A remaster or a remake of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy is something I have been waiting on for years – since the first subtle reference in the Playstation 4 launch trailer way back in 2013. There was more teasing when Shawn Layden (SIE Worldwide studios Chairman) walked on stage at the Playstation Experience 2015 with a Crash Bandicoot shirt on. Finally at E3 2016 the game was announced, resulting in my screaming loudly in glee. I think its safe to say that (like many others I’m sure) this is my most anticipated game of the year, and it did not disappoint!
Now the N. Sane Trilogy isn’t quite a remake or a full remaster as Vicarious Visions (the developer of the trilogy) only made new animations, graphics and audio. The entire level data from the original games is still used, and because of this there are many glitches and bugs present from the originals which can make getting through several of the levels significantly easier. For example, in the level Road to Nowhere and The High Road you are supposed to jump across the planks to reach the other side, but like in the originals you can easily walk along the ropes to make it easier. Having the level data stay the same as the originals makes the N.Sane trilogy feel like the same old Crash Bandicoot I played growing up. I suspect this will please many others who likewise grew up playing Crash on older Playstation hardware.
However, I don’t personally remember Crash Bandicoot being this hard! At least not the first game. The first Crash Bandicoot is by far the hardest of the three, but as you go on, each game gets easier and easier. I started playing using the analog sticks as I thought it would be easier, but it turns out it made the game harder than it already was. Playing Crash Bandicoot with the D-Pad as originally intended is the better option. But I still cant figure out why it’s so hard! All my memories of the game were of it being fun and me having a great time playing it, yet now it frustrates and angers me more than any game I’ve ever played (even more than Dark Souls and Bloodborne), and I think that’s because of the simplicity of the game. How can a game be so simple yet so damn hard and frustrating? It confuses the hell out me!
The N.Sane Trilogy doesn’t feel like a new game. It feel like the same old Crash Bandicoot but with a face lift. The graphics overhaul that Vicarious Visions have done is absolutely phenomenal. Crash actually has detailed fur on his body and the detailed environments look great – from the grass and trees to the mud and water, it all looks amazing. Having the huge graphics overhaul also helps to identify objects and enemies throughout the levels. Being able to see the animations more clearly helps to make it easier to know when you need to move or what an enemy is going to do next.
The entire audio has be remastered as well; from the songs throughout the levels to the sound effects (crates, wumpa fruit, enemies and Aku Aku). All of it has been remastered and it sounds absolutely amazing! Not only that, but during certain indoor levels the audio has an echo effect which helps with the overall immersion. I also think the different sounds of Crash walking on different surfaces is top notch. For those true fans, the entire soundtrack (47 songs) is also available to stream on Spotify.
Crash Bandicoot 1 has 34 levels, Crash Bandicoot 2 has 35 levels and Crash Bandicoot: Warped has 35 levels, so there is more that enough content to keep you playing for a while. Not only are there 104 levels total, but there are also gems to collect for destroying all of the boxes in every level and relics to collect by completing the time trials for each level as well. The trilogy has a lot to offer, and will take a lot of time to complete.
Vicarious Visions have done an amazing job on the N. Sane trilogy, and it stands as a perfect example of how to bring tons of old gamers scrambling to buy copies of a game. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for a whole new generation to enjoy these games. The N. Sane Trilogy is the perfect way to do a remaster/remake/whatever-it-is. While the trilogy is hard in difficulty, it is extremely fun to play and people will no doubt spend hours playing it. I know I have, and will continue to do so. I highly recommend the N. Sane trilogy to those who played the original, and to those looking for a fun game to spend time on.