Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy has finally hit shelves and offers everything that fans of the original expected—a gorgeous makeover, the crisp version of the classic soundtrack, and all of the familiar faces and levels that bring you back to the good old days. That’s what any good remaster of a classic game should always bring to the table. It’s a familiar yet fresh experience that makes the $39.99 price tag not only worth it, but it makes feel like a bit of a steal.
Each of the three games included have received upgrades that improve the way the game actually feels when you’re playing. Of course, the first game is the simplest (in terms of design, not difficulty) of them all and just doesn’t offer as large of a margin for improvement. Jumping over gaps and spinning into crates isn’t something that can really be upgraded to feel much better than, well, jumping over gaps and spinning into crates. To be fair, the game still feels smoother than ever and the improved visuals make confrontations with bad guys a more delightful experience because even these insignificant obstacles seem to be bursting with character now.
Where the remastered trilogy truly shines, however, is in the second and third games. Cortex Strikes Back and Warped both feel like new experiences instead of just looking like one. Controls, while still cumbersome in some spots like when Crash is underwater or gets behind the wheel for a race, are smoother overall and allow the gameplay to feel like a truly modernized version of its old self. Even slight tweaks to enemies are much appreciated. Remember the lab assistants that were armed with welders and could shoot flames out at Crash? The original game had these assistants start blinking when they were reloading their weapons and players were safe to attack. This time around they actually very clearly and obviously return to their work patching up the ceiling of the sewers and indicate to players that this is their time to strike.
This trilogy also offers a few completely new opportunities for players, like the ability to play as Crash’s sister Coco rather than sticking with Crash for the entire game. It is a fun addition that gives Coco an added burst of character development as you see the overalls touting sweetheart beating enemies to a pulp in a way that has a bit more showmanship than her brother.
Visually, it seems like every new level turns out to be even more beautiful than the last, especially when you start exploring the gorgeous water levels. The game’s soundtrack along with the simple sound effects land on your ear like pure bliss—even when it’s the sound of Crash smashing into the ground because you missed the next platform for the tenth time.
For about $40, fans of the iconic franchise are in for a real treat. When it comes to pure nostalgia, the N.Sane Trilogy delivers in every way imaginable, but a trip down memory lane is only worth so much. Crash Bandicoot stands out because it has a lot to offer long time fans of the series along with newcomers who are itching to dive into Crash’s unique world. Simply put, all three remastered games stay true to their roots, while also being bigger, better, and prettier than the originals.