I just watched the trailer to the next spin-off game to tarnish the Spyro brand, and although I'm sure it'll suck. I'll probably end up playing it, as Spyro was one of the first characters that I got attached to in gaming, and has always been there throughout a great part of my gaming life.
And with it looking like it's built on some kind of "Eye of Judgment" style augmented reality gimmick (according to the official website trailer). It looks to me as if Activision had this AR idea and at the las minute slapped Spyro on it, in the hopes that will sell it.
Like how Rare renamed Dinasaur Planet to Starfox Adventire's and shoehorned in a couple of Starfox models, and finally released it as a Starfox game. When anyone who actually played it can plainly tell it was never intended to be a Starfox game.
Anyway, the release of this new game go me thinking.
There's an epic trilogy of games in the Spyro franchise that a lot of gamers don't know.
Mainly because of the staggered and split releases of them.
And these games are the "Legend of Spyro" games.
There are 3 in total, in order being: "A New Begining", The Eternal Night and finaly "Dawn of the Dragon".
As far as I can tell this is a self contained trilogy, only borrowing elements of the main franchise to support the characters and story, and not relying on gamers knowing the Spyro games before it to understand the trillogy.
Now, the biggest problem with these games is the releases, and the formats they were released on.
Given that it is a trilogy, and the two sequels ton't require, but do rely on the game that came before them respectively, to give a background. The only obvious exception being the first one in the trilogy, as that sets up the story for the next two.
Then, the best way to release these games would be to have the entire trilogy released in a whole for whatever platform(s). Not in the staggered manner we got.
Basically, what happened was; the first two games, "A New Begining" and "Eternal Night", were released on all of the then current platforms. Those being: PlayStation 2, GameCube and XBox (original).
But the final instalment in the trilogy took a little longer to make, and was released for each of the consoles successor. which are the now current consoles. Being: PlayStation 3, Wii and XBox 360, respectively. This may have ben the reason for the delay, as the developers wanted their game to be on the new hardware, and delayed it for re-development to "port" it.
But, with the exception of the Nintendo Wii, backwards compatibility is a joke. Consequently meaning that a lot of gamers who don't own (or keep) the older machines either have a messy ordeal playing games from the last generation of hardware, or like myself find it completely impossible due to the support for such technology being deemed a waste of time to improve (or implement in new hardware).
And this means that games like the "Legend of Spyro" trilogy will never get the proper respect that they possibly deserve.
I have only ever played the first game in this trilogy, and although a change from what I was familiar with in older games, I did like what I played.
But, like many others, when the PS3 came out I moved with the times, and upgraded. Which at the time wasn't a massive problem, as SCE were supporting some backwards compatibility at the time, and were even improving it over time. But that didn't last, and again, like many others, I was stricken with a factory defective console, and it broke-down outside of warranty.
This left me with a dilemma: Either wait a week for Sony to replace my console with a "reconditioned" one for a cut price, or just go and replace it myself with a newer model.
At the time, I was spending a lot of time on my PS3, several new games I wanted to play had come out, and I already owned, lined up to play, and I was at the beginning of a week of holiday.
So, it was either "possibly" be without my primary entertainment device for my entire time off, only to have it replaced with another console of the same age and hardware, a console that the Sony representative I spoke to on the phone could not guarantee me wouldn't suffer from the same fault in time, nor could they give me a timeframe or expected life expectancy regarding this "reconditioned" console. Or, the alternative was; go get a brand new machine from my local game shop.
So, my choice was: A week of no gaming and a "questionable" replacement, or new console and gaming that evening.
Like anyone with any sense, I decided that upgrading to the latest configuration of hardware was the safer option.
Basically, that's a very long way of saying "I no longer have the ability to play PlayStation 2 games".
So, I can't play the first two games in the "Legend of Spyro" trilogy, making the final instalment, which was release on PlayStation 3, pointless to me.
I'm sure as a stand alone title, it can be played, and is probably not a bad one. But since it was intended to be played as a trilogy I want to do just that.
It'd be like watching the last Back to the Future movie, without ever seeing the first two. Although a very good film, it's lacking without the stories of the other two explaining plot points and references that would be lost on someone who didn't see the origins.
Now, we have all these "HD Collections" coming, and even a few already out.
Most of which are a fantastic way of keeping franchises current.
There are some inherent issues, like the ageing of the visuals or their bad conversion to high definition or the bad sound, and/or the clunky controls. But, as a gamer, I can excuse these minor flaws, and enjoy the games for the classics they are.
So far, the released and announced updates and rereleases are being handled by the companies that released the original versions of these games. Or they're being contracted out by those developers to new teams. But the fact is, the decision is being made by the original people responsible for the games when they were released before.
And this is where the complication for the "Legend of Spyro" comes in.
Spyro, as a franchise, has changed hands a few times.
- The original three PlayStation (PSone) games; "Spyro the Dragon", "Gateway to Glimmer" and "Year of the Dragon", were all developed by Insomniac Games. And still stand at the top of my most played PlayStaion games list. They were almost perfect for their time.
- But the move to PlaySation 2 didn't bring the quality I'd come to love from the franchise, and probably due to the next game being by "Equinox Digital Entertainment", and according to Wikipedia, the only game they ever did. In my opinion, deservedly, it was by far the worst Spyro game I have ever had the misfortune to experience. I don't know what the did wrong, as all the ingredients are right, it's just the game sucked so bad. To this day, I've never played it past the first level, it truly is that bad.
