Time for Week 2 of this new feature, where Ashley Harrison and I talk over the big topic of the week. We’re rather excited this time, as a new Kotaku story claims that we will be getting a Spyro Trilogy (the PS1 games) remake for PlayStation 4 this year. We explain more specifics in the conversation, so, well, let’s get into it!
William Robinson: It’s Week 2 and we’ve already got one of the best stories I can think to talk about – according to Laura Kate Dale, reliable leaker over at Kotaku, a Spyro PS1 Trilogy remake is coming this year, in the vein of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy! Those Spyro titles are some of my favourite childhood games, so I’m incredibly excited about this. Do you think we can believe this as a legit story, given the track record of both writer and publication?
Ashley Harrison: I think we can totally believe it as legit. It’s not like it’s a massive surprise to me, seeing how well Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy sold – it was only a matter of time before Activision commissioned the Spyro remaster, in my opinion.
WR: Yeah, I thought it would happen – I mean, they’re better games, so it makes sense – but I didn’t think it’d be this quick. Apparently we’ll have an announcement next month and a Q3 launch, which is a snappy turnaround. Are you thinking September, the 20th Anniversary of Spyro, is likely as a release month?
AH: I’m expecting it to be a September release, yeah. Going by Wikipedia, there isn’t a single game release slated to happen (yet) in September, so it’d be a perfect month to release it if it stays like that. I’m going to have to disagree with the Spyro games being better than the Crash games though, sorry.
WR: That’s fighting talk. I don’t see any dragons riding skateboards in Crash Bandicoot, so your argument is dismissed. For me, Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (the subtitle was Ripto’s Rage in North America) is the best, with Spyro: Year of the Dragon (the third entry) close behind. The first game, Spyro the Dragon, is naturally a bit rougher around the edges; hopefully, we get some updates and refinements, like Crash did.
AH: Yeah, but we have rideable tigers and polar bears in the Crash series, so… I’m torn constantly between Spyro 2 and Year of the Dragon being my favourite Spyro game; you could ask me every day of the week and I’d give you a different answer each time. Spyro the Dragon definitely needs some improvements in the vein of the Crash remaster. The lack of simple things from the later 2 games in the original trilogy such as hovering need to be implemented if you ask me.
WR: Mainly, I’m just happy with those games being available on my PS4 with a new lick of paint, and, of course, those sweet, sweet Trophies. Are there any parts you’re particularly looking forward to playing again?
AH: For me, it’ll be seeing Glimmer in HD for the first time. Spyro 2 was the first game I played from the original trilogy, so Glimmer holds a special place in my heart. Other than that, Breeze Harbour is a personal favourite level of mine, so it’ll be great to see that again. What about you?
WR: There’s so many classic levels and hub worlds. I like how there were secrets in said hub worlds, an element of 3D platformers that seems to have been forgotten in the years since. Beyond that it’s seeing all those awesome characters again (see: Sgt. Byrd & Sheila the Kangaroo) and, of course, the skateboarding segments.
AH: Oh man, the skating is gonna be so hype. I spent WAY too much time trying to get as high a score as possible when I was younger, and I just know I’m gonna do the exact same for this. I hope they implement an online leaderboard or something for the minigames in all 3 games, so I can brag about just how much better I am at them than you.
WR: Woahhhh. I wasn’t called The Spyro Master for nothing as a kid (yes, that’s a true story, and yes, it’s incredibly dorky). But I did 100% those games, and I am very much looking forward to doing it again. On a tangent, have you played the Crash remake, and do you think they will they keep things like the Squid Skateboard cheat codes in a Spyro remake?
AH: I bought the Crash remake as soon as it was available to pre-order on Amazon, they’re 3 of my favourite games from my childhood so no way was I missing out on them. I do hope they keep all of the cheat codes in the games, not just squid skatebaording. Big Head mode + Pink Spyro was hilarious to me as a kid, so I hope I can do it again in the remake.
WR: Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but could these nostalgic remakes be leading to something more? Between these, Yooka-Laylee and the more 64/Sunshine-esque Super Mario Odyssey, the 3D platformer with a bespoke hub world may be coming back into fashion. At what point do we start getting new entries in these series? Do you expect a new Crash?
AH: I expect a new Crash game, given a recent report that mentioned a new one coming in 2019 as part of Activision’s 5 year plan for Crash. Whether I want it or not though is a different question. We’ve seen multiple developers make their own spin on Crash, but none of them lived up to the feel of the original trilogy. Whilst Vicarious Visions did a good job on the one part of N. Sane Trilogy they made themselves from scratch, I’m just not sure if it’d be possible to capture that Crash Bandicoot essence again. I don’t expect a new Spyro game at all though, sadly.
WR: You think this is more just a microcosm of people taking advantage of bringing back these beloved games, more than a change in terms of the genres we’re getting, then?
AH: Absolutely. It’s been proven time and time again in multiple industries, that if there’s one thing that sells, it’s nostalgia. And whilst that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in its own right, I just don’t see the 3D platformer making its way back into the mainstream, sadly.
WR: Hey, as long as it stops Spyro being turned into some horrific alternate reality version of himself in Skylanders, I’m fine with that. Any other series you can see getting this treatment? You may judge me, but honestly, Gex gets my vote.
AH: Jak and Daxter. Tell me you don’t want it.
WR: I’ve… never properly played them. *Hides*
AH: Dammit, Will. I believe that The Precursor Legacy has just been released on PS4 as a PS2 on PS4 Classic, so get on it. Anyway, going back to Spyro, if there’s one thing that I want them to keep in for this rumoured remake, it’s the glitches.
AH: Vicarious Visions seemed fine to leave in some of the more well known Crash glitches, and add a certain… hilarity to them, shall we say? That makes me hopeful they’ll leave in some of the Spyro ones too. Being able to finish the whole of Spyro 2 only collecting one Talisman and beating all 3 bosses is super fun.
WR: I think I missed out on this stuff! My playthroughs tended to be pretty glitch-free, but this sounds like some interesting stuff – especially for those already familiar with the game, like myself. Glitches and, er, dodgy moments are part of the PS1 aesthetic, y’know?
AH: If you ever get the chance, watch a speedrun of the game [we’ve embedded one below -William], it’s so much fun. Insomniac left a ton of non-solid textures in the game, as well as the ability to “double-jump” by charging whilst at the top of a jump, which breaks the game so much.
WR: I may have to do that! Talking of aesthetics, I think the visual style of Spyro can translate really well. Even now, the bright colours and clean polygons have aged better than most games from that time, which only makes me more excited to be able to enjoy that world in HD. Honestly, there isn’t much gameplay wise they need to change for me – perhaps some camera refinement? What about you?
AH: I’m totally with you on the camera refinement there, it wasn’t the best whatsoever on PS1. I’d also like to see the first person aiming improved for this release, too. It was way too loose, so this is a great opportunity to fix that.
WR: I’m sure we could talk all day about the details of Spyro – and I’m sure we will in the future – but until we get more info it might be best to leave it there for now. Suffice to say, I’m incredibly excited – this is now my most anticipated game (at least until a Captain Toad Switch game gets announced). Any final thoughts on what you’d like from the return of Spyro?
AH: Bring on (supposedly) September!
WR: Well, Laura Kate Dale, you better not be playing us on this one, or we could look very silly. Either way, it’s good to dream. Until next week!
That’s the conversation for this week! If you have any feedback on the presentation of this new features, or even any topics you’d like us to cover, you can let us know in the comments. Alternatively, you can read the last Discussion, on Xbox Games Pass and the Netflix model.