I did not grow up with any Nintendo systems (except a Gameboy), I was purely a Sony/Playstation young child. I missed out on games like Ocarina of Time or Mario 64, but I found solace in Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. I’ll save Crash Bandicoot for another time, today I want to talk about Spyro.
A quick summary: Spyro was released in 1998, developed by Insomniac games, and is a platformer that follows a little purple dragon on his adventures to release elder dragons trapped in stone by a villain named Gnasty Gnorc. The reason why the game appealed to me when I was younger was because of the simple style and uncomplicated control scheme. It appeals to me now because I am a completionist, and the game’s easy to understand objectives (release all dragons, collect all gems) are simple enough to be relaxing and not frustrating.
My personal opinion of this game is that it is a classic; a game with a simple objective that shines due to its environments. There are several different unique and themed “realms” that the player can travel to that all have a different yet cohesive style. The level designs are wonderful, sometimes involving a bit of strategy to figure out how to reach a stone dragon or a treasure chest. One of my favorite things about Spyro is the music, which was composed by former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. The only frustrating thing about the game are the at times god-awful camera angles, which can sometimes make jumps or glides to a distant platform overly difficult. Still, this game remains one of my favorites and I still pop it in to start a new game every couple of years, promising myself that THIS will be the time that I complete it 100%.
I’ve tried to play the newer Spyro games, but they just don’t do it for me like the original Spyro trilogy. Enter the Dragon, for the PS2 or Gameboy, lagged so hard that it was basically unplayable. Other than that, the games have just lost their original flavor, what made them so great to begin with. Perhaps that’s why I’m so nostalgic for this game; the recent incarnations have been so poor.
I’m sure most of you have played this game already, since it was a core game and core platformer for the Playstation system when it was released. If you haven’t played this game, or if you want to re-play it and reminisce (or try to get everything that a younger you might have passed by) it’s available on the PSN for Vita, PSP, and PS3 for $5.99.