When Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was first announced back in 2016, there was substantial movement in my pants. Well, substantial by my standards. I couldn’t wait to relive my childhood memories of smashing crates, collecting Aku Aku masks and finally eating fruit again. My next emotion was one of concern, would this remastered edition ruin one of the pioneers of 3D platformers? Or would this edition compliment a great trilogy of games and allow the current generation of gamers to experience a time when gaming wasn’t all about graphics, emotes and micro-transactions. It was time to find out!
If you’ve been living under a rock, or simply weren’t alive when Crash Bandicoot was the unofficial mascot for Sony’s PlayStation (I try to forget the sub-par multi-console Crash Bandicoot games), Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a remastered edition of Crash Bandicoot’s first three entries into the gaming world; Crash Bandicoot (1996), Crash Bandicoot: Cortex Strikes Back (1997) and Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998).
The formula for each game is about as complex as any other platformer in the 90’s; to stop the bad guy! In Crash’s case, his nemesis is none other than the mad scientist, Doctor Neo Cortex. Like most mad scientists with an oversized novelty head with a giant N printed on it, he wants world domination and will let nothing stop him.
The gameplay across each game is simple enough. Run, jump and spin your way through conveniently placed obstacles. You will also encounter some of Doctor Cortex’s randomly placed TNT barrels, mutated animals and for some reason, giant boulders until you confront your arch nemesis for a final showdown. Sound familiar?
On the surface it appears as if Vicarious Visions have done a great job staying true to the original trilogy when in fact, it couldn’t be more different from the originals. Almost all of the source codes for the original Crash Trilogy were unavailable, this was due to the Trilogy being coded for PlayStation and not compatible with today’s coding. Gameplay does feel slightly different, but after 20+ years we all move a bit different. You soon forget this as you begin smashing crates and collecting precious Wumpa fruit, it begins to feel like 1996 again, and not 2019.
Audio for the entire trilogy is fantastic, I felt like I was 12 years old again and completely immersed in the Crash universe. Visually, its simply gorgeous. Obviously, there’s only so much you can do with a game targeted for children. But the colours are bright, animations are fluent and Vicarious Visions have even included some new animations when Crash is idle to keep even the most loyal and dedicated Crash fans happy and entertained.
Another impressive feature for the Trilogy is the number of platforms that Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has been released on with all current generation (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch) last year. Although the PC port is limited in the way of graphical enhancement options, it does receive the usual PC love. FPS is capped at a disappointing 60 FPS, although the addition of ‘fur blur’ is… nice? Other than that, it is a very good port with no frame rate drops and full controller support (PC platform reviewed).
In conclusion, buy the bloody game! It’s an excellent example of a what gaming was like back in the 90’s. It may not win any major awards, however it proves that not all games require extensive game mechanics, realistic graphics or co-op gameplay to excel in today’s gaming market. I had so much fun running around smashing crates, reliving some great memories and remembering the frustration that a simple platformer can cause a grown man (I cried myself to sleep, twice).
The good news continues to flow for Crash Bandicoot fans, developer Beenox late last year revealed that another Crash Bandicoot inspired remaster is in the works. This time, Crash Team Racing will get a tune up for a June 2019 release of the remastered Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fuelled , another must have for any 30+ year old trying to relive their youth!
For more on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, check out our previous coverage.