Crash Bandicoot - Crashiversary Bundle (PlayStation 4) Review

By Luke Hemming 23.09.2021 2

Review for Crash Bandicoot - Crashiversary Bundle on PlayStation 4

With the Crash Bandicoot Anniversary in full swing, Activision has decided to cash in their Wumpa fruit and squeeze every bit of juice out of it while the hype is high. Crash Bandicoot: CRASHiversary Bundle brings together all new remasters and Crash' latest outing together in one package. The quality of the titles has never been in question—the real question is, has the ship sailed on the Bandicoot's popularity or does this bundle put the PS mascot back on top?

It's difficult to split a bundle. Its greatness is built on the sum of its parts, but with all titles being available singularly, it's hard not to look for a favourite. A certain plumber did the same quite recently and swept the board with a 10/10 from the Cubed team. The difference with Crash, however, is whereas Mario stuck to what he knew, providing expansive 3D platforming experiences, the PS mascot has taken a different approach, choosing to throw a racer into the mix.

Crash Team Racing
CTR has already scored highly with the Cubed team and revisiting it in this collection shows why. The adventure mode still provides a suitable challenge from start to finish for people willing to put the hours in, and for those looking for a quick thrill, fast races and short challenges are available.

'Easy to play, difficult to master' is the ethos of Crash Team Racing, so there's fun to be had for both newcomers and veterans. The team has really tapped into accessibility for all ages and abilities, and much like its bigger Nintendo relative, is all the better for it.

CTR is a great recreation of a PS classic (as is the case with every title in the bundle) with the only real gripe being the rubberbanding allowing for some frankly cruel finish line shenanigans. This is especially frustrating in the aforementioned adventure mode, where first place is the only path to progression. In terms of a collection, it's off to a good start.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot - Crashiversary Bundle on PlayStation 4

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
The real meat on the marsupial bone (Crash is a marsupial, isn't he?) is the N. Sane Trilogy, containing the first three PS1 titles remastered and updated. For the nostalgia lovers, this is where most time will be spent, with the original experience recreated and improved upon in every way. Most importantly, that improvement hasn't come at the cost of playability, with controls as tight as they have always been, punishing mistakes but never unfairly causing failure.

Time trials, as well as the ability to replay all levels as Coco Bandicoot, also add a welcome level of replayability in the linear first outing. Nevertheless, all the trademark platforming is set out in this first installment with a fresh lick of paint.

Things only improve when heading into Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. The original blueprint was refined and new locales such as The Antarctic and Egypt added a more global flavour. Part two of the bundle completed, now to stick the landing.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot - Crashiversary Bundle on PlayStation 4

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
With such a long-time absence from gaming before Crash 4, any effort was going to be mostly well-received if purely based on nostalgia value. Thankfully, the developers didn't rest on their laurels and still set out to create an enjoyable, fresh experience, while also maintaining what made past iterations so great.

A simple enough plot throws players straight into the action with multiple dimensions at risk from an evil doctor, Ratchet and his loyal robot compani… I mean CRASH, sets out to set things straight. Ok its not an original plot and to be honest, the initial release wasn't exactly great timing when an arguably superior title was just on the horizon.

Nevertheless, revisiting Crash's 4th outing with unbiased eyes, its clear to see the love is there. The most welcome addition that really sets apart Crash 4 from other titles is the mask system. Whereas in previous games they would merely provide extra health, not masks can radically alter the game environment and playstyle. Infinite spins, floating and time meddling can all be used to great effect and are always fun to mess about with.

It's the leap the series needed and also could of easily been left out of the bundle considering it being a relatively recent title. Credit where credit is due in not taking advantage of the consumer by keeping it a standalone purchase.

Screenshot for Crash Bandicoot - Crashiversary Bundle on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

There is no knocking the quality of the titles included in the Crash Bandicoot: CRASHiversary Bundle but the only real issue may be why is it a thing at all? Long term Crash fans will probably have already purchased these titles throughout the last few years but if still holding back and waiting to pull the trigger or even a total newcomer curious about what is on offer, this is easily the best way and the easiest on the wallet. As the well known saying goes, when in doubt 'Put it in a pack'.

Developer

Activision

Publisher

Activision

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

4

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   

Comments

What was the superior title?

mikem52 said:
What was the superior title?

It was this platformer about a big eared cat thing and a robot, name escapes me. Death Stranding?

Lukezeppo

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