Crash Is Back, But is He Better Than Ever?
It’s no secret that my love for 90’s and early 00’s mascot platformers runs deep. I’ve been hopping over bottomless pits since I could hold a controller, and I haven’t stopped since. One of my favorite classic mascot platformers by a mile, is Crash Bandicoot, as the trilogy provided dozens of hours of entertainment as I strove (in vain) for the coveted 100%. Now, at long last, Crash is back on modern platforms and while it isn’t an all new game, I’ll happily take an HD touch up of the classic games I love so much. Calling it just a simple touch up may not be entirely fair however. The N. Sane Trilogy is a total graphical overhaul, being remade from the ground up in the Unity Engine. What’s so interesting about Crash though, is that while the graphics are a fresh update for the new generation, Crash himself is not. He is still the embodiment of 90s attitude that he has always been. This can be taken in two ways. One way is to call Crash an outdated mascot from a bygone era that has no place in modern gaming. The other, is to view Crash as a piece of what video games were all about back then. I choose the latter, probably because I grew up in that era.
The controls in the N. Sane Trilogy are for the most part just as tight as you’d remember them being in the original titles. However, there is one unfortunate consequence to changing engines. Crash’s jumping does feel ever so slightly off compared to the PS1 original. This is due to the hit box shapes in the Unity Engine. It causes Crash to slide off the edges of platforms, resulting in death instead of a successful jump. For some die-hard fans, this might put them off entirely from the remaster, and it is unfortunate that the developers Vicarious Visions could not perfectly emulate Crash’s jump physics or hit box. That said, the controls in general still feel very tight and Crash controls very well.
Overall, this remaster is an excellent value proposition if you enjoy platformers. The game retails for 39.99 USD, and contains all 3 mainline Crash Bandicoot games. I’ve been having a ton of fun going back and reliving one of my favorite platformers, maybe this time I will get that coveted 100% (probably not).