Since we’ve been on the topic of nostalgia, let’s fire up a soundtrack or two and dive into an exciting topic over the past year. Crash Bandicoot had a remake released in June 2017 which remastered the first 3 games in the series. Reception was relatively positive but let’s be honest. We were ready for that swift kick in the nostalgia. Sales reflected as such since the game dethroned Horizon Zero Dawn for the best-selling exclusive launch of the year. After it’s handful of awards Crash has now slowly started to settle into silence, allowing for other rumors and whispers to make their way to the surface. From the echoes of these whispers comes… Spyro.
Looking mighty sharp there, buddy.
Don’t get me started on Spyro. While I absolutely loved playing through Crash as a child, Spyro was where my heart was. It was the game that I would load up and play while my grandmother babysat me until my mom got home. It was the game i’d play when i’d have to come inside once the sun set. It was the game I bored my family talking about constantly. You get the idea.
What is it about remakes that sets the crowd abuzz? For people like me, it is the nostalgia factor. I have so many fond memories of the Spyro series, especially the third installment. Spyro: Year of the Dragon was the first, and only, game I have ever 100% completed. I do not normally enjoy hunting for every nook and cranny of a game to get all of the achievements and pieces of loot. But I tell you what, I searched every damn corner of that game and got every gem (15,000 total), 149 eggs, the portal to Midnight Mountain open for the Super Bonus Round for the 150th egg, and the remaining treasure there. It is my crowning achievement.
For others, it is the excitement of passing their childhood on to others. While I do not have any children of my own, two of my good friends have a child together and have shared with me their son’s enthusiasm for the Crash Bandicoot remakes. Their PS4 is playing Crash Bandicoot 90% of the time I see their account online. Having something like video games, and the experiences that come along with them, to pass down to a child is probably a powerful thing if that is something they enjoy. In my experience i’ve yet to meet many children that don’t enjoy some sort of video game. It’s another point of connection.
At what point are remakes good? I turned up my nose to Skylanders but I did give The Legend of Spyro ‘reboot’ a try. The problem with that series was that:
- The history was completely erased. They had nothing to do with previous games. Some argue that it is an Alternate Universe, while others are content with it just being a brand new remake.
- They had potential, but never went anywhere. The gameplay was horrifically repetitive.
- Difficulty of the controls and linear map control made for the second and beyond games troublesome. While the addition of new powers was a nice boon, there wasn’t an easy way to convey it gameplay wise.
After the 2009-2014 era of low-quality remakes or money-grabbing excuses, consumers made it clear they wanted quality over quantity. Why have twelve Crash Bandicoot racing games when you can up the graphics quality of the originals and re-release? I’d rather have 1 good Crash/Spyro game versus 12 low-quality story/gameplay/same-game installments. Consumers felt the same way and voted with their money. Crash and Spyro games tapered off until the release of Skylanders (arguably another money-grabbing tool and not considered a remake for the sake of this article.) They were geared towards children who wanted more ‘toys’ and a video game to go along with it. They didn’t need to know anything about Spyro. He’s a dragon. Kids love dragons.
Instead of having people like me whining and complaining on the declining quality of video games, Companies are starting to realize that these remakes are fool-proof. To whine and complain about the games is to whine and complain about the very pillar you once stood on to criticize the later installments. They are giving us exactly what we want. In 1997, when Year of the Dragon was released, the graphics were the coolest thing I had ever seen. With the remakes, we get the chance to experience that wonder once again. Or, for some, pass it on to children or loved ones. There may only be a margin of improvement given the game style, but even when playing the Crash remakes it’s noticeable. It will be too for Spyro.
And you can bet your ass that I will 100% it once more since Target goofed and possibly gave us the name and time of the remakes. “Spyro Treasure Trilogy” will be an automatic buy for me. My body is ready.