Tech News on G4
Crash Bandicoot collection a mix bag
July 31, 2017
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Throughout the 90's, Crash Bandicoot charmed audiences with a unique blend of humour and an ever so slight touch of edge. The fruit collecting bandicoot was PlayStation's first successful mascot, and served as the perfect alternative to Nintendo's Mario. Though, unlike everyone's favourite plumber, Crash eventually faded into obscurity after a long line of mediocre to poor spin-offs that failed to recapture the true essence of what the original few titles had. That fundamental core being simple yet challenging gameplay, coupled thoughtful level design. Now, with the help of years worth of nostalgia driven outcry, old and new comers alike now have the opportunity to relive the glory days of Crash.
Enter Crash Bandicoot N Sane trilogy. The collection consists of entirely redone versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
As mentioned above, the titles found in this package aren't mere re-releases with smoother textures. They're built from the ground up to fit in line with contemporary sensibilities but on the mechanical side of things, the titles remain largely untouched. This decision results in an experience that feels dated and imprecise. I found it odd that such great effort was put into revamping sound, performance and environments but then very little was done to modernize the title from a mechanical perspective. Jumps feel imprecise and largely unforgiving. More often than not, I would fall to my death when I should've cleared an easy landing. This is especially the case in the original Crash Bandicoot tittle. The two sequels, Vortex Strikes back and Warped fare better in this respect.
The original Crash Bandicoot was Naughty Dog before their prime and it shows. The tittle isn't completely void of quality but its simplistic tone leaves something to be desired. Though, spending some time with the original is something I’d recommend, as I do feel something of value can be gained by familiarizing ones self with the begging’s of Naughty Dog. With that said, new comers shouldn't feel obligated to slog through it as the other two tittles are much better starting points in the Crash Series.
Vortex and Warped add some much needed nuance and variety when it comes to gameplay. Crash has more moves at his disposal, enemies aren't as one note and environmental design is more stimulating. Furthermore, the occasional vehicular sections serve to break up the pace every now and then. Though be warned, these sections don't control the best and may lead to some frustration. Visually, the three titles look great. Developer, Vicarious Visions does a bang up job of preserving Naughty Dog’s original vision while beautifying it immensely. Forrest areas look lush, and the futuristic sheen of the later environments really pop.
The Crash N Sane trilogy provides two solid remakes and one mediocre one. Long time fans of the series have most likely picked up their copy but gamers who missed the original PlayStation generation and have always been curious of Naughty Dog's roots may want to give the collection a shot.
Crash Bandicoot N Sane trilogy
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