N’Sane in the membrane

A remake of the Crash Bandicoot games seemed as wild and outlandish of one of Aku-Aku’s famous cries but this is now a world we live in.

Not only that, it sold absolute bucket loads even though it was only released on one console, at least for now.

So, with those rose-tinted glasses solded to our heads yet again, does the new N’Sane trilogy hold up? Is this spit and polish job good enough to live up to his legacy?

Well yes. For starters, they all play and run superbly with the new coat of paint, with the colours vibrantly popping out of the screen without losing the creativity of the original games.

Each level is clearly lovingly recreated with the same style, same layout but just with a newer artist at the helm. It’s the perfect balance of recapturing what fans loved without having to stare at the garish 3D modelling of the mid-90s.

Crash himself also controls well, adapting to the analog stick with relative ease while adjusting his style to fit with each game. It takes a little getting used to, especially with the first game and the changes to the landing zones and speed of his fall, but for the most part it feels like the Bandicoot should do.

Time to tackle each game at a time and as a note, I played the first game as a little tyke but missed the other two because of poor money and judgement.

Crash 1 is tough but not as impossible as others have made it out to be so. The changes due to the remaster do make some levels tougher than the previous iteration and it has an incredibly erratic difficulty curve but it’s not going to make most people tear their hair out.

Each mission feels exactly how it did back in 1995, with all hidden secrets still intact but without the obnoxious saving mechanic that crippled the original. The design is varied without too much repetition, the bosses are nicely varied in style and difficulty and overall, it’s still a solid game.

Crash 2: Wrath of Cortex is good but feels like a game that came out a year after it’s predecessor. Too many copied levels too early, cheap enemy placement and a sharp difficulty spike at the end really disrupts the flow.

The jetpack is better than before but it’s like smearing a little bit of toffee over your bin, the bosses are laughably simple but at least there’s much more variation in terms of collecting gems. The weakest of the three, it just struggles to be a comprehensive experience.

Crash 3: Warped is plenty of fun if not a little too short. It’s got plenty of variety in terms of not only level design but types of levels, adding in vehicles to mix things up a little, helps spread out the gameplay.

The planes are fantastic, the bikes are a solid idea but flawed and the jetski controls like soap. This one also suffers from simple bosses, even if they are a little more dynamic compared to 2 but overall, Warped is a little too simple after slogging through the previous two.

Taking it as a whole package, that’s even at a reduced price, it’s hard to put a damper on this excellent little collection. It’ll stimulate that nostalgia gland for you just right, forcing you to break your controller and remember that not everything you love, loves you.


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