Review

Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy Review

  • First Released Jun 30, 2017
    released
  • Reviewed Jun 29, 2017
  • PS4

Rose-tinted cortex.

When Crash Bandicoot hit the scene in the '90s, it didn't take long for him to become the de facto PlayStation mascot. He didn't reach the same level of popularity as Mario or Sonic, but the original Crash games were charming platformers that resonated with audiences thanks to expressive characters and diverse environments. And unlike his peers, Crash was born in 3D; Mario and Sonic merely adopted it.

With the arrival of the N. Sane Trilogy collection, we now have the chance to revisit the first three Crash games in style, and while they look better than ever, they're otherwise direct replicas of the original games. Developed by Vicarious Visions, the N. Sane Trilogy collection features remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Gone are the rudimentary character models in favor of more realistic-looking creatures and environments, and a new lighting system bakes a measure of realism into the otherwise cartoonish world, giving the games a quality similar to 3D cartoons from the likes of Pixar or Dreamworks.

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While it's easy to look at these games and appreciate the care that's gone into their presentation, actually playing them stirs up conflicting emotions. There's no way around it: they remain dated despite their fresh look. Enemies rarely react to you, preferring instead to follow pre-determined paths and animation loops. And many obstacles are needlessly discouraging; Razor-thin tolerances for success and one-hit deaths make for a frustrating pairing. You can control Crash using an analog stick now, but smoother pivots and jumps don't alleviate the otherwise stiff gameplay lurking behind Crash's goofy exterior.

Not all levels are out to get you, however, and for the most part the N. Sane Trilogy offers a modest challenge that's perfectly suited for casual enjoyment. The ease at which you can fly through some stages allows you to experience a wide range of scenarios as well: you will carefully navigate the electrified waters of an eel infested sewer one minute and ride on the back of a tiger through a gauntlet of angry locals atop the Great Wall of China the next. There are also a handful of levels that allow you to reenact the famous boulder sequence from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, though you may be running from a massive polar bear instead of a boulder depending on the particular game in question.

This is all to say that Crash is what it's always been: a charming collection of platforming challenges that shift gears from one stage to the next. By putting three games next to each other, the N. Sane Trilogy overflows with nostalgia. The warm and fuzzy feeling you get from seeing familiar Crash levels presented in a way that mirrors what you held in your imagination is undeniable. But so too is the reality that Crash games aren't timeless. No amount of lighting or funny animations can make up for the rudimentary 3D platforming on display. You could even say that the look of these games belies their true nature.

The culprit behind Crash's dated feel is the passage of time. Vicarious Visions, for its part, succeeded in revitalizing Crash from an artistic perspective while preserving the charm that made him appealing when he first showed up, but years have passed since the original PlayStation was relevant, and we are well past the formative years of 3D gaming. It's easy to imagine how a dyed-in-the-wool Crash fan will fall in love all over again via the N. Sane Trilogy, but if you're experiencing Crash for the first time--or the first time in a while--it might pain you to realize that Crash's original adventures aren't as inventive or surprising as they were 20 years ago.

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    The Good
    Excellent visual upgrades elevate the spirit of Crash
    An enjoyable variety of challenges and environments keep you engaged from one level to the next
    A sizeable collection of classic 3D platforming
    The Bad
    Abrupt spikes in difficulty that could have been ironed out
    Outdated designs feel at odds with the modern presentation
    6
    Fair
    About GameSpot's Reviews

    About the Author

    Peter stayed current with new Crash games during the PlayStation's life span; playing the N. Sane Trilogy marks the first time he's revisited the series in almost 20 years, and he played roughly halfway through each game in the collection. GameSpot was provided with a complimentary copy of the game for the purpose of this review.
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    Avatar image for mojojojox
    MojojojoX

    I made an account just so I could comment on this. I enjoying this game so far and im not even past crash 1 never even played the original games. so you can't say that I have rose tinted glasses I just got it because it looked fun. im not even that good of a platformer and crash 1 so far is not that hard. its not popular just because nostalgia but because its a good game it would not be popular if it wasn't good and if you don't like it that your opinion so whatever if you don't like it than don't buy it but don't force your opinion to people like its fact that the one thing that every one does with there opinion when you need to look at facts. and the fact is that its a good game because why would a game be the top selling game in June if it was'int good.

