So I am not sure if you have heard, but a small game franchise by the name of Crash Bandicoot just released their N Sane Trilogy that features 3 of their biggest Crash titles.
Crash is BACK and I hate to jump onto the band wagon but boy I was excited when I was downloading this title. My childhood come back to life and the N Sane Nostalgia I was feeling was bringing back all the memories that I had playing these games, until I was reaching the end of the Crash Bandicoot 1. I would then ask myself, “I remember beating these games as a child, and SURELY they were not this hard to beat.” Maybe my reaction time was getting worse, maybe I never beat these games and it was all a lie I told myself. Or maybe the games are just plain harder.
Now I did do a little research, and by research I mean I watched a few YouTube videos on the title AND apparently the time that it takes for Crash to reach the ground after you hit the jump button has decreased making it harder to react in time. So it is harder? Why would they make it harder? Why not have 2 difficulties; one so that I can play on hard mode and poor idiot children around the world had a chance to beat these games. Well that my friend is really the only flaw that I could find in the 3 games. Crash Bandicoot isn’t Dark Souls, it not made exclusively for adults, what hope in hell does any child have of beating these games?
Ok now that I have that one flaw out of the way let’s dig into what makes Crash Bandicoot games so great! All 3 of these titles are a lot of fun and when all 3 are combined into 1 game it actually makes a great length title, all 3 have lots of content and probably some of the best replay ability that any game has ever had. If you are a bit of a fiend like me, you will beat the level, go back into the level and collect all the boxes, go back into the level a third time and do the time trial then go back into the level again and try to unlock the secret paths! The N Sane Trilogy reminded me how much of a well thought out game series it was, the fact that we are all willing to go back and reply a level over and over speaks volumes to the quality of these games.
The gameplay is completely fair, there was only 1 or 2 times where I questioned the game of if I should have died there or not, but mainly it was my fault. I miss timed a jump or wasn’t patient enough to wait for the platform to come back and yes there would always be some frustration or a ping of anger but at the end of the day I had only myself to blame. Despite the jump time being reduced (which I hope is true) the gameplay is still very precise. Most enemies have the same patterns and are completely fair and not cheesy. The level layouts are fun and all the jumps are realistic and very few of them require perfect timing. After playing all 3 of the games I still couldn’t bring myself to uninstall the title, despite raging a few times and beating them all in under a week I still wasn’t bored in the slightest.
So other than increased difficulty what else has changed? Well in most levels of Crash 1 and 2 they have added tokens that unlock a new platform that transports you to a new path. These paths are filled with more boxes, plenty of lives and lots of death also. These new routes are also requires if you are trying to collect the boxes, the best thing however is that these new paths once completed act as a new checkpoint. They add an extra element to the games that I really appreciated.
The biggest feature though is obviously the graphics. Whenever you load the game up (I wish we could skip it) you are greeted with a small intro of PS1 Crash going into a machine and emerging as the glorious sexy Crash Bandicoot of today. The levels look incredible, the backgrounds go for as far as the eye can see and it really pulls you into the experience. It would have been an amazing addition if they added a retro mode also like they did with Halo Anniversary, one press of a button and you are transported back in time.
One of the best things about Crash being brought to modern consoles is the fact that each of the 3 games has trophies. I am a little bit of a trophy hoarder and some of these trophies made me do things that I would never dream of. One of the trophies was at the beginning of Crash 2 to play through the 1st level 2 or 3 times without collect the crystal (which is obviously extremely easy to obtain) by skipping the crystal it unlocked a small cut scene that makes Nitro very frustrated at Crash. I am not sure if these small features are in the original game, but these small features are things that are missed in modern games.
Before I end the review I just want to quickly state the I strongly believe that Crash 2 is the best out of the 3. The addition to the slide, jump then spin for extra height adds a huge amount of diversity to the game. Crash Bandicoot Warped is also a solid title but was the easiest out of the 3, the Motorbike and Jet ski levels are so easy that they shouldn’t even be main levels and more side missions.
Overall Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy was a huge blessing. Not only does it open the conversation of what other game franchises we should re release, but it also shows future game devs how to give your game a true re release. This game trio was a fair price for 3 games and the fun lasted quite a while and will hopefully continue. Since the graphics look so amazing, and the sound is incredible and the small additions add an extra level of gameplay it’s hard to not rate this title a 9 out of 10.