Sean The Bandicoot is back.
Everyone’s favorite cocky ’90s gaming mascot returns for the first time in about a decade in the “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.”
With “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy,” you can relive some of the wacky marsupial’s greatest adventures. The game features a full remaster of the three original Crash Bandicoot games that appeared on the Playstation including “Crash Bandicoot,” “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” and “Crash Bandicoot: Warped.”
The developer, Vicarious Visions, spared no expense remastering the original games (developed by Naughty Dog) for a new generation. Each game has been fully rebuilt from the ground up to feel right at home on the PlayStation 4.
Starting with the visuals, the game looks incredible. Vicarious Visions has done a great job of capturing the beauty of the original games. The original “Crash” games were technical marvels for their time and now they have been made just as beautiful by today’s standards.
The varied locations throughout the game, whether it be a neon chemical factory, a metallic futuristic cityscape or lush jungles, are all equally unique and gorgeous. The color palette for games is so diverse that it makes everything on the screen grab your attention. But, the small details in the foregrounds and backgrounds of the levels really bring the visuals all together to present a stunning landscape. This coupled with the perfect new models of the characters led to a great cartoony atmosphere throughout the trilogy.
And it’s not just the gameplay that has improved greatly. All of the cutscenes from the games have been given a big upgrade as well, and they came fantastically. The cutscenes feel like they could be from a Crash Bandicoot animated movie, and for those who have played the games before they are an awesome throwback.
The audio in the game has also gotten a facelift to provide more refined sound to the games. The original Crash Bandicoot score, composed by Josh Mancell, has been completely redone and it sounds better than ever.
The game’s sound effects have also been revised to up the quality and crispness of the audio. Lastly, the voices of the characters have been replaced with newer and better audio. Longtime voice actors such as Debi Derryberry, Jess Harnell and Lex Lang have lended their articulate vocals to the trilogy and their presence is felt. These all may seem like small changes, but they combine to make the games feel more complete sonically.
Besides the technical upgrades, new features have been added to Crash’s escapades. The most major of the additions is the ability to play as Crash’s sister, CoCo Bandicoot, in all three of the games. CoCo plays the same as Crash, but has her own animations, voice lines and move set. CoCo was originally only playable in “Crash Bandicoot: Warped” in a few levels, but now players can play as CoCo in a majority of levels across all the games. It is a nice addition to the game for anyone who wants to take a break from Crash and use a different avatar.
Besides CoCo, another large addition is the time trials. The time trials from “Crash Bandicoot: Warped” have been added to the two other games for more replayability. Furthermore, leaderboards have been added to these time trials so that you can race against anyone for the best times in the world. While the time trials aren’t my personal favorite, I can see the appeal. If you want to get all the relics for completing the time trials, or want to try to top the leaderboards it will no doubt keep you occupied.
When it comes to how the games play, they hold up pretty well. Small gameplay tweaks have been made to the trilogy, but mostly the games play how you would expect them to. If you never played a Crash Bandicoot game before, they are 3D platformers, but not in the traditional sense. Unlike classics such as “Mario 64” or “Banjo-Kazooie,” “Crash Bandicoot” takes a different approach. The “Crash” games are more like the original “Super Mario Bros” games than anything else. You start a level, and then race to the end dodging enemies and obstacles along the way.
This kind of gameplay is unique to “Crash,” for better or for worse. It can be very frustrating at times especially because of issues with depth perception. Ledges and platforms may be closer or farther than they appear and can be irritating when you die because of it. While Vicarious Visions has done its best to mitigate these problems, they are still present at times.
Regardless, the games are still fun if you can put up with some of these issues. It is the type of game where either you love it or you hate it, and that’s okay. For me personally, I found the games to be a blast despite wanting to give up on certain levels, most namely Native Fortress and Slippery Climb in the original game. But after you beat “Crash Bandicoot,” the hardest of the bunch, you will find that the other games are much more forgiving.
Of the three games, “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back,” is still the strongest for me. It is the perfect blend of improving upon the original, but also not changing too much. It is just the right amount of difficult, unlike the first game which is too demanding at points, and the third game which is not much of a challenge. Also it doesn’t have all the gimmicks that “Crash Bandicoot: Warped” had such as the racing levels and things like the wumpa fruit bazooka.
Old-school gamers who played these games back in the day will no doubt fall in love with this trilogy again. The games look, sound and play much like you remember them in your head, but are even better. The nostalgia of seeing these games again, playing them in beautiful HD or even in full “Fur-K” will send you on a trip down memory lane if you have had any relation to them.
Even if you never have played these games in the past, “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy” is still a great pickup. The games are challenging and fun, and the production values are top-notch. At the price of $40, three full furry Crash Bandicoot adventures is a steal that anyone who loves platformers should enjoy. Hopefully people support this game, so we will get to see our fuzzy friend in the future again.