    Avatar image for jfn2
    jfn2

    call it out for what it is. a nostalgia game. some will like it, some won't, and that's ok. perhaps the reviewer isn't even old enough to have played the originals when they first came out. I dunno. who cares. if you play halfway through them and it kicks your ass, then of course you're gonna think that it sucks. I do that, even with new games. sometimes certain games just piss me off. let's be fair to the guy. i'm a fan of nostalgia. some people aren't. cool. either way, 39 bucks for 3 games isn't bad, especially crash. you have to admit that there hasn't been a decent crash game since crash 3. at least they didn't include those turds. props for that. me personally? I would've given the game a higher score simply based on the fact that I love these games. it doesn't bother me that someone disagrees with me. it's simply an opinion. nothing to get butthurt about. so many of the games on ps4 are HD "remasters" of previous games, it's ridiculous. come up with something new for crying out loud. whew! glad to get that out. either way, bad or good review, I love this collection, and think it's a great value, despite what others may think. so be it....

    Avatar image for tarcisiorm
    tarcisiorm

    The game is the best selling since it came out, all of the trustfull reviews says it worths at least 8.0, and then someone just said it deserves 6.0, It's a shit that a big video game website takes this guy serious. Crash 1 maybe somewhat more difficult, but it's not any hell to finish. I'm not an asian player and I could get the platinum relics on all stages, and all of them I was able to get them in less than 30min. With check points and not needing to hurry up, they are at normal difficulty. But it seems the people here are the kind of player who needs to read "Press X to jump"....

    Avatar image for Barracuda54
    Barracuda54

    Well the bad news is, I never played the original Playstation Crash Bandicoot series.....

    The good news is a $40 dollar investment well spent to get the N Sane Trilogy and play it when I need to relax and bring my blood pressure down from playing games that drive me nuts.

    Avatar image for Mogan
    Mogan

    Now that I've played this collection, I can see why it got a 6 here. I've got a lot of nostalgia for Crash, and 2 and 3 are still pretty fun ... but Crash 1 just sucks. The jumping in the first game's remake feels terrible and imprecise, checkpoints are badly placed, for some reason the load times are super long (that's across the whole collection).

    Avatar image for hakand
    hakand

    Well I could agree with you if you had finished the whole game. Lots of review sites rated Crash around 8/10. You guys can't understand that this is a remaster of a classic platformer. I also played the game itself and it is nowhere near 6/10.

    The reviewer also mentioned that the game has difficulty spikes. It always had difficulty spikes back to 90's and 2000's. This is nothing new.

    Avatar image for warner14
    Warner14

    Look, I'm fine with people not liking the collection. The original games are from a time when 3D platformers were at their infancy and the controls took a while to get right. I get that. These recreations still have the fingerprints of their originals. It's fine to not like the games anyway.

    However, what's not fine is the fact the reviewer (on a so-called professional game review/news website, no less) didn't even bother finishing the damn collection before giving it a review and score. What the actual hell is this BS?!

    The moment you reveal you didn't even finish the collection is the moment I consider the review worthless. It's worthless because it's empty assumptions of a game you didn't bother finishing.

    Avatar image for silver1080
    Silver1080

    @warner14: The first game alone has some shitty difficulty spikes by itself. The rest are actually better than the first(even the original first game is cancer and isn't liked as much it's two sequels.)

    Finishing the game wouldn't give it a higher score dude, it would mean for him(or her) to find more faults within the game itself.

    I love the games except the first one(it's cancer). I'd give it a 7 at best, I have to agree with the difficulty spikes that plague the first game and wished they'd given the first game a complete overhaul.

    Avatar image for Mogan
    Mogan

    @warner14: If he'd given this collection a 9, I'll bet you wouldn't be saying anything about his play time.

    Avatar image for giantbombed
    giantbombed

    All the people in this comment section giving the reviewer shit for bashing on there old out of date game will be the same people bashing Shenmue 3 and Final Fantasy VII when it's released for feeling old and out of date

    Avatar image for lion2447
    lion2447

    @giantbombed: I doubt they will be complaining about Final Fantasy 7 as being old and out of date. Every time I see anything about the game, it's looking more like FF15 with a different skin. About the only thing left intact will be names and locations. When you leave Midgar and go to Kalm, the flashbacks of Clouds history will now be an extra cost DLC.

    Avatar image for skipper847
    skipper847

    Hay gamespot. I don't finish games either can I be a reviewer.

    This gives me an idea to be a youtuber. I don't finish games but I review them.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @skipper847: And that's how the likes of PewDiePie and TotalBiscuit can somehow become big.

