Top positive review
A welcome trip down memory lane...
24 September 2018
It’s 1998, it’s Christmas morning, unsurprisingly it’s not snowing. My brother and I dash downstairs at some ungodly hour to find a massive box containing a 14” CRT TV, a smaller one with a Sony PlayStation inside, and an even smaller one revealing a game featuring an orange, wild-eyed animal bursting from the cover. No prizes for guessing what it was. From what I remember, our family didn’t see much of us that day as we smashed boxes and collected Wumpa fruit, having a great time.
Fast-forwarding twenty years, I’ve revisited the original Crash trilogy many times, so when a remake was announced I was all about it. Since I’m an Xbox user I had an extra year to wait, but when release rolled round, I’m not ashamed to admit that 27 year old me asked for The N-Sane Trilogy for his birthday. Now, perhaps all those years later, taking the wrapping off a Crash game doesn’t have the same effect as tearing one open when you’re 8, but I was happy none the less.
Crash holds a lot of nostalgia for me, so returning to the shores of N. Sanity Beach and beyond in glorious 4K HDR was an absolute pleasure. Crash has fur! The beach has real looking sand! The gameplay remains mostly as it was back on PS1, with (already well documented) adjustments to make the three games consistent. That doesn’t mean that the games are any less frustrating at times, or conversely any less sweet when you finally nail that level with all the boxes smashed and gems in hand. (Update: I’ve played through the first game now, and the gameplay feels familiar, yet new and challenging at the same time due to the tweaks made; that’s by no means a criticism, I’ve enjoyed it all the more for it.)
As before, although the games are challenging, the learning curve is not too steep; the latter two games introduce new moves to allow for a greater range of level traversal and, in Warped, power-ups that modify gameplay - meaning that a level doesn’t need to be tackled the same way each run through. The recomposed music is just as good, if not better in places, as the original soundtrack too. The addition of achievements only adds to the replayability and desire to strive for that 100% completion. Being able to play each game as Coco also gives an excuse to run through the game again - frankly any excuse to do so is good enough for me!
After years of increasingly lacklustre releases to the Crash franchise, The N-Sane Trilogy has come at the right time to reignite interest in the orange marsupial for nostalgia hungry gamers and win the hearts of new ones. I’ve not yet completed the games, but from what I’ve played I’m satisfied and would most definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to fill a bandicoot sized hole in their modern gaming life.
Now the wait is on for the Spyro remake in November, and to continue crossing fingers for a remake of Crash Team Racing and new Bandicoot titles.