It may be a shock to some that Crash Bandicoot has finally come back to form in Crash’s revisiting with the N-Sane Trilogy.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It certainly does,  for several years gamer’s have been demanding in sheer volumes for Crash Bandicoot to come back after his more recent titles such as Crash Of The Titans/ Mind Over Mutant were poorly received by critics and fans. For years, fans have made it clear that they want to go back to the good old days, be it in a remastered form or a new title in the same style. Thankfully Activsion and Sony listened to the outcries of many and have remastered Crash’s first three adventures.

Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is the perfect nostalgia filled collection for fans of the original trilogy and who want another piece of the delicious wumpa pie.  The collection is a nostalgia trip from the get go, bearing in mind the upgraded visuals make the experience fresh, making it feel like you are playing Crash Bandicoot for the first time all over again. It’s great to jump back into the Bandicoot world with our beloved orange marsupial. As mentioned, visually the game is a much appreciated upgrade from its former self. The levels are re-designed from the ground up, with a majority of them feeling/playing the same and there are some beautiful designs to take into account. From the opening mission you can see how far along Crash has come in his remastered form, physics are there with Crash’s fur, enemies look better, wumpa fruit look tastier and in general the overall look is perfect for a remaster of a trilogy that does look very dated by today’s standards. Along with the general design having an upgrade, Crash has had a face lift as his facial/movement animations are even more expressive, as mentioned previously, Crash’s fur actually reacts to the elements on each stage.

All three games have seen the upgraded visuals helping varied stages look all the better, brighter and more appealing to the eye, giving a much needed breath of life; even the water flows more naturally. However, there is a price to pay with the upgraded visuals and animations, and that is some delayed response/design confusions in the later levels, especially Crash Bandicoot 1, as the rest haven’t caused as much of an issue as the first did for me. Yes, as you may know, the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy has been thrown the comparison of being hard as nails, so let me just re-iterate that the originals were hard. But people are right, they are not as hard as the remasters. This is due to a change in the jump animation in Crash which has more of a delay than the originals; this has caused me countless miss-steps, failed jumps and having to restart numerous levels due to it. You do get used it the more you play, but it’s a weird change and does have an effect on the difficulty. It’s something that’s quite minor, but also not at the same time. Newer players will struggle more than those that have played the original trilogy.

Platforming titles were a lot harder in the 90’s and newer players might be expecting a breeze with the trilogy, but that’s not the case. Each Crash Bandicoot title gets progressively harder, and by the 3rd one you’d expect to be a pro, but there are some terrifyingly painful levels. That said, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped offers some of the best designed levels with perfect variation. You have everything from jet-ski’s and riding on animals, to driving levels. Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 were also the two titles to feature Crash’s new move set such as the ability to crouch/slide under obstacles as well as a jump/body slam that allows you to literally crash into boxes/enemies. The first Bandicoot title never featured this skill set and Crash still doesn’t have those moves in the first title today. However, for the first time ever, you can play across all three titles as Crash Bandicoot’s sister Coco. Coco has the same jump animations as Crash, however, so she isn’t much different.

The animation, even though does cause some issues and the delays are painful, the trilogy is generally known for being difficult. It’s not an easy trilogy in regards to platformers. A lot of the levels require the player to stay focused, time jumps, time patterns, and trial and error essentially. Even though frustrating, you always get a great sense of reward when you complete a more challenging level, or collect all the boxes in the level to unlock the gem or find a hidden key. There’s a lot to take away from the trilogy and they are 90% positive. The one flaw is what is mentioned above.

There has been a slight change to the original soundtrack as it has also been spruced up, it has had some changes, nothing too noticeable, other than it sounds great and still offers the same nostalgic soundtrack as they did back on the PS1. It’s clear that Vicarious Visions wanted to do the fans justice and they certainly have, they’ve almost got everything down to a T, other than some minor gameplay jump animations/minor design upgrades that can be a bit of a hindrance.

As mentioned briefly above, the first Crash Bandicoot maintains its high difficulty level, expect miss-steps, miss jumps, miss timing anything that you can think of can happen. The worst is thinking you have perfectly timed a jump to a hard to reach platform, instead missing and falling to your death. Hey, it’s all about skill and timing… a sprinkle of luck too. The challenge is definitely there for those who can handle it. WARNING – If it’s your first time experiencing the Bandicoot, as mentioned briefly before. This is a hard game and requires a lot of practice.

Cortex Strikes Back and Warped are harder for sure, however if you master the new move set for Crash/Coco it is more manageable thanks to the improved moves, the most noticeable is pulling off bigger leaps thanks to the aforementioned slide manoeuvre and picking off enemies from a distance becomes a viable option in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped due to picking up a fruit launcher. One thing that is certain for all three titles is all of them offer excellent variety and things never feels repetitive throughout the trilogy. It just shows how well Naughty Dog’s original Crash holds up gameplay wise still to this day.

The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy proves that Crash’s original trilogy is just as remarkable as it was back in the day. It looks gorgeous and the further you progress through the trilogy the visuals get even better. It’s the perfect package and is a thrill to be able to play through all three in a beautiful way. Vicarious Visions have done an excellent job at bringing Crash back. Even though there are some animation issues with the platforming and some very minor design elements that make parts a little bit more challenging in a frustrating sense, especially in comparison to the originals, it’s still a brilliant piece of work. The first game is hard, the 2nd and 3rd even harder, though they can be easier depending on how well you adjust to Crash’s upgraded move set. All three titles also offer replay-ability which is great for those completionist’s. Aku Aku is also on form and he sounds just as good in HD as he did back in the 90’s. Crash has come a long way and it’s nice to finally have him back where he belongs on the PlayStation.



Author

Daniel
Daniel

Daniel is the founder and creator of PushStartPlay.com The website launched on February 20th 2010 and was created due to his passion with video games. Daniel's favourite games are BioShock, The Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past, Uncharted 2 and The Last Of Us.