Despite that, when my kids were little, Spryo was something of a fixture in our household.
My youngest daughter was never big into games, but the Spyro series (and, later, Kameo: Elements of Power) were her games. Consequently, the splashback nostalgia she still radiates has given me a sort of latent sentimentality towards the Spyro series.
She's 22 now, but even asked for a second-hand PS1 and a copy of Spyro for Christmas last year. Naturally, I was happy to oblige, given that she usually just wants crystals, and dreamcatchers, and all that shit. Though I have noticed that they now do a Spryro incense burner, which is a surprising confluence of things she's into.
Actually, for £29.99 they can fuck off. She can have socks.
The Reignited Trilogy contains the first three Spyro games (although if you buy it on disc, most of the levels on the latter two will need to be downloaded, presumably because the publisher hates us).
Broadly, they get better as they go along - with the third in the trilogy, Year of the Dragon, mixing things up with additional playable characters and more complex levels. In terms of gameplay, it's easily the best of the three, with the middle portion of the trilogy feeling little more than an extension of its predecessor.
To wit: a fairly rote platforming collect 'em up, in which Spyro defeates his enemies by setting them on fire with his combustible phlegm, or by charging into them brow-first. T
The big innovation of the series was, of course, Spyro's ability to glide between platforms, which succeeds in giving the games their one real USP. Also: he sometimes rode around on a skateboard, which seemed entirely unnecessary for a character who could run at high-speed and fly for short distances. But, hey, skateboards are cool - right, kids?
The first thing to say about this remaster is how lovely it looks. The visuals have been rebuilt from the ground up, and they've done a brilliant job. Gone are the muted colours of the originals, replaced with high-contrast hues, and some gorgeous character work. Similarly, Stewart "Policeman" Copeland's iconic score has been beefed up considerably, though fans of the original will be pleased to hear you can switch between his version and the new one.
What the graphics and music can't disguise, unfortunately, is that beneath the 2018 gloss these are the same games they always were. Consequently, the camera can be a pain, controlling Spyro isn't always easy, and navigating levels can be frustratingly - and this is the only way I can think to describe it - "quirky".
Remaking a classic game is a delicate balance; change too much and you alienate fans of the originals. Keep it classic and you expose all those original flaws. There have been small tweaks here and there to how Spyro plays, but you'd be hard-pressed to be able to spot them.
Ultimately, there's no escaping that these are very simple games by modern standards, linear and lacking much in the way of challenge.
Commendably, the Reignited Trilogy has been pieced together with deep respect for the original, and its bafflingly passionate fanbase. This isn't Phil Spector slapping an orchestra over the top of The Long And Winding Road while Paul McCartney was off having a poo; the new graphics are merely an extra layer of production gloss on the original games.
Whether they hold up today is irrelevant in a way, because this anthology is obviously aimed primarily at those who've retained a fondness from the original releases.
For my money, Spyro - once you got past the notion that 3D platforms were then still a novelty - was always the CBeebies Mario 64. That's not the dismissal you might at first assume; Mario 64 could be overwhelming and difficult, and offering an entry-level 3D platformer (even on as unlikely a platform as the too-cool-for-school PlayStation) has its worth, and there's no disguising that Spyro is an icon to a certain generation of PlayStation owners.
But then, so does the Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone.
What is interesting is that, at the time, I was always much more of a fan of Crash Bandicoot - Spyro's sort-of-stablemate, and the other iconic PlayStation anthropomorph. Yet playing the recent N-Sane Trilogy revealed that the Crash games haven't aged all that well. Spyro, for all its simplicity and repetition, isn't perfect, but the benefit of 20-years hindsight suggests they're the better games.
But they don't 'alf "drag-on"... LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Sigh.
SCORE: 293 °C OUT OF 500 °C