Review: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Not since the marvelous remake of Abe’s Odyssey has an old classic game gotten so good a remake. Crash is back with a bang and Vicarious Visions has not hold back.
I won’t get into the story too much, as most people reading this review probably played the originals on the first PlayStation console. For those too young, or those of you who played Xbox or was in the Spyro camp, and never got into the Crash Bandicoot games, here’s the short story. In a totally not cliche way, the earth is threatened by a villain, Dr. Cortex. With the help of his minions, he alter the intelligence of different animals, mainly to help him in his endeavours.
Just one problem – while the bandicoots get more intelligent, they don’t answer to his orders as he otherwise expected. The male bandicoot escapes, the doctor takes the female hostage, and you have a setting where the male bandicoot, now named Crash, needs to collect gems for the dear doctor in order for him to not harm the female bandicoot – or earth. On your way through the world, you’ll encounter the other test subjects which all will try and stop you in order to catch you and get you back to Cortex.
In addition to…
You can play as Coco, the female bandicoot throughout all three games. To my surprise she is Crash’ sister – I just always assumed they were a couple. You know, save the female, live happily ever after.
The story restarts with each new game, just as with Bowser kidnapping Peach and letting Mario chase after him in each game of the core series, Cortex escapes, comes up with some sort of dubious plan that makes Crash running for his life, his sisters’ life and the earths existence.
When playing this remake it does feel like you’re going back to the originals and replaying them, as the handling and feeling of the games are spot on – at least that’s how I perceive it but I haven’t played the originals for decades. I played the first to death and the third one quite much, while I for some reason ended up skipping the second in the series.
Fans of the series have dug up that the playable characters’ feet are pill shaped, using the game engines standard instead of flat feet. There’s good and bad sides to this – while it can make you slide on edges into the abyss, it can make you slide on edges and make for a longer jump if timed right.
Other issues includes a boring loading screen which could had been made more fun or more helpful than a single hint, that most often is quite obvious – however sometimes makes for a fun comment about the level you’re about to jump into. The other issue is that if you collect extra lives in a level, but you keep dying and actually end up losing them all and greeting a game over screen would make you believe that the extra lives would reset so you get another good chance at the level. That is not the case: extra lives does not respawn.
Joyfully I declare…
I am totally going back to being 13 again, envious of my own brother getting the first PlayStation before I did, and with Crash Bandicoot to boot. Luckily for me, he was keen to share the gameplay experience by switching the controller between lives and/or levels the first weekend, and we enjoyed getting through some of the game together. I later borrowed his console and the game and played through it in a couple of days.
Running through the first level was truly nostalgia-inducing and I can’t stress enough to everyone who played the originals how good a remake this is. It feels just like back when, and even looks like it, but mostly because we’ve gotten used to better graphics and the remake got the overhaul suited for what we know now so it doesn’t look old or outdated. Even the handling and the movements feels as the originals, so it does feel old, but this is on purpose. It does make the games hard to master, though. You can watch an interesting video where Geoff Keighley talks with the developers of the original games about the remake.
I highly recommend this compilation, especially for fans of the original series. Long time players that didn’t play the games now get the chance to experience all 3 in all their glory with new graphics, added trophy support and tweaked difficulty in form of more extra lives and checkpoints as well as unlimited continues. It looks like a kids game, and it is, but the difficulty requires a somewhat skilled player to truly enjoy.
Miss; Extra lives does not respawn in levels after a game over.
Need; Hard to say, as I wouldn’t be able to demand more content or a different story.