Ever since I was 14, I’ve been waiting for the big comeback of two of my favourite video game characters: Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Both of them were huge in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, and both of them used to be Playstation-exclusives. I grew up with both of them, but for now, I’d like to deal with Spyro first, since I have a lot to say on this matter.
Last month, you may have heard that Sony has expressed some interest in bringing back the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot franchises, but they acknowledged that it might be difficult, since Sony no longer owns the license to those franchises. The last real Spyro game, in my eyes, was The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. Activision did bring Spyro back in 2011, but only in the form of the tacky, money-grubbing Skylanders series, and in Skylanders, Spyro just got less important as the series progressed, so to count Skylanders as a Spyro game is simply ludicrous.
Anyway, I think Spyro is due for a comeback, and I think I know how it should be done. First, I think it shouldn’t follow the Skylanders approach. What I want is a mixture of the classic Spyro games and the Legend of Spyro games. What I mean is that I’d like a game that incorporates both the 3D platforming gameplay of the classic Spyro the Dragon and the action-oriented gameplay of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (both of them happen to be two of my favourite Spyro games).
The original Spyro trilogy (which came out exclusively for the PS1) had hub worlds which contained a certain number of gates each. Each gate took you to a realm in which you could explore and complete objectives, while The Legend of Spyro had a set of linear levels. In the next Spyro game, I would prefer the classic Spyro approach, since I think a more linear approach would ultimately be less satisfying. Besides, there’s so much that can be done in a hub. I would actually be interested in bringing back the egg thieves, so I can kick their asses.
As for the combat, Spyro would have a health bar and a magic bar, as opposed to Sparx being used to measure your health in the older games. Like in the Legend of Spyro games, my ideal Spyro game would have Spyro use his claws for physical attacks in addition to being able to charge at enemies, and using his breath attacks. He would be able to use the elements of fire, electricity, ice, and earth as he would have been able to in the Legend of Spyro trilogy, along with being able to use secondary magic attacks, like in the Legend of Spyro. I have the following moves in mind.
- For the element of fire, the primary attack should be the classic fire breath, and the secondary attack should be the Comet Dash from The Eternal Night.
- For the element of electricity, the primary attack should be the Electric Stream from A New Beginning, and the secondary attack should be the Electric Spin attack from The Eternal Night.
- For the element of ice, the primary attack should be the Ice Stream from A New Beginning, and the secondary attack should be the Ice Tail attack from The Eternal Night.
- For the element of earth, the primary attack should be the Earth Flail from The Eternal Night, and the secondary attack should be the Armoured Boulder from Dawn of the Dragon.
Also, I would have the level-up system return, where you collect blue gems, then go into the “Upgrade” menu and spend the energy collected from the blue gems to upgrade the element of your choice. Finally, if there’s going to be a new Spyro game, then there’s one thing I think they should definitely bring back if they don’t bring anything else. I’m talking about Dawn of the Dragon’s free-flight feature.
In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, which in my opinion is the most advanced Spyro game to date, you could fly any time you want for as long as you want, where in all previous Spyro games, you could only glide. If Spyro ever does get brought back, then I think the next Spyro game has to have the free-flight feature, otherwise it’s basically just a downgrade from a technically superior game.
Before I finish this post, let me give you an idea on what plot I would write. There are six kingdoms (represented by hub worlds), each one home to its own race. I have ideas for the following.
- Cheetahs (based on Hunter’s tribe from Dawn of the Dragon)
- Fishmen (an original idea)
- Moles (from The Legend of Spyro trilogy)
- Apes (loosely based on The Legend of Spyro trilogy)
In this story, the main villain (you could suggest Ripto, but it could be anyone) wants to take control over all six kingdoms from his lofty castle (this would be the seventh and final hub world), and has imprisoned the six kings of the above-mentioned kingdoms, and it’s up to Spyro to free the kings and stop the villain.
Maybe next month I’ll talk about Crash Bandicoot, but today, I just wanted to focus on Spyro, since I’ve been meaning to express my idea for what a new Spyro game should be since my high school years.
I hope that someone from Sony or Activision is reading this post right now. If I ever get to write that game, that’d be the greatest moment of my life, and if that game turns out to be a hit, then that’d be an awesome start for my career. Alas, I can only dream.