Reignited and It Feels So Good

I’d say that approximately 9% of my childhood was spent playing Spyro the Dragon games on my Playstation. This past week I beat that record by 91%, by playing Spyro the Dragon games on my Playstation.

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy has finally arrived, after a full year of teasers, trailers and delays. This three-in-one remake is a remaster of the original Spyro trilogy, and sees one of the most innovative 3D platform characters take to the skies once more.

This game has been eagerly anticipated by myself and many since the release of the Crash Bandicoot collection last year — A cartoonish remaster that delivered on graphics, but one where some of the movement mechanics failed to register with the old-school feel.

Spyro does not suffer from these gameplay issues, as this HD purple dragon handles and feels like his limited polygon 90s counterpart. If that’s because the studio, Toys for Bob, decided not to mess with anything beyond the graphics, then they definitely made the right decision.

I began with the first game, as I imagine most players did, and my childhood muscle-memory immediately kicked in. I raced that dragon through levels at lightning speed, before slowing down to take-in some of the upgraded scenery.

Each level has the exact same skeleton and tone as it originally did. The colours are even more vibrant than before and everything has been fleshed-out. Details and props adorn walls, hillsides and backdrops — But none feel out of place. Whoever was in charge of adding textures and more colour to these worlds has done a great job of staying true to the original vision of the games.

The enemies and fodder have been rendered cuter and I’m mad about this, in a good way. I genuinely felt remorse when toasting or charging certain gnorcs, dogs and sheep.

Some of the enemies didn’t feel like enemies, and I started questioning who the good guys were in this narrative. Sure, Gnasty Gnorc has incased all of the other dragons in crystal, but Spyro then goes on a Gnorc massacre, whereas not a single dragon dies. I’m sure there is some allegory for the Israeli—Palestinian conflict hidden in the subtext here. I’m absolutely certain of it.

The first game flew by fast, as there are fewer individual challenges compared to other instalments. It’s all about treasure hunting and dragon collecting.

Speaking of treasure hunting — The gem collection system is as enjoyable as ever. Touching bright colours and watching digits increase to a satisfying, round number was my favourite pastime as a seven year-old, and now apparently is again at twenty-five.

My non-gaming wife and partner in crime picked up the controller to play the first Spyro game and took to it in no time. She found all the treasure in every world she has played so far, so I’d highly recommend this game to parents with younger children looking to play a decent platformer that harkens back to an older generation of gaming.

That’s both a compliment and a burn on my partner and I’m okay with it — “Non-gaming” is the operative word there.

spyroreig2

The second game played even better than the first, as colourful characters and even brighter worlds emerged. This game has more challenging moments, with Spyro having to carry out specific tasks to earn Orbs. I had no “trouble with the trolley, eh?” this time around, but some spark-plug thieves and an angry oxen gave me a run for my money.

They have turned Elora (a fawn, you dork!) and Hunter the Cheetah into complete furry fantasies. But I think it’s probably impossible to design a cartoon anthropomorphic animal these days without adding curves, muscle definition and no pants.

I mean, I bet they could try, but statistics show that furries make up 69% of gaming consumers, so they’re not a demographic you really want to alienate.

Each world in Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (I refuse to call it Ripto’s Rage, as an EU original) feels like it has its own identity. This is helped by individual characters who aid you in each of the worlds.

Highlights of these characters include the Breeze-Builders and the Land-Blubbers — Two sides who can’t find common ground despite sharing many ideologies. They’ve been at war for longer than they can remember and…damn they’ve done it again haven’t they? Another allegory for the conflict in the middle-east. Spyro with the hot-button issues over here.

I’ve just started playing the third instalment, and I’m curious to see what they’ve done with the secondary playable characters — Especially my boy, Agent-9. Already they’ve nailed the colour palette of this third game, which to me always felt like a vibrant celebration of the Year of the Dragon.

For me, the third game is the best game, as it takes the best features of the first two and cuts away some of the issues from both. It’s also the most challenging, in terms of time and difficulty, so I’m curious to see how I handle some of the skateboarding and speedway races.

I’m also curious to find out how they’ve represented Israel and Palestine in this game, seeing as how it’s obviously a thing now. Probably something to do with Sgt. Bird, that warmongering shit.

I can’t recommend this game enough, as it’s more than just a nostalgia trip. If this were released for the first time today, it wouldn’t sell as well, but I’d hope it would still receive critical praise as a platform game.

Parents! Are you sick of your kids asking you for another loot box so they can find that MEGA TIT CANNON in Fortnite? Well, listen to that nonsense no more, by buying them the Spyro Reignited Trilogy this Holiday season.

All of the colours of Fortnite, with none of the additional expenses! Wholesome gameplay that’s fun for the whole family. No longer will you hear your seven-year-old yell that he’s going to plow someone else’s mother, as he’ll be too busy chasing the dragon.

Wait…not that!

Spyro for President! 9/10 — Only loses a point for not being an original game.


Today is Monday, November 26th and I ate my weight in mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving weekend.

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Types of Pokemon GO Players

You can’t put people into boxes. If you do so metaphorically then you’re oversimplifying a person’s individual traits in order to type them for your convenience, and if you do it literally then you’re probably a serial killer trying to dispose of a body, which is equally bad.

My better half and I have spent many hours this summer playing Pokemon GO. We had both put the game down in 2016 (like most others), due to the lack of things to do or accomplish. When we heard they’d introduced a trading aspect, we jumped back in, figuring that we might now stand a chance of finishing a Pokedex or two.