    Did you know that TotalBiscuit was just some World of Warcraft player years ago?

    Avatar image for skipper847
    skipper847

    @Gelugon_baat: My latest one on steam is Lords of the fallen. I played 1.5 hour. I put

    Couldnt even get past the camera angle. Refunded.

    My shortest one is cities skylines.

    I have OCD.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @skipper847: For the first case, you should have checked gameplay videos first.

    For the second case... what were you thinking? If you have OCD and don't want it, why even choose Cities: Skylines in the first place?

    Avatar image for skipper847
    skipper847

    @Gelugon_baat: haha. its a joke. I love skylines 132 hours on it. I have ocd where to place things and I'm not the only one. :P

    Avatar image for SnuffDaddyNZ
    SnuffDaddyNZ

    "and he played roughly halfway through each game in the collection"

    WOW, and are we supposed to take the review scores seriously when they don't even finish a game!?

    Avatar image for giantbombed
    giantbombed

    Crash bandicoot games are of a time and place, that time and place being 20 years ago on the original playstation and don't belong with modern video games, at least not in there standard form, I also think the people buying this game/enjoying it are all wearing some rose tinted glasses, if you believe these games still deserve the 9/10 they received originally

    I am playing an old mega drive game atm called last battle, wasn't very good at the time, still isn't now, but I am fully aware of this fact and if they released it now exactly the same as it is, I would thoroughly expect it to get the 3/10 it deserves, doesn't stop me enjoying it for what it is, but, you have to be realistic and realize that you are doing just that, enjoying it for what it is and up against games like breath of the wild and other new games of similar quality it is a steaming pile of crap in every way in comparison, and its exactly the same for the crash bandicoot ps1 games, no, stop thinking it isn't, it is.

    Also to the person mentioning Shenmue, I dont think that is relevant to this as Shenmue 3 is not a remaster/remake it is a sequel, & also a story driven sequel in a series that was left completely unfinished with a huge cliff hanger of an ending

    Crash Bandicoot I just see as being a completely pointless cheap/easy cash-in where they have done absolutely nothing to the game other than update the graphics, I mean it really is just exactly the same thing as bringing back those old turtles/simpsons beat em up's in HD

    I mean, its fine in a lot of ways, yeah sure, enjoy it, enjoy those kind of remastered versions of your old favorite games, but don't act like they are worth more than a 6/10 score at this point, I think people need to take a better look at the types of games that get 9/10's these days and realize crash bandicoot from 1996-1998 era with nothing but a graphics update is just not up there with them

    Hell I remember playing one of the crash bandicoot games on the original xbox and thinking, even at the point in time it seemed a bit out of date/old hat and that was back in like.. 2002/2003

    I mean, I am not just being some crash bandicoot hater here, take most old game from the early 3D era and do nothing but update the graphics a fair bit and release it, is that in all honesty good enough to deserve a 9/10 in 2017? You are seriously delusional about where games are at now compared to those early days of 3D if that is really your honest opinion

    Avatar image for icytroid1993
    Wiison93

    @giantbombed: you cant compare these games to 2017 games though can you? It's not trying to compete with them. They said we'd get a remaster and that's what we got, a remaster. Most likely to reintroduce the series and probably make a new game in the future

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @giantbombed: Finally, some more voices against the bias of nostalgia that let sh*t like this game happen.

    Avatar image for giantbombed
    giantbombed

    @Gelugon_baat: I think the thing that annoys me is you go on lots of other lazy cash in's where they just re release an old game in HD & there are always tons of comments slating it, where as with Crash Bandicoot it's suddenly absolutely amazing & deserves a 9/10 & the reviewer should of played all 3 of them right to the end, which is just not worth it at this point, people need to face someone not finishing a game is sometimes just because the game isn't all that good

    If Crash Bandicoot never existed until now & they suddenly released this game in 2017 just the way it is, a dated simplistic platformer, everyone would be fully agreeing it's a 6/10 game

    Avatar image for icytroid1993
    Wiison93

    @giantbombed: it's not suddenly amazing or anything for no reason, it's just that these games have been enjoyed by many. That's why we have it back now and hopefully new games on the way.

