There’s a First Time for Everything
I remember playing the old Crash Bandicoot games on the PlayStation One back in the day. Their style, gameplay, and world were all so unique that it quickly made me a lover of the series, up until Crash Team Racing. It wasn’t long before Naughty Dog stopped making games for their beloved character and Activision took over. Since then, Crash games haven’t been nearly as good as they were back in the day.
That brings me to Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy, which remasters Naughty Dog’s first three games in glorious new graphics. The game has already been out on PS4 for over a year, but is now making its way to all other consoles, the most exciting of which is the Nintendo Switch. Does this remaster hold up on Nintendo’s hybrid console?
Woah of the Bandicoot
The three Crash Bandicoot games are all held intact, both from story and gameplay. Crash Bandicoot shows the origins of the wacky marsupial as he has to stop Doctors Neo Cortex and Nitrus Brio from making animal armies and kidnapping his bandicoot girlfriend. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back sees Cortex enlisting Crash under false pretenses to gather all sorts of Power Crystals for him. Crash Bandicoot: Warped is the finale and sends Crash throughout time to battle Cortex and a new villain, Uka Uka.
The stories of the first three Crash games were never anything to write home about, but it’s nice to see all of the characters here for the remaster looking better than ever. The new graphics and art style have done wonders to foes like Dingodile and Cortex.
Through the Hallways
What’s great about these remasters is that, while they have had a lot of work done to them, there was a lot of time spent making sure the feel of the original games was held intact. Riding on Polar in Crash Bandicoot 2 feels exactly the same as it did back in the day.
When the game first came out, there were many people who said that it seemed that they were made unnecessarily harder and were actually a testament of poor game design. Honestly, I find many of these complaints fairly unwarranted. While some of the levels in Crash Bandicoot can be downright mean, all three games are still very beatable, with both the second and third being a blast from start to finish.
I do have to mention that Crash Bandicoot is still the weakest of the three, with Cortex Strikes Back being my absolute favorite and Warped being a close second. The first game doesn’t have a clear vision with its worldbuilding and the platforming is much less forgiving. There are also some slight issues with depth perception that I never really experienced with the other two games.
All the games still keep the platforming through corridors style of the original trilogy. It’s impressive that the games are designed well enough that all it took was a remaster to make them feel fresh again. The gameplay still holds up, and that’s thanks to Naughty Dog’s work.
Does it Port Well?
Now we’re getting to the elephant of Switch ports in the room. With any port to the Switch, there will almost always have to be some noticeable downgrades to the visuals to get it to run. Well, I’m happy to report that the details in Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy don’t take any significant hits (certainly nothing on the levels of DOOM or Wolfenstein II).
While the resolution won’t scale up to 4K, it still looks about the same. The game also runs at 30 FPS, which is identical to how it runs on the PS4. The biggest difference is that the Switch version is a bit darker and the textures have taken a hit as well. However, you probably won’t notice too much unless you stop and are looking for it.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy was provided by Step 3 PR.