Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro (1.01 Patch, Review Code Provided by Activsion UK)
Release Date: June 30th, 2017 (Reviewed on 10th July after earning all the platinum trophies)
MSRP: £35.99 / $40.00
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a complete remake of the original Crash Bandicoot (1996), Crash Bandicoot 2 (1997) and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (1998) on the PlaySation 1. While these games were developed by Naughty Dog, the remake has been developed by Activision’s talented studio, Vicarious Visions, the team who brought Crash Bandicoot to the Game Boy Advance 15 years ago. After 20 years, does the N. Sane Trilogy hold up to the originals and belong in 2017?
Crash Bandicoot is a 3D platformer where the player controls the character, Crash Bandicoot. You’ll run, jump, collect gems, break boxes and defeat a wide variety of bosses across many different environments. Upon starting the game, you will see a quirky cutscene as to how Crash got HD Remastered, the same quirkiness that the original games had. After this, you’ll select which game you’ll want to play. The games keep the original logos from the past games, they have just been re-textured and made to look like a logo from the games of today. It’s a very simple menu and you simply select new game on whichever one you want to play first.
The trilogy is, near enough, identical to the original PS1 games. There are very little differences in terms of gameplay and level design. The graphics have been completely redrawn and only based on the original designs. The game look stunning and if you own a PS4 Pro and a 4K TV, it’ll look even better in the upscaled 4K. The audio has also been redone. While it is the same as the originals, it has been made to sound much more crisp and clear.
As the game is the same as the original is does keep the same design choices, some of which are just not seen in today’s games. The camera angles, for example, aren’t great in places as the perspective or where Crash is jumping can sometimes be very hard to judge. Some of the level design, namely in the first game, is also very Frustrating. One level in particular, The High Road, is a total nightmare and will prove extremely frustrating to many players, myself included. This level has you run across a bridge, with very few planks and you have to jump on turtles precisely to get over the longer gaps. The perspective takes some getting use to on this level as you’ll be running away from it, and it’s hard to judge where Crash is going to land. Crash is a bit more “slippy” than he was in the original and he tends to slip off gaps and off enemies much easier. I assume this is to do with the updated technology in games in terms of collision detection, but it can be frustrating when you jump onto a turtle only to slip off it and fall off an edge.
If you played and enjoyed the originals, you will love the trilogy. While the difficulty may be frustrating in places, this is how the game was 20 years ago and in a way I’m glad Vicarious Visions didn’t tone down the difficulty. Most of the levels are just difficult, and not poorly designed. It’s just the few poorly designed ones like the aforementioned High Road that’ll have you pulling out hairs. The game has improved on a few aspects of the game from the originals, such as the save and character system. In Crash and 2 you can play as Coco on most of the levels. Coco is Crash’s sister and in the original games she was only featured in the third game. As the third game has time travel in it, this made it plausible to add her to the first two games.
The save system has also been reworked. You’ll have three save slots on each game to make manual saves, as well as an auto save option that can be disabled if you choose. My only complaint with the save/load system is when you access it, X is to load the game and not to save. If you didn’t read the button prompt text at the bottom of the screen, you could accidentally press X thinking you are saving the game, but instead are loading. This is a small issue, but I think it would have been better if X was to save and Circle was to Load instead of it being the other way around. Lastly, time trials have been added to the first two games. In the original trilogy the time trials were only present in the third game, Warped. This adds some replayability to the levels and encourages mastering the levels in order to the gold/platinum times.
Each of the games has a platinum trophy, so if you pick up the trilogy you’ll be able to earn yourself three shiny platinum trophies. The trophies are pretty much the same on all three games and you basically have to reach 100% completion, get at least gold in all the time trials and complete some miscellaneous actions. No missable trophies, and you can go for whatever as he list is easy to follow. The platinum’s are difficult though, but the difficulty declines from the first game. First is the hardest and the third is the easiest. Overall, the trophies have been well done and I think a lot of players will enjoy going for the platinum’s in these games.
Overall, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is one of the best remakes/remasters we have seen. The games stick to the originals completely so if you are you want to play for nostalgic purposes you will not be disappointed. However, the level designs controls have remained the same and some of them are very questionable for a 2017 game. The camera angle is the main issue, and it will change a lot. This really messes up the perspective and it can be really hard to judge the distances of some jumps, some of which need to be executed at pin point precision.
+ Stunning Visuals and Audio
+ A nice trophy list for all three games
– Out of date controls
– Frustrating Level Designs