A few days ago it was reported that a Spyro the Dragon trilogy remaster is currently in the works over at Activision. This was great news for fans of the original, but no big surprise considering there was a Spyro the Dragon PS4 remaster hint in the recent Crash Bandicoot game!
This report was gathered from a number of sources that claim the new Spyro the Dragon PS4 remake will be announced in March 2018 and released in the third quarter in 2018.
With that in mind, I wanted to give my own perspective on five things that need to be fixed from the original Spyro game on PSOne, and five new suggested features that can help further improve and overall enhance these remasters to be on a par with the brilliant Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy.
So without further ado,here are the things I would like to see fixed, and the new features I’d like to see added to the Spyro remaster trilogy.
5 Fixes Needed For Spyro the Dragon PS4
1. Improved controls on the mechanics for side characters in Spyro Year of the Dragon
This is probably one of the most obvious nit picks that the majority of Spyro fans will probably agree with. When you took control of side characters in Year of the Dragon, such as Sheila and Agent 9 , the control mechanics felt a little bit off at times.
I feel that characters like Sheila and Agent 9 would really benefit from a more freeform style of movement. When you’re controlling them in the original game they don’t feel particularly responsive to movement, or when you try and make them jump.
So, how would you go about improving these controls to make them feel more tight and responsive? For one Sheila’s movement feels clunky and rough so to overcome this you could make Sheila’s movement like Spyro’s with the ability to turn quickly whilst also allowing the freedom to maintain more control when she airbones in the sky from her jumps.
A second improvement for the Spyro the Dragon PS4 remake would be with Sgt Bird. I remember playing Spyro A Hero’s Tail on the PlayStation 2 and his controls felt a lot smoother. I would overcome the issue of Sgt Bird’s controls by finding the perfect balance between both Spyro A Hero’s Tail and Year of the Dragon controls.
Agent 9 caused me many issues too, and I feel his combat and movement could be greatly improved with a few tweaks whilst also giving him a wider variety of weapons rather than just a pistol. So all the side characters would benefit from some major changes and tweaks to make them feel more effective and less rough around the edges.
2. Stay close to Spyro’s original design
The design aspects of the Spyro Remaster for PS4 are deeply important as it’s vital that the developer doesn’t stray too far away from the original design of Spyro. Something that I personally loved was how Vicarious Visions nailed Crash’s design in the N.Sane Trilogy and took so many cues from Naughty Dog.
They actually went directly to Naughty Dog to gather background info on what makes the Crash series so special to many. One of the things they took note of was getting help and assistance from Naughty Dog on the best possible way to keep Crash true to his original look and feel from the Naughty Dog games on the original PlayStation.
The Crash design they produced for the N.Sane Trilogy fits in very well as it fits in tone with all three games. Let’s hope the same level of care is paid to Spyro!
The best way I would go about making Spyro feel like his original design in remastered form would be to take cues from the boxart covers of the original games – the statue of Spyro’s original design being produced and made by First 4 figures, or trying to make him look like the original concept designs that you see being created and shopped around from many fans from the likes of DeviantArt.
You’ve also got to remember that when they are basing their design for the remasters they have to take into account that you have two different generations that grew up knowing Spyro. You have those who know him from the original classic games in the late 90’s and those who grew up knowing him for his role in Skylanders.
This will likely be at the back of the developer’s mind as they seek to find that balance for two different generations of gamers.
3. Implement an unlockable hover ability in the original Spyro the Dragon
One thing many people love about the second and third games in the series is the fact that you are given more control over your jumps with the implementation of the hover ability. Now wouldn’t it be great if this could somehow be implemented in the remastered version of the original Spyro game as many of us will agree that we found it difficult to reach and cling onto almost out of reach platforms.
This was hugely frustrating to many since it was a big annoyance when you kept falling off constantly. The original Spyro game would really benefit from having this ability as there are many times when I misplaced or mistimed my jumps incorrectly. Even though this may require the devs to undergo some serious changes in terms of level redesign in order for the hover ability to fit in tone with the original games, it would certainly be a welcoming helping hand to many people.
4. Spyro soundtrack remastered
The soundtrack of the new Spyro the Dragon PS4 remake is deeply important to many of us which is why I would like the devs to try and stay as close as possible to the original soundtracks for each and every level in the games. One thing that Vicarious Visions nailed with the music in the N.Sane trilogy was remastering all the music rather than tampering with the original feel by making remixes.
What I would personally say for the original music in the Spyro games is to follow the same path as they did with the N.Sane trilogy, whilst also adding a modern age edge to each of the soundtracks.
5. Implement the gem tracker ability across all games in the trilogy
Many will agree that there is nothing more frustrating and annoying than searching around the map for hours when you’re just a gem or two away off the total count from completing the level 100%. I had this happen a few times in a number of levels!
So, to overcome these frustrations how about they implement the gem tracking ability across all three games? It works so well in Spyro Year of the Dragon and saves the player so much time in having to tip the entire level upside down searching for where that last gem maybe.
