Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is back at the top of the charts. Something that it enjoyed upon its initial release back on the PlayStation 4. We reviewed the recently released Xbox One version, scoring it a high and deserved 9.5 out of 10. To those that don’t know, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy combines the first three Crash Bandicoot games in one bundle, built from the ground up for current gen hardware. By and large, this is easily one of the best remasters of this gen so far. That is, if we can even call it a remaster. Can we?
You see, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy goes far beyond that of a traditional remaster (doesn’t it, Capcom?) due to the developers literally starting the game from scratch. They couldn’t use any of the original code due to its unique setup, so instead, they took the level geometry and worked from there. This means that every single aspect of the three games is exactly the same as it once was, save a few neat additions. The games also handle precisely as their counterparts did almost twenty years ago, relaying that original concept perfectly.
Every jump feels the same, every spin feels the same, all of the boxes are in their original positions and so on and so forth. It’s also quite a taxing experience, in fact, it highlighted one thing for me in particular. They just do not make them like they used to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that platformers nowadays are poor. On the contrary there’s some excellent platformers this gen alone, take Ori for example, but even then, they still don’t house that level of challenge that games like Crash Bandicoot offered up by the bucket load.
Each game in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy offers a remarkable amount of replay value. You can either play the game casually and just for the story, or you can max-complete it by breaking every box in each level and then go back to clear the par-times for additional rewards. Each level usually takes no longer than a few minutes to complete, but getting from the start point to the end point can be a harsh task to endure. Let alone going through and collecting all items, accessing each bonus stage and then running it as quickly as can be.
I mean, these games are nearly decades old and even today they stand as a testament as to how a good platformer should function. They’re simplistic in content but very sophisticated in concept. The difficulty is another notable difference when comparing games from the nineties to modern day games. It seems like nowadays we’re all getting spoon-fed by heaps of checkpoints or auto saves. Sure, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy houses a new save system that wasn’t present in the originals, but its difficulty still speaks volumes of its era.
Would a new IP platformer survive with just two control inputs (spin and jump) along side the movement? I’m not so sure that it would. Granted, more move-sets are introduced in Crash’s sequels, but it’s still pretty basic stuff in the grand scheme of things. This, is a time in gaming that I so dearly miss. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a prime example of less meaning more. Perhaps it’s nostalgia speaking, but I can hand on heart say that this trilogy is arguably one of the best platformers on Xbox One.
It manages to achieve that respect for being straight to the point and basic. Straightforward diverse levels, easy controls, simple structure and a shed load of replay value. I’ll reiterate, they just do not make them like they used to, and that’s a shame. The formula certainly appeals to many gamers, that much is made clear by Crash enjoying top place on the charts twice now, with the Spyro trilogy no doubt to follow suit. What do you think? Do you miss the old ways of gaming? The tough as nails gameplay? Sound off in the comments below.