Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a platform video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision, and released on June 30, 2017 for the PlayStation 4 as a one-year exclusive. Ports for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One were released on June 29, 2018.
It's a remake compilation of the first three Crash Bandicoot games developed by Naughty Dog, including Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
Why It Rocks
- On their core, the three games were left nearly untouched from the originals, only with remastered graphics and visual assets. This is more impressive considering Vicarious Vision had to build the games completely from scratch because they didn't have access to the source codes of the originals, yet managed to replicate the feel of the classics almost perfectly.
- New, smoother control physics are used between the three games for more consistency.
- Amazing graphics with gorgeous visuals that don't abandon the cartoony wacky nature of Crash Bandicoot, but rather increase it.
- Enemies have more visual cues to let you know when to attack them.
- Levels where you run towards the camera also have more visual cues to inform you what's coming ahead and the camera is slightly more zoomed out.
- Loading screens include minor hints.
- Because of the HD remastering, cutscenes are more visually appealing, characters show more animation and emotion, and there are more sound effects and illumination on the stages. For example, Crash is seen escaping from Cortex, and Tawna is seen trying to defend herself.
- In addition to remastered graphics, new sound assets, and soundtracks are used. The new soundtracks also remain loyal to the original games while still sounding modern.
- Bonus levels in Crash 1 can be replayed even if you die, and the crates in bonus levels are mandatory for earning the gem in Crash 1.
- You can play any of the three games in any order.
- Coco Bandicoot is fully playable in all three games, except for a few levels and bosses that only Crash can play. She also has a few exclusive levels to herself.
- Aside from the six Colored Gems, you no longer need to beat levels without dying to get Gems in the original Crash Bandicoot! Bonuses can also be replayed if you fail them!
- All games have autosave at the end of every level, including the original Crash Bandicoot!
- Time Trials are included on the first and second game to add more replay value to them; But unlike Warped, they're optional and not needed for 100%
- Online leaderboards for Time Trials (Except the Switch version).
- Fake Crash still appears as an easter egg.
- "Stormy Ascent", the infamous level that was cut from the original Crash Bandicoot due to being too difficult, was included as optional DLC. Said DLC was free for the first month of availability, however, it is finally free now.
- Vicarious Visions also made an entirely new level for Warped called "Future Tense". This was based on an unused waterfall level from the original Crash Bandicoot game on PS1, but the aesthetic is built completely from scratch. This is a fantastic level that blends great platforming segments with tough enemy placements, and mandates the use of the obtained powers to get both gems; combined, they all make the level very challenging, yet fun to play, proving that Vicarious Visions are more than capable of making their own Crash Bandicoot levels.
- Papu Papu in the first game now has 5 hit points, it was a feature that existed only in the Japanese version of Crash Bandicoot.
- The bosses have more details in their fights, some examples include:
- In the Dr. Nitrus Brio fight in the original Crash Bandicoot, whenever you stomp on a goo monster, a spray of slime will squirt at N. Brio which also explains why he loses health, and before the second phase of the fight, he drinks both potions before transforming.
- In the Cortex fight in Cortex Strikes Back, Cortex is seen carrying a crystal, that's why he can't fight you.
- In the N. Gin fight in Cortex Strikes Back, Crash actually throws the Wumpa fruit at the mech.
- In the Tiny Tiger fight in Warped, when you beat him, Cortex will get angry and start yelling around him while the audience throws tomatoes at him. If you run at the top left corner of the arena to dodge the lions, the audience will throw cheese at you.
- Just like how Crash made a cameo in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series makes a quick cameo in this game. The Naughty Dog logo also appears in Cortex Strikes Back's opening cutscene.
- Each game in the compilation has its own list of trophies/achievements, which is great for trophy/achievement hunters.
- Veteran Crash Bandicoot players who are used to the classic PS1 games are likely to have a hard time getting adjusted to the new physics used due to muscle memory. In particular, Crash having a pill-shaped hitbox instead of a cube-shaped one like the classics frequently causes veteran players to slip off platforms. Crash also falls faster after a jump, making his jump distance slightly shorter as a result.
- On the topic of hitboxes, they can be very unfair at times.
- The Game Over screens (while cool) go on for way too long, they last for seven seconds, and the worst part, they are unskippable!
- As mentioned above, the Colored Gems in the original Crash Bandicoot still require you to beat the levels where they're found without dying, and "Slippery Climb", arguably the hardest level in the game, happens to be one of the six Colored Gem levels.
- The soundtrack is good, but it feels weaker compared to the original.
- The manual save for some puzzling reason is mapped to the Square button and loading is mapped to X. This means that one may accidentally load a game instead of saving, again due to muscle memory.
- Due to the new physics, some vehicles control worse than the originals. Most notably the Jet Ski levels in Warped.
- While it is nice to see the Relics included in the original Crash Bandicoot and Cortex Strikes Back, some levels in the original Crash Bandicoot (such as "Native Fortress", "The Lost City", "Road to Nowhere", "The High Road", "Slippery Climb" and the harder version of that level, "Stormy Ascent") are designed around slow-paced precise platforming, not rushing through them as quickly as possible. This makes getting the Platinum Relics in that game extremely frustrating because the precise level design directly clashes with the speedrun nature of Time Trials.
- Coco Bandicoot barely plays differently from Crash. She also doesn't have most of the same death animations as him.
- The game runs at 30fps on every console version, even the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X are unable to run the game at 60fps. Thankfully, the PC version remains uncapped.
- When doing precise jumps over bottomless pits, keep the Jump button held down during the entirety of the jump and use Crash's shadow to guide yourself towards the box/platform you need to land on.
- In "Road to Nowhere" and "The High Road", you can jump into the ropes on the sides of the bridges, this makes Time Trials significantly easier. Learning how to jump quickly into the ropes without falling off does take some practice though.
- Some of the trickier jumps in the original Crash Bandicoot are easier to make if you stop and wait for the right timing before jumping if able, recklessly jumping without stopping will often get you killed.
- If you spin at the right time during a slide jump, you'll do a "glitch jump" that keeps you in the air for longer, which is extremely helpful for Time Trials in Cortex Strikes Back.
- You only need Gold Relics for 100% completion in Warped.
When first revealed, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy met massively positive reactions and hype for bringing back Crash Bandicoot after a very long hiatus, with the last Console Crash game at the time being Crash: Mind Over Mutant released nine years earlier, even if it was just a compilation of the old games. When it was released, the game received positive reception from critics and fans alike. The compilation was praised for staying loyal to the originals while at the same time fixing some major problems they had, though it was also criticized for not fixing certain things. The game currently has a Google users rating of "94% of users liked this video game".
Since its release, N. Sane Trilogy was a #1 best seller in multiple regions worldwide for several weeks in a row. It sold 2.5 million copies on PS4 by September 2017 and eventually sold 10 million across all platforms as of February 2019.
The massive success of N. Sane Trilogy has been seen as proof that Crash Bandicoot is still massively popular and that big AAA publishers are wrong about people not liking cartoony platformer games anymore. Activision said they were very surprised that the game did so well so quickly and now they're considering making more remakes for other classic IPs they own.
Following the success of the N. Sane Trilogy collection and several subtle hints found within the game, a Spyro the Dragon trilogy remake was announced as Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
Later in December 2018, Activision announced a remake of Crash Team Racing. That was then followed by Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time on October 2nd, 2020, which is the direct sequel to 1998's Warped, and the first original new Crash Bandicoot game since 2008's Mind Over Mutant.