Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy has been in my sights since it was announced last year. Every time that there was new gameplay to see of it, new screenshots, new features announced, anything, I was on it like a rash. I played the original three games to death when I was a little kid, much like many of the people who were also excited for it! There were so many things about the games that kept me coming back, between the colorful visuals, the fantastic music, the lovable titular character, and so much more. Sure, Crash 1 compared to the two direct sequels is… well, it ain’t very good, but it has an important place in history. We couldn’t have had the masterpiece of Crash 2: Cortex Strikes Back without the pretty okay first game. All three of the original games are lovingly recreated as close to the originals as possible, for better or for worse. I’ll explain what I mean by that.
Crash 1, like I said, wasn’t that good compared to the other two games in the trilogy, and it still ain’t. The one thing about it that I can say is that because it was the worst looking game before, and now that they all got the same facelift, it looks the most-improved. 2 and 3 have visuals that are already timeless, so the upgraded visuals aren’t quite as effective with those games. 1 benefitted the most visually, and even though you can play as Coco now, which is cool, you still can’t slide like you can in 2 and 3. It makes it feel like more of a chore to play through the first one when the other two are right there, and they play so much better. Of course, you have the incentive of reliving a classic, playing with time trials, and seeing the minor changes. The thing is, there are clearly things that could have been fixed about the game, that would have made it less bullshit.
There are plenty of platforming segments where you’re either moving forward or backward where the camera could be pulled out/up just a little bit more to make it much better. The reason why I know that it could have been fixed is because they did fix it in Coco’s water-ski segments in Crash 3. The camera is pulled out a bit more that it used to be in those levels to give a better field of view. So why couldn’t they do that in Crash 1 to help with some of the crappy platforming views? I mean, it’s certainly not worse than it used to be, but after all of this time, it could have been a lot better. Crash does feel like he controls much more like he does in the other two games, just minus being able to slide. That feels good, I will say, though that slide is sorely desired at certain points.
I did notice that some of the bosses seemed a bit tougher now, in the first game at least, with slightly different hit boxes and more health. For example, Papu Papu now takes five hits, and he can hit you when he reels back to smash his staff on the ground, so you can’t stand right behind him. It could just be my rusty Crash skills, but all of the bosses seem just a tad tougher than they used to be, across all of the games. Regardless, Crash 1 still feels like the real weak link in the original trilogy, but it does have its place, and it’s a nostalgia trip for sure.
Crash 2 and 3, however, feel as freakin’ awesome as they ever did, and they are a blast to play, they alone make this a must-have for any PS4 owner. Crash controls super tightly (except for when he’s on ice in Crash 2), and just running, jumping, and spinning around feels great! For a couple of games from about 20 years ago, they don’t feel like it, it’s a blast to play both of them! Crash 3 is pretty much exactly the same as it always was, though both games have slight tweaks in some of the bonus stages, boxes in different spots, etc. Crash 2 has time trials now, and since there’s no dash ability, you don’t have to wait until you beat the game to bother doing them. They’re still the most evil part of completing the games, though, don’t get me wrong about that. I’m fairly certain that whoever thought up the time requirements for the platinum relics should be tarred and feathered.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is by far my favorite release of 2017, it just makes me feel good inside to play it. Sure, some bits are still frustratingly hard at first, it takes a little while to get a hang of the controls (and analog still doesn’t feel very good). It’s by far the best thing that could’ve happened to the Australian Marsupial, and I can whole-heartedly say: CRASH IS BACK, BABY!
If you own a PS4, I don’t care if you played the originals or not, now is the time to invest in Crash Bandicoot. Sure, some bits are a teeny-bit bullshit, and Crash 1 is pretty on the outside, but a bit slovenly on the inside, but all-together, for $40, this is a great buy. The visuals, the sound effects, the music, Crash, Coco, Aku Aku, Cortex, everything, it’s all just so fantastically brought back to life! Now, just make a Crash Team Racing remaster to add on as DLC and I’ll throw my wallet at my PS4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hats off to you, Vicarious Visions, you have done every 90’s kid that had a PS1 proud.
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*The writer of this review purchased his own copy of the game and was not given a review copy by the developer