Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Graphical upgrade, Blast from the past
Bad: Controls
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Back in 1996 Sony had their own special mascot, like Nintendo and Sega did, namely Crash Bandicoot. With the first game released in ‘96, it took the fans of the first PlayStation by storm, and even convinced many to get Sony’s console in the comfort of their living rooms. While the games were rather brutal in difficulty, compared to Mario and some Sonic titles, they were loved, and before we knew it, three titles alone were released on Sony’s console, with a few spin-off titles as well. While the franchise lived on for many years, it no longer was a Sony exclusive, thus making the gaming giant lose a valuable asset. Nonetheless, Crash has returned with the first three games bundled in the N. Sane Trilogy, solely for PlayStation 4, giving Sony a rather powerful exclusive to fatten their ranks.

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Story

Don’t expect too much story wise, safe for the typical villain scenario where the evil scientist, in this case Dr. Cortex, wishes to take over the world and place everything and everyone under his control. Sadly for him, there’s a pesky bandicoot, which was originally in the villain’s lab, who is preventing his plans from being successful. This is pretty much the scenario for all three games, except for some new villains in each part, a small bit of progress in something that can be called a main plot, and a bit of expansion when it comes to dialogues and presentation.

Graphics

The Crash Bandicoot games may look rather flashy and cool in the memories of many gamers who were active gamers in the PlayStation 1 era, and many might argue the games still look rather spiffy, but nothing is less true. For the most part these games have aged horribly, are blocky as hell and while in their style they still possess a certain charm, they are just horrid to look at when comparing them to modern games. That being said, the remastered versions of the three original Crash Bandicoot games simply look amazing, as they have so much detail to them, a lot more to see in the background and everything is just one bright colorful crispy bliss. While the third game may look the best of all three games, probably due to the fact there were a lot more ‘special’ levels and a bit more freedom when running around, you’ll be treated to three great looking modern versions of Crash Bandicoot, where you’ll find yourself in a luscious jungle at one point, to a more desert-like setting the next, while racing your motorcycle and avoiding the cops in a more urban setting at yet another point in one of the games. This collection is a lot more than a simple reskin for the originals, it’s a very impressive upgrade when comparing it with the original(s).

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy 1

Sound

Catchy tunes, funny sounds and a bit of voice acting will accompany you from start to finish in all three Crash Bandicoot titles. While the tracks may sound a bit retro-ish, and in certain scenarios Donkey Kong-like, they are rather captivating and interesting, and get you in the proper mood  to keep going. Overall, not much has changed compared to the original games and their nineties release, safe for a bit of audio cleanup.

Gameplay

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a bundle of remastered platforming games, namely the first three Crash Bandicoot titles. In these games you’ll always have to wade through levels, in order to reach the ending, while breaking as many boxes as possible, while disposing of enemies and dodging traps and pitfalls. Overall this is the same for all three games, while the first is clearly the hardest, and has the longest levels, often resulting in a bit more frustration than the other two titles.

The offset of all the games is simple: while the first game is focused more on one playthrough and the last pretty much forces you to do several playthroughs in order to reach the ‘true ending’, the last game also has more ‘automated’ levels, in which you have to run from something or man a vehicle and reach the finish line in one piece. The concept is simple for all games, as you’ll just have to finish all levels to reach the ending, with a few boss battles thrown in-between to make things more interesting.

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Even though the difficulty of some levels is a bit on the high side at times, it’s mainly due to the controls of the games. While the graphical prowess of the games has been updated, and some minor changes have been made to the overall gameplay, it feels as if the controls remained the same as they were nearly two decades ago, which in a way is ‘cool’ because it plays like the old games, but it also feels a bit lazy and lackluster, as you often die because of the poor controls, crappy hit detection and overall minor bugs. Of course, the controls of the first game, which originally only supported the D-Pad, now also support the joystick controls, but they also feel a bit dated, thus throwing you back in said somewhat lousy control system.

It’s fun to be able to save on the fly in all games now, allowing smoother gameplay and even the chance to reload the game a lot swifter if you’ve lost too many lives and wish to keep the counter high, rather than have to see a “game over” screen and continue with only a handful of lives. Simply put, if you loved the old games, you’ll surely enjoy this rendition of said classic pieces of gaming history, albeit in a fresh coat. As a bonus, you can switch to the female character, which is basically the same in terms of skills and power, but it’s just a welcome change of pace.

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Conclusion

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a welcome blast from the past that allows a nearly forgotten franchise to come back to life. While Crash Bandicoot still dwelled in the hearts of many, the series was all but deceased until they announced the revival of the original trilogy. Nonetheless, you’ll be treated to some good old fashioned platforming fun, albeit with some of the original problems such as fairly lousy hitboxes, and not always ‘perfect’ controls, which can also make you relive the frustration when you played these games as a kid. That being said, if you haven’t played the original trio, are looking to replay it in HD, or simply didn’t get the chance to try them all when you were younger, the N. Sane Trilogy is certainly worth picking up.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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