When Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy came out last year for PlayStation 4, it created an adrenaline rush of nostalgic joy, bringing back three of the toughest and yet most enjoyable platformers from the original PSX era. But it's when the news dropped that the game would be coming to other platforms that the old-school madness really took off.
And now players can enjoy the Bandicoot's adventures on Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch as well. Yep, the Switch now has Mario, Sonic and Crash adventures to call its own. What a time to be alive.
Speaking of the Switch version, we decided to give that one a particular look mainly because of being able to take the game on the go. The Xbox One version looks great, particularly on the upgraded Xbox One X hardware; and the PC edition runs at a pretty 60 frames per second. But the Switch offers some extra play through your road trips or wherever you end up taking your system.
Time To "Switch" To Crash?
And since we already did a review of the game last year, consider this just a quick overview of the Switch version...and, more importantly, why it's worth investing in if you haven't already.
If you need a reminder of what's included in this package, you get essentially three full games, including Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped! They cover a good portion of his platforming adventures, even though his latest multi-platform stuff would introduce more depth.
That said, these games are worth exploring again for a number of reasons. There are hidden goodies galore on each level, including crates that must be broken, special gems to be picked up and maybe even a surprise level or two. On top of that, Vicarious Visions' remastering work is really something, as these games look like they fit right in with today's scene, even if the level design is straight out of the 90's.
The Switch version, thankfully, holds up quite well. Despite the fact that the visual clarity is slimmed down a little to make room for the game on the system (it downloads around 5.3GB compared to the much larger size on other consoles), it still looks very good in both handheld and docked play, running at buttery smooth 30 frames per second. Very seldom did we see a drop in visual quality. Even the levels with glowing lava caves and bitter, cold winter storms looked dazzling when there was action happening on-screen.prevnext
True To the Crash Code
On top of that, Vicarious Visions has stayed true to the game's original audio. The classic themes are intact with just a slight bit of remixing here and there; and Crash's classic, speechless squawks are still fun. It's also fun to hear other characters talk in the game, even though most of them are just there to taunt you for their upcoming boss battles.
Where Crash Bandicoot has some players divided is with its difficulty. Yes, these games get really tough in the later levels, challenging even the greatest platforming players. We're still stuck on a few spots before we can call these games complete. But that's not Vicarious Visions' fault. The team carries over Naughty Dog's original designs gracefully and without missing a beat. Just keep at it, and eventually you'll get lucky. Maybe?
There are some interesting bonus levels too. The first is a lost level that was introduced last year, called Stormy Ascent. This is probably one of the toughest stages in Crash history, so let's just say you're going to need to stock up on lives. Still, it's fantastic to see it back after it was reportedly on the cutting room floor at Naughty Dog.prevnext
Strike Up the Band-icoot
Then there's Future Tense, which was introduced during E3 last month. This is a completely original design by Vicarious Visions, but it manages to instill the spirit of the three prior games, right down to the incredible challenge of dodging laser grids. It's really something...and has us wondering if Vicarious Visions is prepping for a future Crash title. Why else would they try to fly with original level designs?
Best of all, N. Sane Trilogy is budget priced at $40. That's a great deal, considering most Switch games go for $60 a pop. And you get more than your money's worth here, especially if you're looking for a platformer that will push you to the brink with some levels. Kids should like it as well, though the game might get a little tough on them too quickly.1comments
Crash Bandicoot was a lot of fun last year and continues to be so with this effective and worthwhile port of N. Sane Trilogy. The extra content is pretty cool, although I would've liked a lighter difficulty option for those that aren't ready to tackle the tougher levels. But if it's old-school platforming goodness you're looking for -- and Sonic and Mario aren't getting the job done enough -- step up to Crash.
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.prev