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Crash is back and better than ever

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    Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    Crash is back and better than ever

    Fans have been asking for a new Crash Bandicoot game for years, and while Activision didn’t deliver exactly that with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, it’s certainly the next best thing. The concept behind the trilogy is simple, take the first three Crash Bandicoot games, given them a gorgeous makeover, and then add some new bells and whistles. How can it go wrong? It can’t.

    All three Crash Bandicoot games are fun, challenging platformers with level design that still holds up to this day. I could go into detail about each game individually, but I think most people interested in the N. Sane Trilogy are more concerned with the overall package. Basically, the games are as people will remember them, with the same great and weak levels, and it’s fun to see how the gameplay matures from the first game to the third one.

    Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy attempts to unify the games into one cohesive package, which includes adding new things like time trials to the first two games, when they were originally introduced in Warped. Besides time trials, players can also save the game whenever they want in any of the games, which makes the first one a great deal less frustrating. One could argue it makes conquering it less satisfying as well, but the stiff challenge is still there, it’s just less likely to get you to throw your controller across the room because you can’t be sent back multiple levels.

    Something else added is the ability to play as Coco in the first two games. Previously, Coco was exclusive to specific levels in Warped, but now players can change into Coco and play through the entire trilogy as her if they so wish. This is a neat feature for diehard fans, though Coco plays exactly the same as Crash, so she doesn’t really add a whole lot to the game from a gameplay perspective.

    Otherwise, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy should be largely familiar to fans that have played through the first three games endlessly. The games have gotten significant visual upgrades, to the point where they’re some of the finest looking platformers ever made, and the audio has also been redone to match modern standards. The cut-scenes have been remastered to add more flavor and presentation to the experience as well, though it would have been nice to have new scenes to explain some unanswered questions in the franchise, like why Crash’s girlfriend seemingly fell off the face of the Earth after the first game.

    Really my only gripe with the game is that the load times are way too long. It takes awhile to get the game booted up to begin with, and then the load times between levels and after you die are just lengthier than they need to be.

    The lack of new content or hints at a new Crash may also disappoint some fans. There aren’t any significant secrets to uncover besides the ones that were already in the old games, so those that have already played the original trilogy to death may not be as keen on jumping back into the fray with the N. Sane Trilogy. Having said that, there is trophy support and each game has its own Platinum trophy, so there’s plenty to do for trophy hunters…if they can survive some of the more difficult time trials in the first game.

    Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is an example of a remastered collection done right. Besides the lack of new content and the long load times, it’s basically perfect, and should prove to be a great nostalgia ride for Crash Bandicoot fans. Hopefully the game’s popularity and success leads to a new adventure starring gaming’s favorite marsupial, but if not, it’s nice that fans can revisit the classics with modern graphics and features.

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