The bandicoot is back! It’s been a while since one of PlayStation’s most iconic platformers returned in its remastered edition with Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy. The nostalgia has struck with full force as long time PlayStation fans are whisked away back to our childhood, and brand new generations of gamers discover this classic series for the first time. With 2016’s release of the remastered Ratchet and Clank and the planned release of a remastered Final Fantasy 7, Sony really seems to be doubling down on delivering these incredibly high-quality re-releases, and Crash Bandicoot does not disappoint. From the moment you hear the classic Crash Bandicoot jingle, to the beautifully rendered platforming-centric levels, this game is a pleasure to the senses and will certainly ignite the passion of old fans and new players alike.
One of the most important things to remember about Crash Bandicoot is that games like this are from a simpler time. Many gamers will remember sitting on the couch with a few friends, each taking turns to complete a level or trade-off the controller should somebody lose a life. Classic platformers are a testimony to game design, and they show that you don’t need incredibly complex controls or an extremely in-depth narrative to make a great game. Gameplay takes the front seat, and what first appears to be a very simple game that involves jumping, spinning and running transforms into a gaming experience that is simple to learn, yet surprisingly difficult to master. We highly recommend stockpiling those lives you collect in the first few levels because this game ramps up the difficulty with a quickness.
In our playthrough of Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, we started off with the original Crash Bandicoot. As waves of nostalgia rolled over us like warm oceans of fuzzy memories with friends and family, things quickly took a darker turn once you progress to a particular level on the first island. We won’t tell you which one it is, but trust us, you will know it when you get there. One thing it is easy to forget about games that you haven’t played in over 20 years is that they weren’t all peaches (or wumpa fruit) and cream. In fact, the difficulty level in the original Crash Bandicoot is something that you really don’t see in a lot of games anymore. The amount of precision and timing required to make certain jumps or complete particular levels can be something that even the Dark Souls series would be envious of. This is why we at KontrolFreek completely recommend you pick up some of our GRIPS if you are playing this game. You will get angry, you will sweat and squeeze, and you will certainly want a better grasp on your precious controller as you consider hurling it across the room after failing a particular jump for the 18th attempt. Take deep breaths and keep on playing.
The following titles in the trilogy really refined the gameplay mechanics of the first game. Crash Bandicoot: Warped in particular feels like a well-polished gem, shaped by the forge of the first two games. Bringing that same brightness of style to new and exotic locations, this game, in particular, is the one we remember the most and playing it after so long felt like sitting down with an old friend. Whether you are sprinting down the Great Wall of China on the back of an adorable tiger or cruising as Crash on his motorcycle, there are some truly unforgettable moments in this game and the solid gameplay mechanics absolutely hold up to the test of time. The transition from D-Pad only to the PS4’s thumbstick went as smoothly at the graphical enhancements in the game. In a game that is all about precision, we couldn’t be more thankful for a high-rise KontrolFreek thumbstick on the left side of the controller to really ensure you know where your feet are going to land.
If you really want to play Crash Bandicoot the right way, you need to play it with a friend. It’s not a two-player game in the classic sense, but games like this were made in a simpler time and the experience should absolutely be a shared one. Try trading off the controller every time you die or complete a level. Trash talk your friend’s mistakes, commiserate on those moments that just seem impossible, but most importantly, share the joy and frustration that comes from playing a great platformer. That’s the classic way to play this classic game. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is a welcome reminder for some of us, and a prime example for others, that some of the greatest games have already been released and you can look backward, not just forward to find them.
If Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is your first time playing the series, let us know what you think, and if it’s a return to an old classic for you, tell us your fondest memory in the comments below. Keep collecting those Aku Aku masks (you will need them) and pushing to complete the Crash Bandicoot series! Also, if you can tell us how to beat Road to Nowhere, please do! PLEASE!