As the current generation goes forth it seems we get a flutter of remasters coming to systems. With Xbox having backwards compatibility, the urge to remaster any game seems to be contained. However with Sony we get remasters of Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy as well as “Definitive” versions of last gen games. I’ve never seen the point in this. Games that are barely a generation old shouldn’t need to have another version out the gate.
Remake’s on the other hand is something different. That’s where Crash Bandicoot: N’Sane Trilogy comes in. I’ve seen a lot of publications call this a remaster but to me that type of casting is reserved for games that have a higher resolution and are cleaned up a bit. Crash on Playstation 4 is nothing like that. This game was built from the ground up. No fresh coat of paint can do what Vicarious Visions did to this series. The game is extremely vibrant, Crash now looks like a modernized character from that of a Pixar movie and the environments are just gorgeous to look at.
If you’ve never played Crash Bandicoot before I’ll run you through it. This is a classic 3D platformer. Not as open as modern games but more so you either walk towards the end stage or towards the screen while a boulder chases you Indiana Jones style. You defeat your enemies by either using your spin attack, jumping or sliding towards them. Now make no mistake this isn’t your Mario or Sonic. The series is notorious for its difficulty spikes. I still to this day am unable to complete the first game. Using the analog sticks for the PS4 version actually makes the game slightly easier but still tough in my hands.
If you have played the game before get ready for the exact game you remember from 20 years ago. I dont mean this negatively. The developer did an amazing job at capturing this series perfectly. The game feels just like the original (with slightly tighter controls). I for one wish the difficulty was eased up a bit as I am a sucker and can’t beat hard games but kudos to the team for keeping the game as is.
Not only does the new facelift make the game shine in glorious 1080p, the clarity helps you visually throughout the game. Enemies that were hard to read are now much easier to make out. Environments that weren’t clear due to the polygon-esq graphics are now right in your face. Now instead of being mad at the game because of a visual aid, you can be mad because you simply suck at platforming!
Part 1 is what I believe everyone’s least favourite. The series was new trying to find its ground on what it was. It had some great ideas but ultimate poor pacing and level design left for a frustrating experience.
Part 2: Cortex Strikes Back – This is where I fell in love with the series as a kid. The gameplay is tighter, more developed. You now have a slide attack. The game has balanced out the difficulty a bit more and paced itself a bit better, giving you the option to choose different worlds/levels in the order you see fit.
Part 3: Warped – The final (great) Crash platformer we got. It went multi-platform after and never reached the heights of the original 3. Warped is easily the most accessible out of the 3. The difficulty spikes have been lowered, pacing is better, there are more variation in the vehicle segments and level layouts are less of a jerk.The most frustrating part is perhaps the swimming elements of the game. We’ve come so far with underwater controls that handling crash in this scenario is extremely frustrating.
This trilogy did exactly what it set out to do. It remade the game for a modern audience without insulting the people nostalgic for it all these years. With the exception of the original the other 2 games have aged fairly with a few exceptions. This has to be one of the best “Remake/Remasters” I’ve seen in a long time. This is a must buy for fans of the original. If the series is new to you I would still highly recommend it but be prepared for a challenge
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Available on: PlayStation 4
Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher for review purposes