the game should strive to be “new yet referential”; and I realize that part of the reason I love Spyro the Dragon is the simplistic nostalgia of it. It’s the same reason why I prefer Pokemon Silver over Pokemon Soul Silver. Ultimately, Spyro: Reignited Trilogy nails it where it matters! And hey, there’s still time for things to get changed. Again, this isn’t necessarily the final look of the game; but even if it is: I’m okay with it.
Overall this game looks beautiful and if I ever want to relive the simplicity of the original…. I can just go play the original. If you pick up this game, it’s to experience a childhood classic with some Breath of the Wild-level graphics. And that is all the reason I need to pre-order the hell out of it.
Joe primarily covers video games news (i.e.: Pokemon, Spyro & Destiny) as well as the occasional ‘Theory Thursday’ pieces. Before writing for FanFest, Joe was the Creator & Editor of TheInsightfulPanda.com. He is also an illustrator and is currently working on Season 3 of his not-for-profit, fan-art crossover series PokéRangers on Instagram.