Spyro The Dragon was one of my childhood treasures. I fully completed Year of the Dragon more times than I could count as a kid, and it remains one of my all time favourite games. When Spyro Reignited Trilogy was released last year, I was happy to buy a PlayStation 4 for it, with the Switch being my only modern console at the time. And I wasn’t disappointed; the remakes are a treasure to behold, and a set of games I couldn’t recommend enough to fans both new and old.
Fast forward to the present, and the Reignited Trilogy has finally been brought to Switch! With me having played the remakes on PlayStation already, I was very intrigued as to how it measures up on Switch.
And ultimately that depends on how you plan to play it.
I initially booted up the Switch edition in docked mode. I have a 4k TV because of my PlayStation 4, and immediately I could tell that the 1080p Switch Spyro was not going to look great on it. I loaded into the third game, since its the one I know inside out. Upon gaining control in the first home world, I began moving Spyro around, and discovered artefacts around anything that moved – for example, moving the camera around a static Spyro would make those artefacts appear around his and Sparx’s bodies. It was something that became distracting to move and fly around with. Things are always blurry in the distance as well, more than likely in an attempt to use those resources elsewhere.
In terms of gameplay in docked mode, it feels mixed. I didn’t have to check the Switch controls at all – it was very intuitive for me to pick up straight away. For the most part everything seems fine with the exception of a few odd bugs that will hopefully be ironed out in future patches. Spyro also lags in the loading screens, although this is a minor thing since it doesn’t affect gameplay.
After messing around for a while in docked mode, I switched to handheld, and I could immediately see and feel the difference.
Everything is optimised really well in handheld. It could just be the difference of my TV not trying to upscale everything, but I really enjoyed playing it in this format. Gameplay felt smooth and frame rate stayed consistent (except during loading screens) and it was honestly a joy to play. Load times between worlds felt about the same as the PlayStation version and, on the Switch’s smaller screen, everything looked sharp.
The only negative was the cutscenes being affected by some dithering due to compression, but that’s to be expected on Switch, and didn’t dampen the overall experience. I also really enjoyed using the Joy-Cons as controllers both in docked and handheld mode, arguably more so than the DualShock 4. Something about the right joystick being directly below the buttons made controlling the camera a breeze which is a great in a game that offers you complete control over it like Spyro does.
If you are planning to play Spyro on the go, I couldn’t recommend the Switch version enough. But if you plan to play it on a 4K TV, then you’re better off with the PS4/Xbox version if that’s available to you. Regardless though, Reignited Trilogy is a wonderful set of games that remain true to their source material. No matter how you choose to play it, you’ll quickly get lost in the characters and their worlds. It’s all down to how you think you’ll most enjoy it!