I feel having this implemented into the original Spyro game would help fix that frustration that many people suffer because it would be less time consuming and helps benefit the player in saving time. I feel making it an unlockable ability would be a great way to make the original feel more on par with the other two games in the trilogy.
5 New Features To Enhance The Spyro The Dragon PS4 Remake
1.Add more cutscenes to the games that flesh out the story
One big new feature that I would love to see is the devs building around the story aspects of the games in this new Spyro Trilogy. You only have, for example, one interaction that Spyro performs during the fight against Gnasty Gnorc at the end where all he says is one simple sentence after defeating him.
This could be further enhanced with more engaging cutscenes with a deeper meaning to them. This could be achieved by showing us how Gnasty Gnorc took over the Dragon Kingdom with a more in depth intro or implementing a cutscene before you fight each boss in a similar vein to something like the N.Sane trilogy bosses have.
You could have some kind of cutscene where you have Gnasty Gnornc sending each of the bosses after you for every boss you encounter in the original Spyro. Then right after that you could have a cutscene leading up to the final fight against Gnasty Gnorc. I feel this would be great for many fans as it would make the story feel a lot more engaging with actual lengthy cutscenes taking place throughout the game. The same methods here could also be applied to the later Spyro games as well.
You could implement a cutscene right before you face the final boss in Spyro Year of the Dragon as she had very little interaction with the story. I feel giving her more of a deeper role in the game could further enhance her persona since The Sorceress was quite a memorable character. Even when she didn’t yell one insult towards Spyro, adding more interaction into one cutscene between the two would greatly improve the original story.
One last thing I’d like to add on this point, would be the implement an epilogue of some kind to the original Spyro the Dragon. I mean the second and third games had one so I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t add one in. It would certainly be a welcoming feature.
2. Implement the swimming mechanics and areas that were cut out of the original Spyro the Dragon release
This one seems like quite a long shot but I remember reading a few years back that Insomniac Games had originally planned to have swimming areas in the original Spyro the Dragon game, but they couldn’t implement them in time.
This meant that they had to block some active swimmable areas such as Beast Makers and Dreamweavers. Even though the devs would have to undergo some serious level design changes again to make this happen, it would certainly be nice to see that cut content added into the Spyro the Dragon PS4 remake.
3. Add skill points across all three games for every level
Another thing that I loved about the second and third games in the Spyro the Dragon trilogy was the implementation of skill points which gave players the opportunity to explore and enjoy the challenge of unlocking these skill points.
If you remember they were hidden across various levels where you have to perform certain tasks in order to be able to obtain them. Now I wonder how good it would be if the original Spyro the Dragon had the added function of skill points with every single level in the games having its own set of skill points ? Of course not every level was built and structured to work around having skill points, but I bet the developer could find some workaround that could make this possible.
It could be quite an eye opener feature for the Spyro remaster on PS4 as it could make way for interesting, new discoveries for fun features like easter eggs.
4. Add online leaderboards to time trials with some local multiplayer races against other players
This one is also another long shot but I could see there being a possible workaround into making these features become a reality in the Spyro remasters. Online leaderboards would be a great feature to add into the time trials you find across the Spyro games.
For one they make great competition by pitting you against your friends and other players, and secondly they provide an effective approach for great replay value for the player. This seems entirely possible and something I could see the developer implementing considering this added feature works perfectly well in line with the N.Sane Trilogy time trials.
I’d also like to see players being able to participate with one another in the races you find in Spyro Year of the Dragon. I think it could work well having up to seven other players racing against one another with the added bonus of those rocket power ups you find that you use to slow down the AI. Both of these features though would be a great addition to time trials and offer great replay value for the new Spyro PS4 remaster.
5. Make Hunter a playable character across all three games
This last point touches down on the great work Vicarious Visions did in making Coco a full playable character across all three games in the N.Sane trilogy. To make Hunter a playable character would be somewhat difficult and very time consuming to work, but I think this is entirely possible since they managed to make it work in the N.Sane Trilogy.
Adding in someone like Hunter or maybe even Cynder from the Legend of Spyro games would add plenty of replay value in the same way that N.Sane Trilogy players are still enjoying playing as Coco.
In terms of how Hunter plays and controls, the developer could perhaps take a leaf out of how he played in Spyro A Hero’s Tail. However, this could mean that the story plot would be a bit confusing since Hunter was never introduced until Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage. Nevertheless, they found a way to have Coco in the N.Sane trilogy playable in the original without it impacting the story in any way, so I don’t see why it can’t happen.
There are a few roadblocks though. The Crash Bandicoot games aren’t linear like the Spyro games and it would take them twice as long to do a complete development revamp in level design just so that the levels fit the mechanics of Hunter or Cynder, since the Spyro games are open-ended level designs.
What fixes, improvements and new features would you like to see added into a Spyro remastered trilogy ?
Let us know in the comments below.