Crash Bandicoot comes to Switch, Xbox One and PC
It may be hard to believe, but back in the back in the 90’s Crash Bandicoot was synonymous with the PlayStation brand. While Sega had Sonic and Nintendo had Mario, Sony had Crash Bandicoot, kind of. Developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Bandicoot shook the mascot wars up and was the first true hit for the developer.
Now, fast forward some 20 plus years after the initial game’s release, and the three PlayStation originals are available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. If you’ve never played a Crash Bandicoot game before, Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is great entry point. You get the original three games in their entirety, all fully remastered with beautiful graphics and sound.
Three great games, one continuous tale
Unlike other platforming games of the time, Crash Bandicoot’s original three games are connected adventures. Each sequel begins where the last left off, and as a whole they tell a satisfying, complete story arc. Let’s take a quick look at each of the three games in the trilogy.
Crash Bandicoot (1996)
The original, Crash Bandicoot, takes place on the Wumpa Islands in fictional Australia and gives us a first glimpse and introduction to the antagonist of the series, Doctor Neo Cortex. Cortex’s plan is to create genetically engineered animals to do his evil bidding, and Crash just so happens to be one of his experiments.
Soon thereafter, Crash is subjected to the mind-controlling Cortex Vortex but it fails and he escapes. Our orange marsupial hero then sets out to rescue Tawna, his girlfriend, who was also imprisoned within Cortex’s nefarious lab.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)
The evil Dr. Neo Cortex is back! Though, this time he wants to save the world? A catastrophic solar flux capable of destroying the Earth looms, and only Cortex has the means to contain it. However, his containment machine requires 25 crystals to power it, and so Cortex enlists Crash’s help to retrieve them.
Not long after, Dr. Nitrus Brio (Cortex’s former assistant) tells Crash to collect 42 gems, which he’ll use to fire a laser beam and destroy the Cortex Vortex.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998)
Rounding out the trilogy is Crash Bandicoot: Warped, an extraordinary time-traveling adventure. In this game, an evil mask named Uka Uka is unleashed and recruits Dr. Nefarious Tropy and his Time-Twisting Machine. This machine has the ability to open up portals to other eras in time, allowing Uka Uka to gather crystals and gems.
Back at Crash’s home, Aku Aku, a good-hearted mask and Uka Uka’s brother, senses a disturbance in the air. Recognizing his brother’s evil plan, he instructs Crash to enter the Time-Twisting Machine retrieve the crystals and gems first.
Do these classic games stand the test of time?
As much as I loved these games when then came out in the mid to late ’90s, the big question is how do they hold up today. Video game technology has increased by leaps and bounds since these games were released not only in graphical power but also through more intuitive controls or how games themselves are designed.
After playing all three games again, I can honestly say they are just as fun to play as they have ever been. Though, I must say the original game offers up quite the challenge. Instead of smoothly increasing the challenge, you get a mixture of easy to maddeningly-hard platforming levels.
Crash Bandicoot has never looked and played so good
The task to bring these classics back to a whole new audience fell on Activision’s Vicarious Visions. When it comes to Crash Bandicoot, Vicarious Visions are no strangers.They produced a number of Crash Bandicoot games several years ago. Insistent on not taking the easy way out, Vicarious rebuilt all three Crash Bandicoot games from scratch.
That means we get completely refreshed high-definition graphics on the Xbox One, native 4K resolution on Xbox One X, and bright colourful 720p graphics on the Switch. Additionally, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy includes a remastered soundtrack, and re-recorded dialogue. Honestly, on both the Switch and Xbox One, all three Crash games look and sound fantastic.
Furthermore, Vicarious Visions did an excellent job placing every crate exactly where it is in the original games, and enemies still walk the same looping patterns. Controls are a bit smoother in that Crash’s movements control more natural.
Two new levels and one new character
The notorious unfinished and previously un-released Storm Ascent is included right out of the box as well as a brand new level called Future Tense. This level was made specifically for the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and includes several puzzles in the setting from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
Additionally, you can play as Coco, Crash’s younger sister. Unfortunately, Coco has the exact same moveset as Crash. While I was a bit disappointed in this, it was fun to see her altered animations.
Without a doubt, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a must-play for fans of the PlayStation originals. If you are new to the series, you’ll also love this wacky marsupial and the trio of classic games. Crash looks absolutely stunning in 4K on the Xbox One X and I loved the portability of Crash on the Switch.
I must warn you, all three Crash games offer up quite a challenge but are well worth the time spent completing them. Overall, you really can’t go wrong with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Not only does it offer up a gigantic dose of fun, it’s value pricing makes it one of the must have games of the summer.
+ Three fantastic games in one
+ Brilliant 4K graphics on Xbox One X
+ True to the originals
+ Fun to play on the go on Switch
+ Amazing value
+ Two great new levels
– Brisk challenge
– Coco doesn’t offer any new gameplay
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5