- Moving on in time, on the same console(s) we had Eurocom developing "Spryo: a Heroes Tail", which in my opinion erased the last game from existence, being one of the best Spyro games I've ever played. So, good I have at some point owned it for every platform it was released. A truly fun and entertaining game. And still a got-to game for me on my GameCube/Wii when I'm just looking for a little light fun.
- After that we begin the "Legend of Spyro" games, with the first two on PlayStation 2, being developed by Krome Studios. The same studio to give is "Ty the Tazmanina Tiger", if anyone remembers that. Another good trilogy I never got to see completed, as the final instalment was never released in the UK. But that's another story, for another time. The parts of "A New Beginning" I did play, were a slightly jarring experience for me, because I was expecting the familiar "Spyro" experience. But, it wasn't a bad one. I think as a stand alone trilogy, the beginning of "Legend of Spyro" had some real promise. Evolving the franchise, maturing it to mach the gamer. Because, I'm no longer 14, which was when I played the original "Spyro the Dragon". So, although saying good-bye to what made me love Spyro back then, it added more mature elements I could relate to now, but still retain the nostalgia of playing the old games.
- Finaly we come to the 3rd part of the "Legend of Spyro" trilogy: "Dawn of the Dragon". And to my recent surprise, not developed by Krome Studios. Instead the trillogy was finished by Étranges Libellules. A French company, based unsurprisingly in France. But, I'll try not to hold that against them. Why Krome Studios didn't finish what they started is beyond me, but based on their previous commitment to development, it's in character for them. And to what I saw of videos and screenshots Étranges Libellules did a nice job of making Spyro ready for the world of HD visuals.
So, there you have it.
Spyro has changed hands more times than an old penny.
The only semi-constant is the publishers, being split between Vivendi Games (Universal Interactive) and Siera Entertainment.
But, there is a constant there, as Univeral Interactive are the owners of both, to my knowledge.
So, on that assumption, one must also assume the rights tot he "Spyro" franchise are also owned by Universal. With them dictating who gets to (or forced to) make a game carrying the "Spyro" brand.
And this makes a "HD Classics" of Spyro complicated.
I'm sure, by ownership of the brand, Universal also own any development rights for a Spyro title.
So, in theory, they also have, archived somewhere, all the materials needed to "port" the "Legend of Spyro" games, without having to redevelop them or reverse engineer from the PlayStation 2.
If not, I'm sure that data is somewhere being kept safe.
Now, as far as my knowledge serves me Krome Studios recently closed. So, a HD "port" from them is out of the question. But, Étranges Libellules are still alive, their most recent game being a movie tie-in, but again, I also won't hold that against them.
And as they did the last in the "Legend of Spyro" game, they would be the best candidate to port the first two titles in the trilogy.
I know, I'm living in a little dream world, and the chances of this actually becoming reality are about as remote as me striking gold in my garden. But, stranger things have been known to happen.
Not to mention the profit potential for Universal.
They'd practically be selling us a game they already made a profit on.
And why not?
Other companies have done it. And the results didn't alienate the entire gaming population. In fact, we like it.
I, for one, am looking forward to all the "HD Classics" comming this year.
I know, I've already owned and completed almost all of them, but I like these games, and love playing them. So, the prospect of playing them on my current console is nice one.
I don't think development on new games should halt, in favour of selling us the games we already own.
But, legacy is an important part of evolution. Without certain games from the past, some newer titles are just less enjoyable.
And Nintendo have made a dedicated service for making you buy the games you used to own, it's called the VirtualConsole. And, to what I know, it is a success. So, I'm not the only one stupid enough to pay for things again, that I have owned before.
So, a personal request to Universal, Vivendi or whatever you want to be called:
Can I please have the complete "Legend of Spyro" trilogy on my PlayStation 3?
I'd do it myself, if it wasn't for the nightmare of rights and copywriting, not to mention I don't have the slightest idea where to start, and I've never programmed anything since I owned a Sinclair Spectrum.
So, I'm relying on you, Universal, to make this wish come true.
Thank you for reading. (If anyone got this far down without getting bored.)
Not reading all that lol but I agree spyro HD would be nice.
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I think I'd prefer to see the original 3 remade in HD like they did with Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. Just imagine Spyro: The Dragon, Ripto's Rage, and Year of the Dragon in HD on the PS3.
Considering the best Spyro's (Insomniac Games) were only on PlayStation then there is a big almighty NO CHANCE there will ever be a HD remaster of a 3D open world game. And I very much doubt Activision will rebuild them from the ground up with using an HD engine. Hell they wont even make COD/MW in HD
All the other Spyros have had more developers then I've had hot dinners and now Activision own the rights, as well as Crash Bandicoot, the games no longer exist apart from being PS1 classics. And that is all they will ever be remembered for
The PS2 versions (the ones you're most likely to see remastered in HD) were average at the very best so I forsee this never happeneing..
All classic Spyro games refined in HD for PS3 would be 2good2betrue. Just ordered Jak and Daxter HD collection.
Sadly that never will happen. The original spyro series, WONT. However, its possible that legend of spyro trilogy could get an HD treatment... not sure though. Its unlikely now, because activision with there skylanders crap. I hope skylanders 2: giants fails, and they sell the series. I would cry for 2 years if sony bought the rights and insomniac took over...
Maybe if Spyro gets a reboot or remake, then maybe we'll see the original story on PS3. I doubt we'll ever see the original first game to its fulliest on any machine, never mind the PS3. I like the spyro series, but there's been so much swapping of developers and consoles, that I just lost interest in it. The developers should create a trilogy or series for one console and as soon as another console is released, do another story or a reboot. I hate it when they continue the same storyline on various generations of consoles, because the previous games become lost in the past; unless they do exactly like they did with the Tomb Raider trilogy.
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