Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)
Genre: Platformer - Manufacturer: Activision - Age Rating: 3+
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)"
Today is Linkin Park day. That's a part of my childhood gone and an artist who got me through some really rough times.
For those of you with a slightly masochistic tendency to gaming and an enjoyment for platform games and the inevitable frustration of difficult platform games, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy may be exactly what you are looking for this summer. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t played the original games, this is a challenging and punishing game that certainly makes you work for your money. Of course, depending on which boat you’re in, your view is going to be different. If like me you never really played Crash Bandicoot all those years ago then this is a whole new experience… the nostalgia feeling will be strong in those sitting in the other boat through.As you may gather from the term ‘trilogy’ in the title, this is a game set made up of three titles as a whole. You have the original Crash Bandicoot and then the sequels, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. I vaguely recall playing small amounts of the original game at a friends house, however it never caught me enough to beg the parents for it. By this time I’d really become interested in RPG’s in favour of the platforming games. I don’t remember playing either of the sequels at all, and I have no recollection of any of the levels when I have been playing through it on the PS4.
The trilogy aspect makes this well worth picking up in and of itself; it’s completely remastered and you get three games for the price of one! However, the games do all have their own strengths and weaknesses; the original is definitely the weakest link and whilst it is entertaining to play in small bursts it simply doesn’t have the engaging gameplay or the challenging platform aspects of the other two. The gameplay movements are distinctly limited, the levels are less interesting with less platforming challenges and more reliance on beating up bad dudes and the whole game comes across as repetitive and a bit of a grind. It’s not a game you will plough hours into, instead I can see this being the real ‘nostalgia’ bit of the game and many of what were likely original faults still exist with jumps being difficult to judge etc.Cortex Strikes Back provides a far better first, second and third impression with the game having been expertly made originally or expertly remastered with tweaks. I don’t know, never having played the original. This is where the real platforming challenges start to come in and the difficult level is hammering, masochistic and yet somehow sets you up for ‘just one more try’. It never actually takes only ‘one more try’ but that doesn’t stop you repeatedly saying it. There is also a really clever balance of extras and bonus’ with secret levels and routes throughout, making it worthwhile to go back again and again and again. And when you fail, as you will lots, you always know there is the possibility for success hiding around the corner.
Warped is kind of a step between the two games in fact; it is less masochistically difficult that Cortex, but far better designed and laid out than Crash Bandicoot. You have a far larger arsenal of moves and weaponry on your side which makes certain aspects of the game immediately easier and yet the levels are far longer and more mazelike, leading to a more in-depth feel without the repeated deaths. It also includes additional levels which change the pace completely and aerial levels where you shoot down planers, underwater levels and racing levels and the such like. It adds an additional layer of vibrancy, which even I have to admit is clever and these are my least favoured levels by quite a long way. But it takes a step outside the box and shakes you around a little bit.Crash Bandicoot is set out on three islands, with eight, seven and eleven levels each respectively and gems gained for smashing every crate. Cortex Strikes Back and Warped are both set out with warp zones and the gameplay differs with more complexity and challenges on how you collect your gems and the addition of Death routes which take you a secret level providing you reach them without dying. Cortex Strikes Back has five warp zones each with five levels including a jungle, ice and alpine zone and two secret levels whilst Warped has five main warp zones with five levels including medieval, oriental and future, however it also has a locked basement with another five levels and two secret levels. Somehow it also has a 105% completion score as well… go figure. That’s a fair few levels to work your way through however…
The game also then gives ample replay value, not just through the finding of gems and secrets and Death Routes, but also through time trials which are available on all three of the games which certainly offer new challenges all around! There is also a second character you can play as – Crash’s sister, Cocoa – however as she plays almost identically to Crash, just with different animations, this added very little to the game for me and after one or two runs with her I’d had my fill. This could have been improved by making her play differently to Crash and therefore changing the way you have to approach levels.There is going to be a definite nostalgia fix for those who played and loved the original games and whilst that will be a big draw for some, it has to be noted that it does make the game feel somewhat dated to those of us who weren’t original fans. The controls are fiddly, the mechanics are old fashioned and the jumps can be an absolute nightmare to judge. It’s a delicate line to try and juggle; between those who will buy it for old skool fun and those either of the younger generation or those of us who simply missed it first time around. It’s strange in a way. They have to try and meet the best of both worlds… and they haven’t done badly here, but certain aspects could definitely have been improved, including the vehicle chases. Would a nostalgia fan agree with me? Now that I do not know.
All in all, because I don’t have the nostalgia feel, this isn’t a game I lose hours to which does make me suggest that the real market for this is the market that have fond memories of Crash from before they had to pay real wolrd bills and go to work and that lot. I understand that; I get it with Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Final Fantasy and multiple other games from a similar era. But that said, it’s a game that is entertaining to play for an hour or so in a break before doing something more important. It’s fun, it’s crazy and it’s well developed. It’s also difficult enough to keep you coming back for more in order to better your performance.Graphically, this is a huge improvement from the PS1, which is to be expected, however it isn’t the prettiest thing on the PS4 market currently. But again, it doesn’t need to be. It looks good and most importantly, it will still bring back all those feel good feelings that you get from a nostalgia game. It is still recognisably Crash Bandicoot and in this kind of endeavour that is important. The same can be said for the sound; I don’t know if they have remastered the original tracks but it wouldn’t surprise me.
This is officially a 7+ game and whilst yes, there is nothing here to scar a seven year old for life, I would be more likely to put it at a 10+ simply due to the difficulty. I cannot imagine my eight year old twin sisters persisting with this; it is simply too challenging. That said, there is mild violence with cartoon spins etc, there is however no blood, gore or death and destruction. The only thing stopping this from being a kiddies game is the difficulty, so if you have a prodigal child then you should have no issues. It is possibly worth re-raising the dated issue here as well though; obviously, a ten year old is going to find no nostalgia value at all here. It may be one that is actually purchased for Mum or Dad that sprog gets to have a go on!!If you buy this new from an approved seller you will likely pay £40; this is because the game was only released at the end of last month. Personally, I wouldn’t pay that much. I snaffled it off a friend who had nostalgia feels for it and will be returning it without actually buying my own copy yet. When its down to £20, I may be tempted. You can get a new copy on Amazon for £30 from other retailers and you can find it perhaps on eBay for £25 if you are lucky but those deals get snapped up quite quickly. And for those of you who are shiny mad like me, there are 25 trophies to be collected on this game… obviously they are worthless, but somehow, they are really important and I like them! Some of them are easy… some of them are evil.
Do I Recommend?
I kind of do, but personally I would recommend waiting for the inevitable price drop that will occur in August/September. At the end of the day, this is a remaster and it isn’t worth £40. But it will reduce in price and then it will be more than worthwhile. Is it one of favourite games? No. But it’s still actually good. It’s fun to play and challenging enough to keep even the most avid of platformers on their toes. It has an obvious nostalgia value that will appeal to many and yet it also manages to pass muster as a modern game… even if it may seem a little dated in its gameplay and outlook.
Product Information : Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)
Manufacturer's product descriptionGenre: Platformer - Manufacturer: Activision - Age Rating: 3+
Release Date: 2017
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Listed on Ciao since: 04/05/2017