Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ofisil 02.07.2018

Review for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Sony's wacky bandicoot was its answer to Nintendo's heroic plumper, and SEGA's edgy hedgehog; something that, even to this day, leads to some inevitable comparisons - which is unfair, as each franchise should be judged based on its own merits. Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation, for example, offered a more "traditional" platformer that, unlike Super Mario 64, didn't really reinvent the wheel, but definitely reinforced it with a good set of rubber tires. Is there any reason to play Naughty Dog's 20-year-old trilogy nowadays? Vicarious Visions blows the dust off, and loudly screams 'Yes,' as long as people are ready to throw their Switch out of the window in frustration. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has arrived on Nintendo Switch.

While one of the first 3D platformers, all three Crash Bandicoot titles restrict movement to a vertical or horizontal plane, as levels are completely linear, with the occasional secondary path usually leading to a secret. The whole trilogy is also surprisingly simple in terms of mechanics. Crash runs, jumps, attacks with a Taz-like spin, occasionally rides a polar bear … and that's about it. It's really like playing a 32-bit Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog.

Of course, this old-school vibe is what makes this so entertaining - old-school not as in archaic, but old-school as in… fun! Note, however, that while this is certainly a tough bunch of games, completing all three "episodes" won't challenge you very much, or take too long to complete. What raises the replay value considerably is how all levels can be replayed to gather some extra gems, usually by smashing all fruit crates, or completing a 'Time Trial' mode.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

This, however, is also where the tears will begin. Whereas completing stages can be somewhat tough, acquiring the optional gems and crystals can occasionally put even the likes of Cuphead to shame, or at least make you pull out the hair that was left from playing Studio MDHR's beautiful gem. This is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to die and fail quite often, many times on the same freaking spot of the same freaking level - especially in the first outing.

Vicarious Visions' remaster had the courtesy to add a handful of additional checkpoints, and the stupid save limitations of the past are gone forever, as it's now possible to save whenever on the level stage screen. It should be noted, though, that due to the fact that the developer had to rewrite every single line of the code, and build the game engine from scratch, a slightly annoying change has emerged in what is otherwise an identical clone of the originals.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Simply put, jumping over a ledge, also known as the main cause of death here, feels slightly… off, especially for those who are quite familiar with the trilogy. It seems that it's a bit easier to slip and fall down a hole, something that probably has to do with the different shape of the hitboxes that are used for matters of collision. This makes jumping a bit harder to master than it used to, but, strangely enough, it also lets players take advantage of that "flaw" and make longer leaps.

In terms of quality, the first is the worst, and the third is the best (and easiest), but people are advised to play those in the correct order, as it's hard to go back to a previous chapter after getting accustomed to the bonus moves of the new ones. In terms of content, as mentioned before, this is basically a clone of the original titles. However, N. Sane Trilogy comes with two additional levels, made by Vicarious Visions, which, as expected, are veteran material only, and, thankfully, lots of fun.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Above all, this is mainly an audio-visual upgrade, and, in all honesty, a beautiful one. Whereas most remasters just slap a bunch of high quality textures and call it a day (looking at you Dark Souls Remastered!). every single asset in here was designed from the ground up. The result? Everything, from the dense jungles and rivers, ancient temples, and frozen caverns, to the industrial zones and high-tech trap-fests of Dr. Neo Cortex, all looks as if Pixar was involved.

Sadly, this part is not without issues, either, although none are that serious. The first is the 30fps frame-rate - a perfectly stable 30fps frame-rate, but also a very obvious 30fps frame-rate. The second "problem" is the motion blur effect, which, once again, is not bad per se, but like with the frame-rate, does a disservice to what it otherwise a very pretty remaster …Oh, but who cares?! It's freaking Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on the go!

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The crashing challenge of the first three Crash Bandicoot instalments gets an impressively solid, as well as stunning upgrade, making the original PlayStation series feel obsolete. The collision detection could use a nice little patch, and the omission of a higher frame-rate feels almost silly, but other than that, fans of tough retro platformers are advised to try this out. NOW!

Developer

Vicarious Visions

Publisher

Activision Blizzard

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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