Decidedly, the generation of current consoles continues to host old platform games brought up to date. After strong titles such as Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy , or the latest Ratchet & Clank , it's time for Spyro the little dragon to show off the tip of his muzzle.
Yes, it's still a game of Insomniac Games that is in the spotlight, and it's Toys for Bob - who had already worked on the license with the Skylanders - who took care of the development of what is a real remake, not a simple remastering. The least we can say is that the work did not have to be easy for this compilation proposing the first three episodes released on PlaySttaion in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
In the country of the dragons ...
One thing to know about the remake that interests us today is that the source code of the original trilogy was lost ... A work as meticulous as titanic had to be organized: replay at three original games to draw inspiration from the sets and creatures that populate them to recreate them integrally, in the most faithful way possible. But it was also necessary to rework all the original music, as well as the dubbing, by listening to the basic material, which was at the time composed by Stewart Copeland, the former drummer of The Police ! Moreover, the latter still participates today, to a lesser extent, and the final result is quite impressive when compared to the original game. At least artistically speaking, since the game, its gameplay and its levels remain globally identical: we are not in front of a complete overhaul to the Resident Evil "Rebirth". If we regret this state of affairs, in the end, we remain ultra nostalgic of the PS1 version and we still recognize that the work of recreation is well done.
In any case, this change comes with a slightly different design, where the angular 3D models of the time, which appealed to our magical imagination 20 years ago, now seem straight out of an animated film Pixar , with a decidedly more humorous design. Spyro now has a much more playful and expressive face, the dragons have more personality and more elaborate costumes, just like the monsters, who gain in finesse and details. If we can say that the chosen design is not more mature today, now that the fans have grown up well (imagine a Spyro with a universe at the Last Guardian!), in the end we say that it fits well with the initial spirit, and that we can play there not only to remind us some good memories, but also to introduce our dear little darlings to the joys of gaming of yesteryear , with a game on which Mom and Dad have spent many hours on their way home from school (but after doing their homework, of course!).
Light the fire
This graphic restoration work is also accompanied by a whole revision of the sound part. And again, we are not caught off guard: the melodies of yesteryear come back in the head as fast as lightning. As for dubbing, the choice of voices and the acting of the French version are more than convincing, with always a good dose of humor and dialogues faithful to those of 1998/1999/2000. The narration remains quite similar, with some short cutscenes, again redone, but also some text panels that appear here and there. The result is quite confusing, because we realize pretty quickly that these cinematics are not real time but recorded, with a definition lower than the rest of the game phases ... Original spyro .
Level playability, and even level design , as indicated above, we stay on something almost identical to the original formula. Indeed, we are still on a game of old-fashioned 3D platform, with a lot of freedom, where we will be able to go poking everywhere, since we are let loose in a kind of central hub to the Super Mario 64 which will allow access to a whole tangle of levels, as the progression progresses. It is in these closed arenas that we will spend most of our time, browsing in every nook and cranny. We must always go on the dragons track to save, just to learn the basics of playability, but also many treasure to find, with jewels by thousands and these pesky egg thieves to run in the levels, and finally, many fights against familiar opponents, funny and varied enough. The race to 100% is taking, and we are hardly surprised to fall back into the addiction that represents the collection of all these objects, with even sometimes a little frustration when we miss the right path for 15 minutes without the to have, while we only have a handful of jewels to pick up! The lifetime to reach the 120% in one of the games of the compilation should therefore take you a lot of time, and they are three to propose more or less a substantially identical formula, a few minor adjustments of gameplay near (" Oh, he can swim! ").
Hours of exploration in perspective.
Psycho the Dragon
Let's talk about the gameplay, because if there is one aspect of this remake that will be quite frustrating, it is the relative fidelity of the orders to those of origin ... No worries, one finds again well the feeling of 20 years ago: do not go too fast, adjust your camera before attempting a jump, and be careful not to make false movements with the direction, on pain of getting into ends decor or fall from the platform on which we are instead of landing on the opposite side ... Yet the game finally benefits from the modern convenience of rotating the camera with a second stick.
The other point a little negative: the technique. If you have already given our opinion on the design, the purely graphic aspect is nothing transcendent compared to the latest blockbusters of our favorite consoles. So yes, it is sure that the design remains attractive and that compared to the PS1 version, the leap forward is prodigious, but it is not impressive so far. It is not the fact of being able to burn the vegetation that will dazzle us, and we are rather disappointed by the numerous and frequent framerate falls.but also by graphics that are clearly below current standards. With a little bad faith, we could even say that the game could probably have turned on the previous generation of consoles, and we would see it also, for example, very well run on Switch. This is quite surprising, because the game in dematerialized version weighs not less than 70 go on PS4! Moreover, in this regard, note that if you buy the box version, only the first game will be present on the disk, and it will be necessary to download the other two the question arises less, but in the two cases, pay attention to the small connections internet ... You will have understood, in spite of evident qualities, this remake of the trilogy Spyro original remains not less tainted with a few small annoying flaws.
All in all a solid 7.5 out of 10