20 years ago at the tender age of 12, I was an N64 kid, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Ocarina of Time all took up my time as I loved those games so I never had a PS1 and in turn never played the Crash Bandicoot series. So when the N’Sane trilogy was announced I got a bit excited…. Not as excited as my wife, however, as this is one of her favourite series.
I almost didn’t manage to find a copy of the game, as I went on the Launch Friday to find one after work to find that they were sold out everywhere. I tried again after my shift at a different store only to find the same old ‘Sorry, Out of Stock’ sign. Woe was me. So I had initially decided to just pick up Micro Machines, off to the till I went and the cashier went out back to get the copy of Micro Machines for me, while I waited I had a little perusal of the shelves in the area, and low and behold… There it was… Shining at me! Crash.. Smiling… I quickly grabbed the box and when the Cashier came back asked if they had any left of whether this was a rogue box… ‘Its the last one we have’ she told me… I couldn’t have been happier… Such joy!
I put the above as I felt it relevant to the review as well as showing just how popular this game has been and the fact that it has just been announced as the best-selling game in June with 1 days sales is amazing and a testament to how popular this series is, even after 20 years.
The first thing that you notice from the game is the beginning intro. Old school Crash is looking at you, throwing a few objects into a machine and they come out all shiny and new so Crash himself jumps in and low and behold it lets you see what the upgrade in graphics is like! Awesome little comparison.
The graphics within the game are wonderful to look at, the finer details of the worlds, shadow effect, water effects are all beautiful to look at. Couple that with the superb lighting within the game you are onto a winner!
Mechanically, the game is sound, my wife did say when she was playing that the jumping on the game is a lot harder to land than it was. Looking online at other comments, it does seem that there are others who have noticed this and there are plenty of theories about what could have happened. One being Crash’s 3D model is now pill shaped instead of the block shape it would have been 20 years ago. Meaning that if you land on a ledge this is going to cause you slip a little and if you’re on the edge, more than likely fall off.
I have to admit that this was the only real annoyance that I had with the game. It’s fun to play but is challenging, the levels get progressively more difficult as you go through the worlds. There are times where it does dip and after a few hard levels which took a fair few lives (I’m looking at you Native Fortress!), it did seem to go… “I think he needs a break now”… And I would find the next level a lot easier, but then again it would come back a kick me in the balls afterwards.
You could really say that this is one of the charms of the game, it’s difficulty is there to keep you on your toes. I did find that a lot of the time, the timing was key when making jumps. Watching the pattern of your enemies or sliding walls and learning what they were doing when whether it changed was important. Especially to try and get through it without killing yourself or using an Ooga Booga!
The music for the game is simply fantastic, I loved the music throughout and the main theme is such a delight. My wife has it set to her phone ring tone so I tend to ring her for no reason sometimes to hear it…. She keeps thinking she’s popular as well…. haha!
My wife did mention that she got a massive nostalgia feel from it, especially as it was how she remembered (Although a bit more shiny.)
What I loved about the level design was that it was kind of no holds barred type of thing. Every one was different to the last one, you could be running forward one level, then back towards the screen in another, while in the next one you could on water skis or riding a polar bear. There are top down shots, side scrolling, literally everything that could be put into a platformer has been.
I have to admit that this has been an absolute treat to play, it’s pretty much got everything that you could ever wish for, camera angles galore, intense level designs and a variety of ways to get through and complete each level. Plus…. You’re a bandicoot… In jeans…