    As for playing it all the way through, if you own the game and not getting into it all that much then drop it. If you're a reviewer on the other hand then it doesn't kill you to play through the game to get the full picture and give a fair review. (I've already talked about this in other comments lol) I can't speak for those with rose tinted glasses on the other hand, we all have our reasons for playing. As for me, I have fond memories of these games, but I'm not gonna play through something that I don't enjoy just for the sake of nostalgia. If I play it then it means I like it as a game.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @giantbombed: Indeed. Brand recognition has coloured some people's opinions, and not for the better.

    Avatar image for icytroid1993
    Wiison93

    @Gelugon_baat: if people enjoy this game or any other game then that's great. Saying it's rubbish or whatever is just your opinion on it

    Avatar image for brxricano
    brxricano

    lol, damn peeps. your childhood was a 6 out of 10. thats all this really means to you. you dont really give a shit about the game, its not about the game, because platformers are the shittiest type of gaming out there. its about what you remember. Your memory of you sitting there being spoiled while your parents pored over bills and wondered whens the next time THEY would get to have as much fun as your having is a what, 9 out of 10 at best? So of course you disagree. The game sucks. The infallible polished turd. The launch title you made yourself love because Wipeout was too hard. This game fails to entertain the same way washing dishes does. You can try to make it fun but the only way this game is fun to you is if you literally dont have anything better to do. So lets review your childhood. Muddled, weird angles, full of frustration and failure, very little reward, and at some point someone came along and gave you a striped apple. Peter Brown gives your childhood a 6 out of 10. I approve.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @brxricano: I agree with you mainly out of spite for fans with rose-tinted glasses.

    Avatar image for SnuffDaddyNZ
    SnuffDaddyNZ

    @brxricano: Arguably platformers were the best type of game out there until they moved to the 3D genre, where I 100 percent agree they suck in 3D.

    Avatar image for stealthy1
    stealthy1

    This got ranked only 2 points higher then friday the 13th lol fanboys disperse

    Avatar image for matthova
    matthova

    Mario sh*ts on this lol

    Avatar image for SnuffDaddyNZ
    SnuffDaddyNZ

    @matthova: I wonder how good Mario is if you only play HALF the game

    Avatar image for anevilwithin
    anevilwithin

    @matthova: you're mad eh

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    That said, the lot of you should just accept that some people get paid (and they get paid peanuts, by the way) for just writing their own opinions on games - it's part of their job description. In truth, anyone can qualify; Peter Brown here worked in a restaurant before, and he somehow landed in games journalism.

    There are not really any "professional" requirements for his kind of job, because games journalism isn't even a professional job in the first place - it's just a matter of impressing whoever the **** the interviewer is, and the circumstances that lead up to that, e.g. having already a high profile (else it's an intern position that person is getting).

    Avatar image for gleencross
    GleenCross

    @Gelugon_baat: You can argue that there's no professionalism in Journalism, period. In fact, there's a considerable number of countries that don't require a university degree on journalism for them to perform. A reviewer is just a random guy giving his personal opinion. Same goes if Hideo kojima reviews a game, it's just an opinion, there's no better opinion or worse opinion.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @gleencross: Speaking of Kojima, what do you think about his opinion on Zootopia?

    (Personally, I did not bother with that movie until half a year after it was released.)

    Avatar image for gleencross
    GleenCross

    @Gelugon_baat: Basically the same thing here, I watched Zootopia very recently, I did not bother with that movie either lol I don't know what Kojima said about it, something controversial?

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @gleencross: Oh, nothing crazy really - he merely said that it's the best film with cartoon anthros which he has seen.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    If you continue playing a game just to finish it even though all of the experience thus far is just bad, you are not being thorough or "professional" - you are just being an idiot.

    Games are supposed to entertain. When they fail to, there's no reason to continue - unless you count sheer stubbornness as being a reason.

    Avatar image for SnuffDaddyNZ
    SnuffDaddyNZ

    @Gelugon_baat: That is correct when you are the consumer, but reviewers are paid BECAUSE of the garbage they have to play, and should play, all the way through.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @SnuffDaddyNZ: Yeah, they are paid and sh*t. I heard that a thousands time before.

    I will just say this: they are not professionals - never had been, never will be.

    Avatar image for gleencross
    GleenCross

    @Gelugon_baat: lol, exactly. I don't understand why people demands so much about reviewers, their opinion are meaningless. With professionalism involved or not. The real fun aspect for me it's the comment section. Oldschool fanboys got triggered, but, the reviewer opinion is understandable. There's a reason why the crash "formula" died in just one cycle. If Crash was really this great platformer that nostalgic fanatics always bables about, then why the series died? It's not only about popularity (even if sonic is only alive because of that), lack of quality killed crash, spyro, the 3d rayman games, etc.. Lack of popularity killed gex, pitfall, earthworm jim, etc.. There's always a reason. Crash died because of lack of quality, not because of popularity, that's the reality.

