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Spyro 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. I don't give that lofty accolade lightly, but I truly mean it. Everything about the game, from the characters to the world, captivated my young mind the first time playing and I'm still just as captivated so many years later. As you might imagine, I was very excited after the announcement of the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy; a complete remake from the ground up of the first three games.
Here's how Activision blew it.
The game will require a "content download" on launch—not in and of itself unheard of in the modern gaming atmosphere, of course, but nonetheless a frustrating indication of the "patch" culture gaming has developed recently. With that said, this download isn't necessarily a simple patch. This content you're expected to download is the remake of Spyro 2 and 3. Yes, two thirds of this collection.
Now, if you're like me, you might be thinking, "why would we ever buy a physical copy of a game if it means we need to download the games after-the-fact anyway?" And this isn't unreasonable, in my opinion, in an age where publishers are trying so desperately not to relinquish the power and control of their products after selling them and trying to diminish the usefulness of preowned games.
Activision, it must be said, aren't the only people who have done something like this; the physical copies of Batman: The Telltale Series by Telltale (funnily enough) only featured the first episode and provided a season pass to download the rest of the episodic game as it was released. While I still argue this completely undermines the point of a physical copy, this example has the slim justification that the following episodes were not released or finished at the time of the physical release.
Of course, there's nothing stopping companies from delaying physical releases if this is the case. Indeed, if Spyro 2 and 3 aren't finished yet, a delay on the release would surely be the most appropriate approach (in truth, this seems very likely, as we've barely seen anything from Spyro 3 despite the game releasing in about a month). Well, in theory. But it still stands to reason that there's no valid reason at this point to purchase the physical copies, as you need to download parts of the game, anyway!
Hopefully, Activision will come out and say that they've changed their stance on this, delayed the physical release to feature all the games on the disc, or come up with some other fix for this. And, while this isn't in and of itself a terrible, industry-ruining occurrence, this could set a worrying precedent if it becomes the norm, so I figure it's worth kicking up a fuss now.
This isn't the first time Activision have nerfed a rerelease; the N. Sane Trilogy launched with a capped framerate lower than the gameplay videos released leading up to release and noticeable glitches and lack of polish in Crash 2 and 3. I still feel it's important to make the point and not allow them to get away with shady and consumer-unfriendly business practices just because they've done it before.
But, hey, what do I know? I suppose this topic just got me fired up.