Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – Review

Crash Bandicoot is back and looking better than ever in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy that is now available on the PlayStation 4. This remastered collection features the first three adventures that our bandicoot friend embarked on back on the original PlayStation. The team over at Vicarious Visions has brought Crash into 2017 though and it is going to be a bit of nostalgia overload for those who enjoyed these games back in the day. The development team built this trilogy from the ground up due to not having access to the original assets and it shows, especially in 4K if you have a PS4 Pro. With it being completely rebuilt that means that the physics are a tad bit different than what you are used to with the original titles so there might be an adjustment period for some people when you are trying to time your jumps. Additionally, Coco Bandicoot (Crash’s sister) is also playable. With all of that said if you loved Crash Bandicoot before then you should really enjoy this trilogy of titles, each with its own platinum trophy.

When you first start up the N. Sane Trilogy you are immediately given the choice of which game you would like to play. I decided to go in order so I started with the original title first. For those who might not be familiar with Crash Bandicoot, it is a platforming series. The game can be pretty unforgiving as well as it is really easy to get killed whether you miss a jump you were trying to make or you didn’t spin in time, which results in an enemy touching and killing you. You have a set number of lives and then if you exhaust all of them it is game over. You do get a chance to retry the level you were on but you start all the way at the beginning of the level, as opposed to starting at one of the checkpoints throughout the level. There are Aku Aku masks that you can find and pick up that will give you some protection, such as a single hit from an enemy not immediately killing you. Additionally there is Wumpu Fruit all over the place and if you collect 100 of them you will gain an additional life, similar to how if you collect 100 coins in a Mario title you get an extra life.

Throughout the game you will be battling against Doctor Neo Cortex and his henchmen. He has created a mutated army of animals to try and conquer the world. Cortex has also captured Crash’s love interest and she is about to be experimented on by Cortex’s doctors unless Crash can save her first. The game takes place on the Wumpa Islands, which happen to be owned by Doctor Neo Cortex. Throughout my journey I went through a jungle, scaled the wall of a native tribe’s fortress, went through a city that seemed to be infested with lizards and much more. There are parts in this game that are definitely really difficult so if you are looking for an easy going type of game this definitely isn’t for you.

After going through that I booted up Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back to see how that one turned out. Cortex is back to his old tricks again but this time he is trying to enlist the help of Crash and his sister Coco. The overall goal of this particular game is to gather 25 crystals for Neo Cortex. The way this particular game works is that you clear a level by collecting its respective crystal and then reaching the end of the path. There are five levels in an area and once you clear all five you will have to deal with a boss. I greatly enjoyed some of Crash’s added abilities in this game such as being able to do a body slam on the ground to break objects or sliding across the ground. Something that definitely helped me out here was Crash’s ability to jump a big higher if you time it right coming off of a sliding maneuver. Going through this title I definitely enjoyed it more than the original as it seemed to have a bit more polish although it can still be really difficult.

The third and final game of the trilogy is Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. The story in this particular title takes place immediately after the events of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Cortex is back once again and this time he wants to try and gather some crystals so he can enslave all of planet Earth. Much like the previous title there are 25 crystals to find although the catch with this title is that you have to time travel to find them. There is a “Time-Twisting Machine” that you will use that is split up into five chambers, with five levels available in each chamber. During this I traveled through the Middle Ages, through a prehistoric age, through an Arabian age, an Egyptian age and a future age. I appreciated the mix and diversity so it didn’t feel like the same old thing, even though you are basically doing the same old thing. One thing that I got a kick out of was in the prehistoric age being able to mount and ride a Tyrannosaurus hatchling. Overall I had fun going through these different time periods but, once again, the difficulty is definitely there so if you don’t want to be challenged then this might not be for you.

The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a collection of some of the most beloved games on the original PlayStation that featured a bandicoot. It has been redone and brought into 2017 with some really nice looking visuals, some modern features like being able to stream gameplay and earn trophies and more. It is nice being able to see the progression of the franchise through these first three titles and one has to wonder whether we will see an all new Crash Bandicoot title if this collection does well. For that matter, if this collection does well, one has to wonder whether we will see a Sly Cooper collection on the PS4 or maybe a Ratchet & Clank collection. If you are a fan of the Crash Bandicoot franchise then you should really enjoy this collection and I would definitely recommend picking it up. If you didn’t like Crash back on the original PlayStation then you won’t like it here either. It is definitely a great value for the price though and, hopefully, we’ll see some of those other franchises get a collection like this as well.

Score: 8/10
Originally posted on Gaming Target

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