    Avatar image for icytroid1993
    Wiison93

    @gleencross: the original games for crash and spyro were great. But unfortunately later games were a let down. They were handled by developers not quite getting it right. Hopefully that changes in the future.

    As for rayman, great original games. But then for some reason endless rayman 2 ports were released for years lol. Thankfully rayman origins and legends are some of the finest platformers made :)

    Avatar image for gleencross
    GleenCross

    @icytroid1993: Rayman 2, just like Spyro and Crash, was a fun game for its time. But it aged badly. I have found memories of every non-nintendo mascot, that's what I had in my childhood. Still, nostalgia will not blind me. Tomb Raider is another case of a formula who born and died in just one cycle, back when the 3d was brand new, companies released one identical game after the other. Always the same thing when talking about mascots: 3d enviroments, collect stuff to unlock new worlds, ocasional boss, etc A bunch of clones of Mario 64. Crash 1 through 3, they are all the same, people got tired quickly. Tomb Raider, Spyro, etc.. The same thing. Current gamers thinks the CoD phenomenom is something "recent", naaah, this industry always copied and rehashed stuff since forever. Crash was a cool game the first 20 to 30 levels, after that it got insufereable. Imagine to play all 3 games on a roll with even more clunky controls than before? I completelly understand why someone would leave halfway through, I was bored out of mind after the first half of Crash 3, always the same shit over and over, Spyro 3 the same thing. It's not the same thing compared to Donkey Kong Country for example, I'm playing this game on my phone nowadays and the repetition is not as boring as other platformers. Again, there's a reason why Crash died.

    Avatar image for defiler
    Defiler

    Let me get this straight Peter, you didn't finish any of the three games before reviewing this title? I don't know whether to be laugh hysterically or weep because this is beyond ridiculous. Didn't think my respect for GameSpot could go any lower but lo and behold, Peter manages to outdo himself.

    Avatar image for Ratchet_Fan8
    Ratchet_Fan8

    hey loser, finish the game first.

    Avatar image for Drkr_Zen
    Drkr_Zen

    I still feel you should have to complete a game in order to review it, otherwise we just get lame reviews like this one. If you beat it, you're entitled to give an entire published and professional review.

    If the game beats you, though? It gives you a review... "You suck." -The game you played.

    In all seriousness, maybe look into reviewing games you have an easier time with, Peter. That way you're able to complete them.

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    The easier pattern-based bosses are to be defeated simply by waiting or timing jumps, like how the player has Crash wait in unlit spots in this "fight" against a regressing Dr. Ripper Roo. The "harder" ones, like the fights against Cortex, or Brio or the other end-game bosses require more jumping, but they are still about waiting for the right moment, as telegraphed by the bosses.

    This is just old shit. You can say that this game is meant for kids, but there are better games which are more worthwhile for your kids' time and which would challenge them to think more than just waiting for visual cues. Try games like Owlboy or Snake Pass instead, and not rot your children's minds with formulaic shit like this remaster/rebuild.

    Avatar image for ZERGIOSS
    ZERGIOSS

    Excellent game, recommend

    Avatar image for deviltaz35
    DEVILTAZ35

    @ZERGIOSS: Yeah , elsewhere it was only the first game they said doesn't hold up as well but the other two are fantastic so 6 seems a bit harsh considering you get 3 games for the price of 1.

    Avatar image for icytroid1993
    Wiison93

    @deviltaz35: couldn't have said it better, 6 is harsh for the quality you get here

    Avatar image for Drkr_Zen
    Drkr_Zen

    @icytroid1993: Agreed. Crash 1 is still a simple and enjoyable platformer, both fun and just the right amount of challenge, and the Naughty Dog developed, VV remastered, games only get better towards the end of the trilogy.

    Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy More Info

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  • First Released Jun 30, 2017
    released
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Your favorite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, is back! He's enhanced, entranced & ready-to-dance with the N. Sane Trilogy game collection.
    8.5
    Average Rating70 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
    Developed by:
    Toys for Bob, Vicarious Visions
    Published by:
    Activision, Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre(s):
    Compilation
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief