Reviews

Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy Review – Back to Basics

Well, it's been at least 20 years since this reviewer first laid his eyes on the original Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation One. Crash came on the scene around the same time as 3D platforming, with other noteworthy hits such as Spyro the Dragon and Super Mario 64.

With this in mind, Crash had a different viewpoint on 3D platforming. Naughty Dog decided to simply rotate the camera angle to a 3rd person viewpoint, with a sprinkle of 2.5D, which is still popular today. Crash Bandicoot spawned 3 mainstay titles which are included in the N-sane trilogy along with Nitro Kart (Mario Kart), Crash Bash (Mario Party), Crash Team Racing and a string of Nintendo DS and platforming titles which were welcomed with tepid receptions.

Crashed at the finish line

Unfortunately, whilst trying to mirror the success of his rival over at Nintendo, Crash phased into gaming legend. He briefly came back for ‘Crash of the Titans’, but this release held little water against Super Mario Galaxy, who’s release date was looming. The low difficulty also put off many of the franchises long time fans in Sierras attempt at finding a new audience.

“Hoodamagah!”

So, Crash took an extended holiday. But like Black Sabbath, this break up wouldn’t last. The Crash Bandicoot franchise fatigue was cured by the remaster of his first three games last year and this year with the multiplatform release of Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy.

Down to business

This review is for the Nintendo Switch version, however readers will take away the core qualities that are spread across the board. All cut scenes have been revamped with the same level of quality as have character and level textures which makes this collection feel like a three part single release.

With Crash’s new facelift, one was worried about changes to control schemes. This reader did hear that control schemes had been changed since the original releases. Whilst one is getting on a bit, he did notice that the control scheme is the same across all three titles. This consistency and slight rebalance does take half an hour to adjust too for old school fans but isn’t an issue at all. New players won’t have a problem at all, just retro fans stuck in our old ways.

“Still can’t box it off….”

A sound resolution

Although the Nintendo Switch version has had to take a hit on resolution and texture quality, smooth frame rates, lighting and animation have not taken a hit. The experience is fluent throughout and is responsive enough to take advantage of Crash Bandicoot’s approachable but high difficulty curve.

As well as having this collection in its awesome portable majesty, two new levels for Crash 1 and 3 have been included. These are plumped up versions of existing levels but are heavily modified. One should get used to the normal levels first before attempting these!

This writer can’t think of how else to illustrate how much fun it is to pick up this remastered collection. Even the original soundtrack and sounds are included with a bit of polish. Although brand new textures and a controller rebalance have been implemented, N-Sane Trilogy is a respectable remaster and keeps everything players loved around 20 years ago and has been given a big enough facelift to warrant players repurchasing this title.

“Some enemies get quite crabby…”

Verdict.

Graphics and Presentation: 5

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 5

Overall Score: 5/5

For new and returning players, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is a fine example of games standing the test of time. This is how remastered titles should be executed, and hats off too Vicarious Visions for arguably one of the best re-releases of this generation.

  • Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed) PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam
  • Price: £34.99
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Developer: Vicarious Visions
  • Release Date: 29/06/2018
  • Age Rating: PEGI 7+
  • Review copy provided by publisher
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