Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy Nintendo Switch Review

Developer: Vicarious Visions

Publisher: Activision

Release Date: June 28th 2018

Price as of Article: $34.99 USD, £29.99 GBP

Game code provided by Activision for review

Story

Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy picks up the first three games in the beloved series, slaps on a facelift and leaves the games intact. Back in the 90s the original PlayStation had a hit on its hands with Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot, it was a revolutionary game that used the extra power available on the system to bring a pseudo-3D platforming game to life.

With clever level design and a goofy loveable character Crash found himself as the unofficial mascot for Sony’s machine competing with Mario and Sonic. As a kid I have fond memories of playing these games for many hours as do many others who grew up at the same time, Activision now own the rights to the series and Vicarious Visions worked on the games makeover.

Crash is a failed experiment to the evil Cortex, the games cut scenes remain and the story has not changed but this game was never really about the story – its about the gameplay.

crash bandicoot n sane trilogy nintendo switch review

Gameplay

Crash Bandicoot is a platformer and our goal is to guide Crash across the screen to the end, many of the levels have us running towards the screen which was a revolution at the time and to this day these levels are still the most fun.

The controls are simple – you can use a D-Pad or the Left Joycon to move Crash around and we have a Jump and a Spin move, in parts 2 and 3 we also have a crouch which is needed to get through certain levels.

The controls are rather unforgiving – you can easily over or under jump and fall to your death, now without my rose tinted glasses on I realise that the games are not very long – its the difficulty that some of the levels have which causes you take a long time to complete. Each level plays exactly as it did when first released – the enemies AI sees them follow pre-defined paths as opposed to reacting to your play and the levels layout have not changed.

This is both great and its weakness, on one level the game is still creative, challenging and fun to play but on the other hand its a 20 year old game and it shows in some of the camera angles and interactions.

The addictive edge is still here, going back and speed running levels or trying to find all the secrets is excellent and after so much time I was pleased that I had forgotten most of their locations.

This is the first time we have had the joy of playing these games on the move and it really is a joy, platform games tend to do well on a portable device and this is no exception. The short levels fit the pick up and play Nintendo Switch very well.

crash bandicoot nintendo switch review

Visuals & Performance

On booting up the game I was blown away by the graphics, they are gorgeous. All of the games assets have been lovingly redesigned in HD with significantly more detail that the original big polygon shapes. One fear with a remastering is that somehow the essential essence of a character or levels can be lost, that isn’t the case here – the graphics are overhauled but the sense and style of the games has not been lost.

Performance wise there are no bugs or issues to report, I found the game performed perfectly whether on the move or on my TV.

Audio

Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy features all of the original music and audio, tracks have been remastered and sound crisp –  the audio was one of the series best features with unmistakable Woompa noises, crate splattering and TNT blasting over the top of fun backing tracks worked perfectly and still does – the games still sounds great to this day.

Crash bandicoot n sane trilogy review

Value

At $39.99 in the US and £29.99 in the UK its a lot of money to pay for a trip down memory lane. On the flip side you get 3 excellent games, a devilish unreleased level, the chance to play as Coco and completely redone visuals as well as the ability to play on the move making this the definitive version.

Pros

P

great updated graphics

P

Lots of Crash to play

Cons

P

Aged game elements