The Bandicoot we all know is back. We’ve been anticipating the return of Crash Bandicoot for quite a few years now. He’s had quite the dormant life since he was left riding mutants and sporting tribal tattoos.
You could say that Crash pretty much crashed and burned in the latter half of his life without Naughty Dog. While we could sit and point fingers at various sources behind his demise, the real question with the rebooted marsupial is if it was all worth it?
You bet it was.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Released: June 30, 2017
One thing to keep in mind about Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is that it is a complete rework. Not a reboot with features that didn’t need to be added, but rather a full-on remake of the first three classic Crash Bandicoot games. Not retextured either, new assets to replace all of the old ones. Cutscenes are recreated in a stunning fashion and makes you actually pay attention this time around. I don’t know anyone who actually can explain the plot of Crash Bandicoot from memory. Crash is all about the gameplay.
Speaking of that gameplay, it feels solid. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The platforming is just as solid as ever and actually feels like a new experience due to the overhauled graphics, heck, maybe the team tweaked things just that tiny bit? Overall the game plays like a dream, it feels like a fever dream sometimes, because you’re playing a game you’ve played in your youth but.. with a better paint job? It’s comparable to the MGS Twin Snakes effect if anyone played the remake back on the Gamecube.
The game does feature some neat additions as do all repackages of any franchise. You know the ones. “You can SAVE in this place where you couldn’t!” As laughable as that notion is at times, the features added to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy actually feel quite helpful. Skip cutscenes, autosaves, and a nifty drop in and drop out feature to change to whichever Crash game you’d like to play within this Trilogy. No need to exit out of the game and start it back up again. It’s the small things that make all the difference.
But what might make things a bit odd for your playing experience is voice acting. Most of the cast has come back to action, and while they some sign of age in their voices, they mostly check out and do a great job. But the lack of certain actors such Clancy Brown for Cortex is disheartening, as it is not the same experience. How can Clancy Brown continue to voice Lex Luthor for DC Media, and yet we can’t get him back as Dr Neo Cortex?! It’s sad, but not game breaking. Reminds us the whole Brian Drummond and the Sonic franchise situation a little.
Voice acting, gameplay, all of it really just blends in really well. It could be because the framework is just a really good game, but you can feel the heart the team put behind the remake. It all fits together and never comes unhinged, just like how we remember it. I actually gave the game to my wife who had never played Crash Bandicoot before and saw her face light up when she learned how the controls worked and realised I was seeing what I experienced when I first booted up the game on my Playstation. A new game that is just fun to play, it feels like a formula somewhat lost in this era, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brought that feeling back.
While Naughty Dog may have given the reigns for Crash over to a bit of disaster, what the developer has done here is nothing short of fantastic. It remains to be seen what will be done with Crash in the future, but here is to hoping that we see more of this. It’s hard to say how’d they do it, as it’d be tough to make a new Crash Bandicoot game that invokes this level of enjoyment and nostalgia, but hopefully, the sales numbers will show a clear level of interest in our favourite Bandicoot.
So yes, it was worth it by a country mile. Thanks to the team involved with bringing Crash back! Go grab it today and experience some Retro goodness!