I turn on Nintendo Switch and see, in the home, the icons of three great videogame characters: Mario, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. The me of the years 90 has a hard time believing it (especially thinking that besides them there are also Sonic and Rayman), yet it is really so: on the same console I played three of the most famous platform icons in history.
After the arrival of Crash N. Sane Trilogy on the hybrid console, in fact, with the usual delay to which we nintendars are accustomed has also arrived Spyro Reignited Trilogy. A brief presentation, given that the game is identical to the one already released on the other consoles but with a graphic downgrade obviously not unexpected: this collection includes the first three chapters of Spyro, which saw its fortune on the first PlayStation and then gradually lost quality until it disappeared over the years. Virtually the same fate as Crash Bandicoot.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy includes Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! e Spyro: Year of the Dragon and I must admit that played today, with a few more years on your shoulders and above all played in succession, it really makes the sense of evolution and growth of the purple dragon really good.
We begin with the first chapter that simply takes the name of the protagonist: Spyro the Dragon. Simplicity taken perfectly even from the gameplay. The game seems in all respects a demo, a tutorial that prepares for what will then be the next two chapters: it's definitely the aged chapter worse and that follows 90 throughout. In Spyro the Dragon all we have to do is save dragons, collect gems, burn and incinerate enemies and treasure chests, retrieve dragon eggs and so on for all the microworlds and microlevels that go on to follow, one after the other, without a real sense logical. A completely arcade game, which slams us in front of the eyes of the levels to be completed because we have to get to the final boss, Gnasty Gnorc.
Fortunately every world has a picture with a gameplay that varies slightly and in which our Spyro can fly with the purpose of crossing rings, lighting torches or toasting enemies: nothing striking but certainly useful to slightly vary the rhythm. However, the adventure remains very simplified, with the very limited possibilities offered by Spyro; there is no growth path and what we can do at the beginning of the adventure is what we can do when we see the percentage of 120% completion.
Then comes the second chapter, Spyro 2: Ripto's Edge! and here things get really fun. The experience gained at the time by Insomniac Games is completely tangible, with a game that can still be considered current. A basic story (obviously very simple and light) with cutscene, new characters introduced, a more convincing enemy, but above all an enrichment in the gameplay that makes the adventure much more fun to play.
First of all the worlds: no more microscopic with levels that are also small, but more intricate and explorable central hubs, with secrets and levels that in turn require a good deal of exploration and a sense of orientation. Each world then has an original population that gives us advice, jokes or simply gives that sense of life and life that is missing in the first chapter. Nothing that can be compared to the modern open world, let's be clear, we always talk about a 90 platform, but evolution is certainly evident. And just as the simplicity of level design was the mirror of Spyro's abilities, so in this Ripto's Edge! we have a more varied gameplay: the purple dragon can now swim, dive in bodies of water, climb and soar with a small "jump" at the end of a glide, participate in minigames that, despite a minor care in the controls, amuse and break a rhythm otherwise repetitive. A real breath of air for those who have completed the first Spyro the Dragon seeing themselves limited by certain choices (understandable for the time) that often led to error.
The sense of progress is also given by the acquisition of skills over time, often paying for a lurid character who will be enriched with our gems which, as in the first chapter, we must collect around the worlds and levels. In short, at the end of the adventure we are very different from how we started.
The climax and full maturity obviously comes with Spyro Year of the Dragon, what we can currently consider the maximum expression of the adventures of the purple dragon. All the goodness of the previous chapters has been improved, the worlds are even more complex and the level design taken care of, Spyro has by now mastered its abilities and moving in total freedom is a real pleasure for the player. The step forward made between the first and second chapters is not as clear as what is coming to the third, and all the refinements made, the small additions and improvements, the possibility of use different characters, make this Year of the Dragon a perfect game in this trilogy.
Until now I have talked about the various games individually, outlining what each one of them offers and underlining the sense of growth that the trilogy and the protagonist had. But what unites all three chapters of Spyro Reignited Trilogy is obviously the technical sector, what in the end is the first thing that catches your eye. I will not be here to make comparisons with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions, on the other hand it is obvious that this Nintendo Switch version is lower. What I want to convey is how this trilogy works on Switch and the answer is simple: a lot. The game is very colorful, soft, since the first chapter transports the player into a fairy tale: the work done by Toys for Bob is truly commendable. This does not exclude that something better could be done, especially in the dock: when you play on TV, in fact, performance seems to fall, with a resolution so much higher than the portable mode, but a frame rate that struggles to stay stable on 30fps, which does not preclude fun but is certainly annoying.
Different speech in portable mode, surplus of the only Nintendo Switch version. The resolution obviously goes down, but the good quality of the console screen and its small size make the game more colorful, less washed out and even more fluid, with 30fps almost always stable and only a few sporadic cases of drop in the most excited moments . A tip, which is almost an obligation if you want to play worthily: in the settings, select active camera in spite of the passive one, unless you prefer to adjust it manually after having cursed several times for the poor management of the frame.
If instead there is one thing that I really did not appreciate is the colonna sonora: not that this is bad to hear, indeed ... maybe it felt. From what I remembered (and with this trilogy I had the confirmation) the Spyro games have never shone for the soundtrack, nor have I ever whistled any tracks coming from a game of the spit-burning dragon. The experience was repeated by completing the Reignited Trilogy.
The dubbing in Italian is excellent, with expressive voices and always apt to the characters: nothing to do with the unforgettable, not for merits, original dubbing.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings another iconic 90 on Nintendo Switch and the result is more than excellent, with some technical reservations. When we talk about multi-platform titles, the question is rightly always the same: should we take it on Switch or on PS4 / Xbox One? The answer is as simple as it is obvious. If you want to play them at peak graphics performance then the choice falls on home consoles; if you want the opportunity to play them also in portable, then the choice remains only one.
Net of any hitch on the frame rate, Spyro Reignited Trilogy offers a complete and satisfying experience even on the Japanese hybrid console, with three unforgettable games that will make you experience the 90 years again, with a sense of growth for Spyro and its games as it happened with you over time.