Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy review_BANNER

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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review

8 Jul , 2017  

Written by Jon Scarr

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Without a doubt, one of the games that helped make PlayStation a household name was the Crash Bandicoot franchise. When the first Crash Bandicoot game launched on the PlayStation back in 1996, he quickly became a favourite amongst gamers.
Now some 21 years later, Crash is back again in living rooms across the country in the three games that started it all. The long time rumours of Crash’s return finally became reality when Activision announced at E3 2106 that the first three titles would be remastered for the PlayStation 4 in a partnership between Sony and Activision.
2017 is shaping up to be the year of the platformer with many iconic mascots from yesteryear making a come back. Does Crash Bandicoot still have the witty charm to win over gamers hearts once again, and make some new fans at the same time? Let’s find out.

Three fantastic games in one N. Sanely good HD remaster

Let me start out by saying that the Crash Bandicoot games are some of my fondest PlayStation gaming memories. I absolutely adored the first three Crash games, which just happen to be developed by Naughty Dog. It has been since 2012 since we first heard mutterings of a Crash Bandicoot revival, and boy has it ever been a long five year wait.
It’s pretty obvious that both Activision and Vicarious Visions knew just how important Crash’s true return to gaming would have to be. Thus, they didn’t make Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy just a simple port.
What makes the N. Sane Trilogy extra special is the love and care that Vicarious Visions has dedicated to bringing these games into 2017 without breaking the original magic. This compilation includes Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped—beautifully remastered to take full advantage of the PlayStation 4.
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Polished gameplay

The Crash Bandicoot games were developed around the idea of harvesting loot. It keeps you coming back for more even if you are having a hard time trying to get past certain level-specific obstacles. More so than ever, I felt that need to collect every apple, gem, icon, relic, and whatever else was thrown at me.
I got so addicted to trying to collect every apple from every box that I couldn’t stop until I cleared each level 100%. Now I’m not going to lie, the original Crash Bandicoot is arguably the toughest of the three games.
To make it a bit easier and to give the games more overall appeal, Vicarious Visions have added extra Aku Aku, and more checkpoints. Additionally, you can now use an analog thumb stick to control Crash, which you couldn’t do in the original release since it came out before the Dual Analog controller existed.
I found that certain levels worked better with the d-pad, while others worked better with the analog stick. Another nice little extra that has been added to this collection is the ability to use Coco, Crash’s cousin, in what is called a time traveler option—a nice touch to make it work storyline-wise.
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N. Sane graphics and sound

The overall look of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is extremely well done. In all three games the retro PlayStation graphics have been replaced with brand-new lighting, animations, environments, and recreated cinematics. Each game within the trilogy is exceptionally remastered, all without losing the nostalgic feel of the original titles.
The game runs at 1080p/30 frames-per-second on the PlayStation 4 and 1440p/30 frames-per-second on the PlayStation 4 Pro. The sound and music has been overhauled too, music in the original games ran off the sound chip on the PlayStation. This remaster is filled with catchy tunes, which perfectly capture the essence of the Crash Bandicoot name.
Check out the video below to see just how much of an improvement N. Sane’s graphics over the original.


Tips and Tricks

If you have played these games on the OG PlayStation, you may remember there were many cheat codes for these games. Unfortunate for some, these codes have been removed. With that said here are some tips and tricks to help you along your way:

  • To unlock Coco, you must beat the first boss in each of the three games. There will then be a Time Machine node on the map. Access it, and from there on, simply tap L2 on the map screen to switch characters.
  •  The first boss in Crash Bandicoot is Papu Papu, he can seem a bit trickier than he really is. If you get hit by his stick, even just once, you are done for. To avoid this jump on Papu Papu’s seat; once he has swept his stick three times around the room he will try and hit you with it. Avoid it, and then jump onto his head. You’ll have to do this five times to beat Papu Papu.
  •  Don’t worry about collecting everything the first time you play a stage. For example, in the original Crash most stages require Gems before you can get every crate – most of which unlock in the second half of the game – while time trial Relics can only playable after you’ve finished a stage before.

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Final Thoughts

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy looks and sounds so good, it could easily be mistaken for a brand new PlayStation 4 game. If you are a fan of Crash Bandicoot or even remotely interested, then N. Sane Trilogy is an absolute no brainer. Vicarious Visions did an absolute stellar job with this compilation and I hope to see Crash back in an all new adventure sometime soon in the future.

Game Details

Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Platform game
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Final Score: 87/100


Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.


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