After a multi-year hiatus, Crash Bandicoot returns with the remake called Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. This collection remakes the PSOne trilogy and puts them all onto the PS4 console. The Crash Bandicoot franchise has always had a special place in my heart. The PSOne was the first gaming console I ever owned and Crash Bandicoot was literally the first game I played on the system as it came free with a demo disc. From that point onward, I was a fan ever since.
Sadly, the series went into a decline once Naughty Dog stopped developing the series. Other developers have had mixed results and the last two games in the franchise buried the series deep underground ever since 2008. After lots of fan demand the character is back, albeit via a remake.
The first thing people will notice while playing Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is just how pretty the game looks. The original PSOne games still look great, but this remake on PS4 takes it into another level. Crash and CoCo look furry and cute, plus the cutscenes are close to the same quality you see from an animated movie.
Even small enemies look more detailed than ever before. The rats and possum characters in the second game look freaky compared to their PSOne counterparts. It's not just the characters that have had a makeover as the levels and environments have been built from the ground up too. The water environments look gorgeous and there's more vegetation to encounter this time around. Everything is brighter and more colourful!
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is more than just a simple remake because some improvements have been made to make the gameplay experience less frustrating for those new to the franchise. Most of the changes that have been made improve on the first game, which had some annoying features back in 1996.
If you played the original on the PSOne, you may remember how annoying it could be. You weren't able to save unless you collected bonuses and if you ran out of lives, you often had to restart at the last save point. Now there is an autosave and you can save any time you like. If you die too many times, you can just restart the level instead of having to go back and do levels you have already done.
Another great new addition is that you can play as Coco (Crash's sister) for nearly all the levels in all three of the games. She still has the same abilities as Crash, although it's always cool to have more than one playable character in the game.
In terms of content, nothing new has been added aside from the fresh coat of paint. All three of the games feature the same levels, same enemies and same amount of collectibles. Not that this is a bad thing, just don't expect to see any new levels for you to tackle.
If there is one major change to this collection, it's the jumping and landing physics. At first I thought the jumping mechanics were an "improvement", however after going back and playing the older games, I realised that some levels aren't suited for the new physics engine.
If you are playing Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, you won't notice that much of a difference. The change in jumping and hit detection is more noticeable in some of the harder levels of Crash Bandicoot 2 and is especially apparent in the first game.
If you played the first game, you'll know the jumping physics were kind of floaty. Well it appears as if the floaty physics were necessary because the faster jumping style in this remake makes jumping puzzles much more difficult than ever before. Crash and Coco also seem to slide off platform easier than in the original games too.
That being said, this remake isn't entirely unplayable. You just need to adjust to the new physics engine and get used to it. If you are playing the franchise for the very first time, I suggest you start with the third game as that is the easiest one of the bunch. After that, try the second game which has the best difficulty curve and then leave the original game last. The original game was already hard back in 1996, but this remake makes it harder.
Overall, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is great especially if you have played the originals on the PSOne. Even if you are new to the franchise, this is an awesome package as you are getting three excellent game for the price of one.