I liked Crash Team Rumble. I even said as much on this very website when the brawler MOBA launched back in June. But man, seeing them add Spyro, Crash’s flying, fire-breathing, OG PlayStation platformer contemporary to the roster just makes me wish we had a new Spyro the Dragon game.
Spyro is set to join Crash, Catbat, and many of the bandicoot’s other friends and foes in Crash Team Rumble when its third season, titled All Fired Up, launches on December 7. The purple dragon joins Ripto (one of the series’ villains, who was strangely added before the hero himself in the second season) as a guest character, alongside Elora, the guiding fawn companion from the original trilogy. Not much is known about how Spyro will play, but it’s curious that Crash Team Rumble has been adding Spyro crossover characters, music, and cosmetics two seasons in a row, huh?
My hope is that this is more than just lip service and that publisher Activision is actually planning to make a substantive Spyro announcement in the near future. Back in September, rumors of a fourth mainline Spyro game circulated on sites like Reddit, but the specifics of the alleged leak, such as an October reveal and Spyro Reignited Trilogy remake artist Nicholas Kole being attached to the project, were debunked. As fun as Crash Team Rumble is, it’s not the Crash Bandicoot or Spyro game I want, and I know that sentiment rings true for a lot of fans.
Even if Crash Team Rumble isn’t what fans are looking for, Activision has been investing pretty heavily into Crash Bandicoot since it had a soft reboot with the Crash N. Sane Trilogy in 2017. That collection remade Naughty Dog’s first three Crash games for modern systems, then Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled followed in 2019. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, a brand-new platformer, launched in 2020, and was a really solid, challenging spin on the original formula.
Spyro the Dragon, meanwhile, has been getting scraps in this wave of OG PlayStation platformer love. The Reignited Trilogy brought his original three Insomniac-made games to modern systems with a new coat of paint in 2018, but it’s been 15 years since the last brand-new Spyro game. The little purple guy has pretty much been relegated to a crossover cameo here and there in Crash Bandicoot games.
I grew up on these games, and even if the mascot platformer has mostly gone out of vogue, I would still play a Spyro or Sly Cooper game in 2023. But while companies love to throw little references and crossovers into current games, that rarely leads to a new game. Spyro has been showing up in Crash’s adventures for years now, and with each passing year that he doesn’t get his own comeback game, these crossovers feel more and more like a carrot on a stick, leading nowhere.
I’ll still probably boot up Crash Team Rumble to play Spyro, though. So guess I should put on my clown makeup.