The One Big Change The “Spyro” Remake Needs in Order To Make it Playable

Matthew Loffhagen
Insomniac Games
(Photo: Insomniac Games)

In case you haven’t heard, the original “Spyro” is getting a remake, just in time for its twentieth anniversary.

This follows in the wake of last year’s “Crash Bandicoot: The N-Sane Trilogy”, which delivered graphically updated versions of the original three games in the classic PlayStation series.

A “Spyro” remake was inevitable, considering that these two franchises, more than anything else, summed up the original generation PlayStation, providing the kinds of cute mascots that were necessary at the time in order to compete with the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and that other guy.

Source: Insomniac Games

With the “Crash” remake from 2017, fans weren’t entirely sold on the game’s mechanics. With a graphical polish came a weird rounding of the characters’ hit boxes, which certainly made them feel less blocky, but also made precision platforming that little bit more difficult.

It’s a difference that pretty much involves little more than splitting hairs, but considering the brutal nature of the gameplay, the “Crash” games really didn’t need to get even a little bit harder.

With “Spyro”, gameplay was never quite as much about precision. The main character’s flight powers make him a lot easier to control than Crash, and so being in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t so much of an issue.

Instead, this new remake will need one key addition in order to make it playable: someone needs to fix that atrocious camera.

If you played the PlayStation era “Spyro” games when they were new but haven’t returned to them since, it’s possible that you didn’t notice any problem. This was in the early days of 3D platforming, and nobody had quite figured out how to position or control a camera yet.

The first “Spyro” game features a weird angle camera that zooms in to a new, lower angle when the player is charging, for reasons that probably seemed completely reasonable at the time, but which now feel like the gaming equivalent of looking through a pair of binoculars when you’re trying a 100 meter sprint.

What this new game is a camera that’s pinned to the right analogue stick, like any game made after 2001. With this tiny addition, “Spyro” will be infinitely more playable for anyone who doesn’t entirely hate themselves.

If this change is made, gamers young and old are going to love the new, old “Spyro”. If the camera isn’t fixed, this is going to be an incredibly frustrating experience that will serve only to remind people why the PlayStation 4 doesn’t feature backwards compatibility going back to the dawn of the console series.