Weekly Gaming – Crash Bandicoot N’sane Trilogy (PS4)

I apologise that this is a day late! It’s always hard to start the year if you haven’t prepared accordingly, and this week was no exception. Being 3 games in one, Crash Bandicoot Remastered was always going to be a struggle to finish, and as I write this I have two worlds left in the final game. So whilst I would usually make a point of completing every game I review, here I don’t feel so bad as I 1. played the games when they first came out in the 90’s, and 2. I feel I’ve played enough of the games to get a feel for the quality of the overall package.

So without further ado! Here’s my impressions/review of Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy!

Nostalgia is most definitely a weird quality we all seem to share. We look back on our childhood memories with awe, and proceed to place many products and items we cherished at that age on a pedestal, so much so that many of us won’t let anything bad be said about the things that made us who we are today. Usually, developers and many executives across the world remake games from our past for the crash grab (extremely likely that was the reason here too), but sometimes a remake/remaster is done for more legitimate reasons. In this case, Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy not only shows a new generation of gamers how groundbreaking and fun the original Crash game’s were, but also shows how far we have come in the graphical department.

Crash N’sane trilogy manages to walk a fine line between completely remaking the original trilogy from the 90’s, whilst upping the whole game in resolution and graphical fidelity, all whilst being relatively cheap for how much content is on the disk – a rarity for games of this generation, and one that is certainly welcome considering how many games are out there these days. On the one hand it’s understandable – the developers (Vicarious Visions) didn’t have to plan and create anything from scratch – they already had the main games to work from and merely had to recreate it all, but considering the shear breadth of content present in N’sane trilogy it’s surprising Activision allowed the game to be released at £25 at all.

So, has anything changed from the original trilogy? As far as I can tell, no, next to everything you remember from the original games is here, from the secret trick to getting 10 lives by jumping on the polar bar in Crash 2, to the ridiculous bridge level in Crash 1 – everything is here and working (almost) as you remember it. I say almost, as the developers have changed the collision detection on crash, meaning some jumps are harder than they used to be.

The reason being the original Crash games on PS1 used polygonal collision detection, meaning the (almost) square components of crash made him definitively stand on a platform or not. If your foot was barely touching the edge of a cliff, you’d be on it. In the N’Sane trilogy this has changed to a pill shape collision detection, meaning should you be on the edge of a cliff, you’ll notice Crash slide off. It may not sound like a big change, but it makes all the difference when you’re actively trying to precisely navigate across the aforementioned bridge, all whilst making sure you don’t jump too far to fall down and die.

Graphically, the game is astonishing to look at. I may make the pixar comparison a lot when talking about a game’s graphical prowess, but man oh man does it apply here. Whilst there’s not much on the screen at all times, what is there it’s extremely detailed, with individual grass blades and boxes all looking as detailed as something you would see in a pixar movie. I suppose it’s to be expected – if the Crash trilogy was able to run beautifully on a PS1 with blockey level design and blockey character models, then adding more geometry and better shaders/textures would certainly be possible on a console easily 1000x more powerful than the first.

The graphics aren’t the only thing that’s had an upgrade. The voice acting and sound have all had major upgrades, with the voice acting being easily the stand out feature of the two. Each time a character pops up to talk to crash you get a new sense of fidelity to the conversation, with it being well above the voice acting of the original trilogy. It may not be a big component of the game, but certainly adds a level of polish to N’sane trilogy to make you happy with your purchase.

One of the best minor changes to have come in the re-release is the collecting of gems. In the original trilogy should you have died after obtaining a hidden gem you’d have lost that gem and would have to redo the whole level. With N’sane trilogy once you gain a gem, you have it, no matter what happens in the level (unless you game-over or quit of course). These minor improvements definitely improve the gameplay of crash, and ensure you don’t feel anger or irritation from your mistakes; you simply brush yourself off and try again.

Overall, it’s a fantastic package, and one I would hugely recommend owning if you have a PS4 and need some games to increase your library. It may not be too different to the originals (some may see that as a detriment), but what’s here is splendid, and is certainly a great way to relive your memories in glorious 4K.

4/5

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