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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 12 - 2018

Crash Bandicoot lands on Switch.

The older gamers among you will remember the days when it was all about Nintendo vs. SEGA, and Mario vs. Sonic. They were much simpler times with simpler games. But then the tech giant Sony threw their hat into the ring with the original PlayStation and another platforming mascot threw their hat into the ring, Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot. While the plumber and the hedgehog were evolving their craft, when Crash turned up in 1996 he was unashamedly all about the classic platforming experience and became an instant icon.

crash1 (Copy)

Jump forward far too many years, and we have three Crash Bandicoot games remastered and released on the Nintendo Switch in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. While the trilogy arrived on PlayStation 4 last year, the Activision owned Bandicoot is now spreading his wings onto other platforms. Vicarious Visions are responsible for the remaster, and they have done the original proud.

The problem with a remaster of games from such a long time ago is, no matter how much work or polish has gone into the remaster, the players enjoyment of the game will come down largely to how they remember the original. For many gamers, Crash Bandicoot will represent a much loved era of gaming when it was possible to play into the early hours without the fear of spending the next day like a zombie. Nostalgia is key here, and will play a large part in choosing whether or not to pick up the trilogy.

For what it’s worth, those who didn’t play the original games, or who were simply not around back then, will certainly have a treat in store with the N. Sane Trilogy. The original Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped bring with them plenty of content and challenge, and the evolution from one game to the next is interesting, as each one gets easier and more accessible while still managing to maintain that Crash Bandicoot flavour.

crash2 (Copy)

Crash Bandicoot is a 3D platformer that will have the player running and jumping their way through a variety of linear levels, generally in an attempt to spoil Cortex’s plans. Along the way, Crash will be able to pull off his now iconic spin attack, smashing boxes of taking down enemies with ease. For the most part, that is pretty much it. As the games evolved, new ideas were floated to add some variety, but the largest part will include simply running, jumping and spinning. Keeping it interesting however, players would find their view may change from one level to the next, having Crash running towards the screen, away from the screen or in a side on view.

The thing is, these are quite difficult games. It would not be unusual to retry the same part of the same level over and over again many times before getting it right. But the fact that it feels okay to keep retrying rather than throwing the controller through the window is testament to how much fun the games are. There is a lot of precision involved, although not perhaps as much as some of the more hardcore platformers that are around nowadays, but it is always easy to work out what needs to be done, and the games don’t feel unfair. None of the three games are especially long, but there are plenty of collectibles and time trial modes that make going back into levels and squeezing every last drop of enjoyment from them particularly easy.

When it comes to the remaster, Vicarious Visions have done an absolutely stellar job. While the games remain pretty much the same, aside from some checkpoints, saving options and a couple of new levels, the visuals are where all of the effort went. All of the visuals have been upgraded, making the games feel much more modern than they actually are. Compared to some remasters, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy really shines, and it plays absolutely how it should. However, the resolution on Switch is lower than on the other versions of this remaster, so if players want the best looking version of this game, it would be best to look towards other platforms.

crash3 (Copy)

But, come on, this is the Switch, which means taking Crash Bandicoot out and about. Playing in portable mode is a highlight and the freedom makes it all worthwhile. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a little slice of gaming history with a fresh coat of shiny paint. While the Switch version may not be the best looking, gaming on the go is a worthy compromise. Nostalgia insists that older gamers pick this collection up, but for those new to Crash Bandicoot, this is a very well done remaster of a very good collection of games. With the added portability, maybe now is the time to invite Crash Bandicoot into your life.




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