We’re in the golden age of nostalgia, people. From HD remasters to re-re-re-releases, the gaming industry is going through a period of reminiscent throwbacks, and the latest franchise to get a revisit is the beloved bandicoot of our childhood, Crash. The Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is a collection of high-definition remakes of the first three Crash Bandicoot games (Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped), but are the adventures of Sony’s anthropomorphic mascot worth retreading?
As mentioned, the first thing to know about the trilogy is that its not a collection of remasters, but rather remakes entirely. The original source codes for the Crash Bandicoot games were all but missing, so the developers at Vicarious Visions painstakingly rebuilt the three classic Naughty Dog games from the ground-up, and that has to be admired.
Due to this, the 3 titles feature current-gen, HD-friendly visuals, with the hard, geometric polygons of the original Playstation era being replaced with smooth, vivid models, showcasing exactly how lush and detailed the original games actually were. Of course, things have been spruced up a bit.
Environments are far more detailed, dynamic lighting fills and radiates the colourful levels, and Crash himself looks fuzzy and tangible, unlike his more blocky 90s counterpart. The games look gorgeous with the new engine, acting as the perfect rose-tinted veil on the visual’s of the classic trilogy.
Mechanically, nothing has changed. The games are still the simple platformers from yesteryear and better for it. Most reboots tend to tinker with the formulas of what made them great, and to worse affect. Crash N.Sane Trilogy sticks to what it knows – running, jumping, smashing crates and hoovering up Wumpa fruit, it feels like Crash.
Oh ya, it’s also incredibly hard. Who would’ve thought it would take an orange bandicoot to remind us how soft modern gamers have become. Thankfully, new unified checkpoints, pause menus, and save systems, including both manual and automatic saving, have been added to the game to give you a more forgiving experience.
Two decades on, Crash Bandicoot isn’t the gaming icon he once was. But a new collection that resurrects his three original adventures with beautiful new visuals and animations is a reminder that these games deserve to be remembered and preserved. If you were a fan of the originals, you’ll love it; and if you never did get the chance to play them, you’re in for a treat.
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