A major part of the game in 2018 are the “Community Days”, where thousands of people flood the streets in order to catch a specific Pokemon and enjoy various bonuses. These “days” usually last for around three hours, and for that time a city, park or shopping mall becomes Pokemad.

That’s not an official Pokemon word by the way, but if you use the prefix of “Poke” with any word, you can pretty much brand anything. For example — I’m currently enjoying some Pokecoffee, whilst sitting on my Pokechair and fending off Pokeexistentialdread.

I’ve found on these Community Days that you can very much see the different types of people who play the game, and so I’ll now present them to you in listicle form, and you can decide for yourself what kind of player you are. Because my word is law and you can definitely just sort people into neat little boxes…

1. The Self-Proclaimed Leader

charizard

Likely Team: Valor

Favourite Type: Dragon

Which Pokemon Are They: Charazard

As one of the few extroverted types playing the game, this loud and outspoken player naturally becomes the leader for any raids. He’s always a he, and you can find him on your local Discord server, delegating detailed instructions to the rest of the community. He’ll be at the start-point six hours before Community Day begins, ready to lead his band of players across the dangerous landscape of a well-maintained city park.

If you join his train, be prepared to listen to every order for maximum efficiency, or you will be kicked out of the group for making jokes about this just being a game. Not that I’m speaking from experience…

“Look if we don’t hit this gym now, then we won’t have time to catch the potentially shiny Pidgey on that street corner before we head to the next one!”

2. The Young Parents

kang

Likely Team: Instinct

Favourite Type: Normal

Which Pokemon Are They: Kangaskhan

Don’t let the two strollers and three infants fool you, these guys are the most hardcore of any Pokemon Go player. Despite the fact that their children are all under the age of four, each of them has a device and an account, all controlled by the parents of course. The six-month old is currently Level 37, and has caught over twenty shiny legendaries.

Multiple strollers make for natural storage space, where they can keep wires and extra battery packs. They also act as battering rams to remove any pedestrians from their path, so they have no need to take their attention away from the five screens. They make for excellent raid allies, but don’t expect to take a gym from them any time soon.

“But I thought you were watching the kids, Sharon?!”

3. The OAP (Older Age Player)

alakazam

Likely Team: Mystic

Favourite Type: Grass

Which Pokemon Are They: Alakazam

An OAP doesn’t need to be a pensioner, just someone who wasn’t young when Pokemon was around for the first time in the late 90s. This can be anyone over the age of forty-five, but the best players are pushing sixty or seventy. Often the most relaxed members of the community, they’re always up for a conversation and excited to geek-out over the Pokemon they’ve caught.

They may not be as efficient when it comes to raids and gym battles, but they’re having a lot of fun, so don’t preach at them. Also, due to an increased amount of free time and disposable income, they’re likely already Level 40 and have nine super incubators going at any given moment.

“This Pokeman looks like a blue radish, what will they think of next?”

4. The Lone Master

mewtwo

Likely Team: Mystic

Favourite Type: Water/Ice

Which Pokemon Are They: MewTwo

This player just wants to get out and enjoy the benefits of the day without actually talking to anyone else, if possible. They’ll follow small groups from a distance and then mysteriously help them with a raid. Headphones are this players must-have item, as they silently yet efficiently move through the city without the need for a Train Leader.

They’re probably technically the best player, in that they see an efficient way of playing whilst remaining casual and disconnected from the wider community. I always want to talk to these people, as they’re who I’d want to raid with, but I also respect their commitments to public privacy.

“…”

5. The Pokemaniac

eevvee

Likely Team: Instinct

Favourite Type: Fairy

Which Pokemon Are They: Eevee

Pokemaniacs will be the first players you see as you arrive at the Community Day event, as they treat it as an opportunity for cosplay and convention-based fun. They may not be in full costume (although some are), but they’ll likely be wearing a lot of official Pokemon merchandise.

They’re often overly friendly (one of them once said “yiff?” to me and I’m not sure what that was about) and eager to show-off their digital collection, even though it’s less impressive than your own mediocre one. They don’t make for very good teammates on raids and you worry that their appropriation of Japanese culture is borderline offensive, but they seem like they’re having the most fun of anyone at the day.

“Eek! That’s my one-hundredth tiny Pikachu! uwu!”

6. The Troll

250px-089Muk

Likely Team: Rocket (If it were possible)

Favourite Type: Dark

Which Pokemon Are They: Muk

You’ll never see this player at a Community Day as they’re likely “spoofing” from back home in their mother’s basement. Ever take a gym in the middle of nowhere, only for it to be immediately taken back by the exact same six players who definitely aren’t stood in the empty field you’re in? That’s the work of The Troll.

For whatever reason, this person uses six devices for six separate accounts in an attempt to play the game to maximum efficiency — No matter how many rules they break, or how many other player’s days they ruin. If they add you as a friend, you’ll receive gifts from Japan one day and France the next, as they spoof to Pokestops all around the world. Stay away from these players, they see themselves as a Giovanni when they’re actually just a Gary.

“Mom! I need more Mountain Dew! Now!”

So there you have it, an absolute definitive guide to the only types of people who play this game, with no room for debate or discussion.

I’m joking, of course, a huge variety of people play Pokemon GO and it seems like the game is more popular now than it was in 2016. It may look strange to see thousands of people looking down at their phones like zombies as they walk the streets, but it’s better to be playing a game outside than it is indoors. At least as far as vitamin D levels are concerned.


Today is Wednesday, September 26th and the hearing of Professor Ford tomorrow is going to be a mess that brings out the absolute worst in old men everywhere.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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