Crash Bandicoot N’sane Trilogy – aka Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Nostalgia – shows there are three ways companies can go to make a HD version of an older game: don’t fix what’s broken and give it a good polish, redo the game completely or just be Bethesda and milk that cash cow. Fortunately, this game takes what made the originals great, polished the graphics and tightened the controls but only so far that they keep the full nostalgia boat from sinking.
This HD “N’sane Trilogy” was so sought after that the physical copies have already sold out everywhere in the UK and US. So is this game good enough to warrant the sales…?
Cortex is back and in more high definition than ever to take down his own creation Crash Bandicoot when his failed experiment literally crashes out of his evil tower. In all fairness, the games in this trilogy have been given a little more when it comes to story in their introductions with more cutscenes and dialogue.
There is little plot to each of the Crash games from the PS1 era which have been remastered here, so the extra scenes and dialogue have been a warm welcome. Watching Dr Cortex in these reminds me a little of Marvin the Martian – this is not a bad thing as I find the games to be very much as if they are inspired by Looney Tunes.
Naughty Dog and Vicarious Visions kept the controls of the old games, but tweaked them as well as the enemies to make the game feel the same, yet fresh along with its visuals. The gameplay, like before, can be very punishing platforming which proves that only fools rush in.
Crash HD keeps you on your toes in each level with traps, pitfalls, moving platforms and enemies. The game is fun, but you may get frustrated when trying to pass a part of the game again and again. Thankfully, with apples and certain crates, there are many ways to earn more and more lives to keep you trying those tough obstacles until you finally beat the level, only to want to try again to get the crystals or bonus levels which you missed along the way. I hate getting to the end of the stage to find I missed one box! 😉
I forgot how much fun riding on a wild boar, jet ski or the other mass of vehicles and animals throughout the three games. Some may find the animal riding levels quite difficult, due to the momentum stopping you from thinking before leaping. Pattern remembering and instinct are key during these levels, but they are as fun to play as they can be difficult.
The improved visuals in this game are very impressive from the rocks and trees of the jungle, to the water in the swamps. The developers at Vicarious Visions did an immaculate job on the improvements.
There are many pictures and videos on the web showing how different the graphics are between the PS1 and PS4 HD trilogy; the difference is astounding. The new trilogy makes the original look like an empty wasteland in comparison. During the introduction of the game, Vicarious Visions show a little fun video of Crash and the items going through a machine that turns those PS1 polygons to new HD crisp PS4 graphics.
The polished soundtrack to this game really is a pleasure to behold. I always enjoyed the soundtrack to the Crash Bandicoot games, and I may just have to download this one to listen to on my mornings to work. Sound effects have also been polished, but still keep the fun cartoony sounds we always enjoyed.
Final Notes: This is how to do a HD remaster correctly – the developers kept the heart of the original games’ spirit and this gives me hope that we will see more of Crash in the future, be it a new game or even small cameos in some of Naughty Dog’s titles (I’m looking at you, Uncharted!). Hell, it would be even fun to find an old plush under sand in The Last Of Us Part II! In fact, bring us a new Crash Team Racing why don’t ya!
- Graphics: 10/10 – Amazing upgrade from the originals
Sound: 9/10 – fantastic along with its visuals
Gameplay: 8/10 – keeps to its strengths
Enjoyment: 7.5/10 – The story is simplistic but this HD version adds more with some laughs, and play, play, play, until you get all those collectibles!
Overall score: 8.5/10 – Crash is back and we want more
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
Crash Bandicoot Nsane Trilogy is out now on PS4, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Naughty Dog and Vicarious Visions
- Players: single-player, co-op
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1
Retro game fan, comic book reader, board game lover and film fanatic. I have loved videogames since I was 5 years old after visiting my first arcade, I have grown up with gaming since having my Atari 2600 then Commodore 64. I ended up building my own career crafting pixelised characters and have had the pleasure of meeting many of my retro gaming heroes who developed some of my absolute favourite games.