Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review – PC

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I am a huge fan of Crash Bandicoot; the original mascot for PlayStation back in the late 90’s and his three video games that have been recently remastered for next-gen consoles and PC. We’ve already review Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on both the Switch and PS4, but I couldn’t resist the urge to see if the power of the PC could take this franchise into new levels of awesomeness.   Without a doubt, Crash has never looked or sounded better, but in their attempts to keep the core games authentic the developers forgot (or chose not) to address the various bugs and issues that have since been conquered over the course of 20+ years of game design.

The trilogy encompasses all three of the original games; Crash Bandicoot™, Crash Bandicoot™ 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot™ 3: Warped, and it is definitely a fun trip down memory lane for older gamers and a great opportunity for a new generation to see what we had to suffer through at the turn of the century. It’s fun to play these three games back to back and see how the technology was evolving at the time when it came to controls and shifting perspectives of game level design. It’s hard to believe there was no such thing as an analog stick when the original Crash Bandicoot debuted on the PlayStation.

The N. Sane Trilogy also treats us to previously unreleased content that has finally been finished and, for the first time ever, made available to the gaming public. Enjoy the Stormy Ascent Level from the original Crash Bandicoot game then check out the first-ever new content created for the franchise in over 20 years with the Future Tense Level that takes unused ideas and puzzles from the original game and blends them into the sci-fi visuals of Warped. So even if you somehow remember everything about all three of the original games there is still something new and unexpected waiting for you.

Fun new additions allow you to play previously completed levels in Time Trial mode and post your best times to the leaderboards. One of the best ideas was to allow Coco to become a playable character in the first two games; at least in non-driving levels and boss fights. She has the same moves as Crash, but it’s fun to mix up the characters to keep things fresh.

The remastered versions of all three games deliver stunning visuals and a remastered score. It’s crazy to see a 20+ year old game being played in 4K and 60fps. The level of texture detail, especially on Crash reminded me of the first time I saw Conker on the Xbox with individual strands of fur. The colors pop off the screen and everything is exactly as you remember. Sadly, this also includes all those things you hated about the original.

The N. Sane Trilogy is mostly a visual facelift, which means all those low-camera perspective issues you had trying to judge jumping distance, and all those awkward control issues and collisions problems due to poorly designed hit boxes and laggy input are back and just as annoying as they were 20 years ago. It’s sad when the biggest challenge in the game is not to hurl your controller at the monitor. Controls become more fun and responsive the deeper into the trilogy you go with parts two and three becoming easier to play with analog control, but other issues persist that keep this game from ultimate greatness.

It was definitely awesome to hook up with my favorite bandicoot after all these years and relive some fond (and frustrating) memories, but if truth be told, I don’t think I ever completely finished any of the original three games and there is nothing here that will likely make me finish them now. Younger gamers likely won’t tolerate the shenanigans of the flawed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and older gamers might not want to poke at their PTSD after 20 years. The fresh coat of paint and bouncy music distracted me for a few hours, but everything that turned me off from the originals eventually resurfaced and forced me to quit before I went N.Sane.

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