So December 3rd marks the release of official gameplay of the long awaited Crash Remasters. Yes, Crash is spinning into PlayStation 4’s in 2017 through Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy!
Today, I want to share my thoughts on what was shown today. These are my opinions and I hope you all enjoy my thoughts on Crash’s grand return!
The Story – Crash Bandicoot: The Cartoon
The original story for Crash was was Dr. Neo Cortex and N. Brio working together in experimenting on various animals on the N. Sanity Islands, where an experiment on a Bandicoot goes wrong and Crash escapes, leaving his female friend Tawna trapped. Crash sets out to save his friend and stop Cortex.
But the cut-scene got re-done, as will every other cut-scene across the entire trilogy. So we have some really nice touches that add so much live to every character. Cortex and Brio have a lot more animations to them, with Cortex looking confident in his work while Brio is outright mad.
However, Crash and Tawna are the most interesting. Crash is a literal cartoon character, with charming expressions and having limited voice acting just like in the original game. Tawna looks more confident as well, as she outright knocks out one of the Cortex’s Henchmen before getting surrounded. We don’t see her get captured like in the original; she fights back. That alone gives her more character and I appreciate that.
Before moving on to the gameplay, gotta give props to Lex Lang, Jess Harnell and Maurice LaMarche; they voice Cortex, Crash and Brio. All three sound so natural and are just re-reading the original script from Crash 1. So even without adding no new dialog, it still has ‘more life’ then the original game, which is something I felt was really nice to see.
Gameplay – Spinning Around in Remastered Form
The gameplay we saw so far is just what one would expect; Classic Crash Bandicoot where you walk into and out of the screen, spinning into foes and smashing every single box in your path for gems. But some interesting design choices should be noted. One being that Crash doesn’t have his slide, belly flop or double jump in Crash 1; this implies that each game inside of using the updated movesets later Crash games offered will just have the controls/abilities specific to each game.
One interesting addition is the ability to complete time trails in Crash 1 and 2, which was announced in the official PS Blog post that came out after the announcement. This is exciting news, as I’m sure we will be spinning and crashing our way through iconic Crash levels at record pace to get the best times. With time trails, that opens the door for Time Relics, the collectible from Crash 3, to be obtainable in Crash 1 and 2. I do wonder what unlocks this will offer if you get all the Relics for each game.
Movement for Crash looks to be bit more responsive, as you can use both the D-Pad and Analog Stick for Crash’s movement in the N. Sane Trilogy. While Crash 2 (re-releases) and Crash 3 supported it, this will be the very first time Crash one supported native analog controls.
A final thing I noticed in the gameplay is that you can see your box total and have warp gates to the bonus rounds (though you still need to get three Tawna, Brio and Cortex tokens to access them). This is a nice addition, as these features were included in the later games in the series.
Overall, the gameplay feels like a nice homage to the original game but making key design choices to make the game even more playable to gamers of today.
Crashing in Style – The Presentation
To say that Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is a nice looking game is an understatement to me personally. It looks fantastic. The amount of detail in just the intro cinematic is a massive upgrade over the original game and other nice animation touches sprinkled about the demo show added personality to Crash I really enjoy.
Crash gets angry if you don’t pick up a gem despite getting all the boxes, he gets physically in deeper pain the more boxes you miss, and the animations have this squash & stretch factor them that heavily invoke memories of the Jak & Daxter series.
The two levels shown off in demo form, N. Sanity Island and Heavy Machinery look great with added texture work, brighter colors and nice visual effects. The lighting is something I can see bothering people, as N. Sanity Island looks a bit too ‘dark’ compared to the original but that can easily be added in as development progresses. I have no issues with the visuals honestly; I love how everything looks so far.
Music is great honestly, as it is remastered music from the first three games. So the original works from Josh Mancell is back but with higher quality. No information has released if he is back to help with the games composition or if Activision owns the source music to the original trilogy now but we will learn about this in the future hopefully.
Crashing into 2017
Personally, I hope Vicarious Visions continues to do great work with Crash. This N. Sane remaster of the three games and the work they did on Skylanders Imaginators Crash content alone has me looking forward to hopeful original Crash games from the studio.
They love the series and want it back just as much as we do, and everything indicates this N. Sane Collection will be a quality adventure for Crash and friends.