Spyro the Dragon

spyro the dragon box art playstation
8.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 8/10

The remastered version of the game is fun and good looking

Some frustrating levels, skill range varies greatly

Game Info

Game Name:  Spyro the Dragon

Developer(s):  Insomniac Games

Publisher(s):  Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform(s):  PS1/PS4/Xbox One

Genre(s):  Retro Gaming/Action/Adventure/Platformer

Release Date(s):  Original—September 9, 1998/Reignited—November 13, 2018

ESRB Rating:  E

spyro the dragon reignited screenshots gameplay

Got to free them all!

The Dragon Kingdom has come under attack by Gnasty Gnorc, and Gnasty Gnorc has turned all the dragons into crystal. Only Spryo avoided Gnasty Gnorc’s curse, and now it up to Spyro to free the other dragons, defeat Gnasty Gnorc, and retrieve the dragon treasures to save his kingdom!

Spyro the Dragon is a 3D platformer originally released for the PlayStation in 1998. The game was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment and became a best-selling game for the system. The game was remastered and released as part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy (also including Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon) for various platforms in 2018.

I didn’t have a PlayStation, and I was pretty rooted in Nintendo at the time. Nintendo released Super Mario 64, and Super Mario 64 at the time was the top notch of 3D gaming. I finally was able to play Spyro as part of the Reignited Trilogy (which is the version reviewed here) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

spyro the dragon flying level reignited gameplay screenshots

Flying will be fun…right? Or insanity driving anger raged filled…

I will admit that Super Mario 64 had more variety in its levels, but when cleaned up, the game’s lack of variety doesn’t affect it much. The game is a relatively quick play in the world of 20-30 hour games with probably about 8-10 hours if you are exploring the world relatively decently and 15 hours if you are going for competition. The puzzle solving is relatively easy and the game keeps moving as you rush through the levels.

The controls for the game are quite slick. Over the years the camera aspect of 3D games has improved and Spyro feels natural as he runs. There are times when the camera angle works against what you are trying to do (especially in flying levels and some of the extreme jumps and angles), but you can pick up the game easily and master the skills needed to finish it.

spyro the dragon end boss running gameplay screenshots reignited

Nothing is more fun than running around in circles for hours…literally.

Spyro the Dragon remastered version shows how much games have improved in the twenty years since the game’s original release. The original game’s scenery was pretty sparse (which was typical at the time), and the characters, other than Spyro, are rather underdeveloped. The new version is really clean, crisp, and beautiful. It also flows smoothly as Spyro glides and jumps from level to level with strong voice actors and sound…even if you played Spyro in 1998, it is worth seeking it out again.

Spyro the Dragon is one of those fun flashback games and a great game for younger gamers and older gamers who find games too complex now. A complaint would be that there is a large gap in skillset in some levels and you can whisk your way through one level but find yourself struggling on a flying level or a difficult jump for 100% competition which could become frustrating…not that I was swearing or anything as I failed to hit multiple runs or anything…nope, not me at all. Flame on, Spyro. Flame on! Spyro the Dragon was followed by Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! in 1999.

Related Links:

Spyro 2:  Ripto’s Rage!

Spyro 3:  Year of the Dragon

The Legend of Spyro:  Dawn of the Dragon

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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