Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Nostalgia is a powerful thing, it has the ability to remind someone of a sweet yet all too familiar feeling… it also has the power to make you recall moments of your past in a much higher regard than you want to admit. When the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was first announced, I honestly didn’t know if this was going to be a case of happy recollection… or making excuses for something I loved so much as a kid.
During the PSOne era, Crash Bandicoot was all over the place. He was the annoying mascot in the commercials where they taunted Nintendo, he personified the cocky rebellion of this next generation of console wars… but more so than that he was the star of one of my favorite platformers since Super Mario World.
With this rerelease, I found myself yet again sucked in… due in no small part to how well Vicarious Visions took the original Naughty Dog trilogy and do more than just slap a fresh new coat of paint on it. The game retains the challenging platforming of the original PSOne title while giving the series a truly modern look… at first glance you wouldn’t imagine this game’s roots are decidedly retro.
Before I jump in to the gameplay, I wanted to touch on the visuals. This remaster isn’t a simple smoothing of the edges like how last gen titles are given a new paintjob on current gen systems. This was pretty much rebuilt from the ground up. Everything from the character models, enemies, items, and environments look superb! Lush foliage, beautiful landscapes, and dazzling effects bring so much new to the package. Visually, the trilogy has never looked better and even though (as a kid) I was impressed by the visual fidelity of this title, PSOne games rarely age well. As far as the graphics go, this rerelease definitely delivers and then some.
As for controls, if you played the original titles on your trusty PSOne back in the day, this will feel almost instantly familiar. Even back then, the game featured such satisfying platforming action, there wasn’t really anything like it on PSOne back then. Jumps required snap decisions with impeccable timing and taking out enemies required utilizing your arsenal of jumps and spins. From spin attacks to collecting items, controlling Crash has always been a delight. There were times I still found myself frustrated, but mostly that was on my part. Retaining the challenge of the original with a fresh new coat of paint made for an incredibly difficult gameplay experience… and one that constantly reminds me that I was better at video games as a kid.
While Crash controls just as well as he always has… looks better than he’s ever looked… he also SOUNDS better. Thanks to the soundtrack getting an HD upgrade, the infectious tunes of the series persists. All too familiar melodies but in a prettier package, I found myself humming along while jumping and spinning.
This trilogy feels like it was made for the nostalgia hunter; for gamers like me. While I enjoy the platforming, it’s hard to relate that to modern gamers who are used to a completely different way to play third-person adventures. I feel like the challenge may push younger gamers out of their comfort zones while old-timers like myself feel right at home. As a whole, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is everything the original trilogy was… albeit with a modern revamp. The biggest change is the ability to control Coco (Crash’s plucky little sister) through all games in the package. Controlling Coco doesn’t change the core gameplay, she is literally a mirror of Crash with different animations.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy satisfies the old-timer in me. So full of nostalgia… I loved it from the first jump to the last. While I feel like modern gamers may be a bit turned off by the title, it’s still a piece of gaming history you absolutely need to try.