Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review Roundup

Crash Bandicoot’s N. Sane Trilogy remaster collection delighted fans the world over when it was fully revealed at PSX last year. Nostalgic PlayStation owners had long called for Crash’s return, and they’ll finally get their wish when the N. Sane Trilogy launches tomorrow, June 30.

The bundle includes three old-school Crash games: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. They were all originally made by Naughty Dog, though Activision’s Vicarious Visions has developed the PlayStation 4 collection.

Vicarious Visions used the original games’ level geometry, but the gameplay is rebuilt from scratch. Some new features for the updated versions include a unified checkpoint and save system (including manual and auto-saving), as well as a unified menu system and Coco as a playable character for every level in the game.

We enjoyed what we played of the N. Sane Trilogy at E3 2017, but what do critics think of the final build?

In GameSpot’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy review, critic Peter Brown said Vicarious Visions has “succeeded in revitalizing Crash from an artistic perspective while preserving the charm that made him appealing when he first showed up,” but he notes that “Crash’s original adventures aren’t as inventive or surprising as they were 20 years ago.”

For a wider view of critical opinion, check out our review roundup below or take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Developer: Vicarious Visions
  • Platform: PlayStation 4
  • Release: June 30
  • Price: US $ 40 / £30 / AU $ 70

GameSpot — 6/10

“The culprit behind Crash’s dated feel is the passage of time. Vicarious Visions, for its part, succeeded in revitalizing Crash from an artistic perspective while preserving the charm that made him appealing when he first showed up, but years have passed since the original PlayStation was relevant, and we are well past the formative years of 3D gaming. It’s easy to imagine how a dyed-in-the-wool Crash fan will fall in love all over again via the N. Sane Trilogy, but if you’re experiencing Crash for the first time–or the first time in a while–it might pain you to realize that Crash’s original adventures aren’t as inventive or surprising as they were 20 years ago.” — Peter Brown [Full review]

IGN — 8.5/10

“I didn’t want the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy to break what wasn’t broken. Thankfully, Vicarious Visions clearly didn’t want to either, and the studio’s reverence for the original maddening yet rewarding challenges that have stood the test of time is clearly on display. On one hand, that leads to the frustrating limitations of the original Crash Bandicoot persisting 20 years later. But it also results in the incredible visual and aural overhaul and the gameplay tweaks to earlier entries, like time trials and crate counters, that Naughty Dog added later in the series. Those additions make the overall package so much more cohesive while never forgetting what made, and what still makes, so much of Naughty Dog’s original trilogy a blast to play.” — Jonathon Dornbush [Full review]

Game Informer — 8/10

“Not all games from yesteryear hold up well. The original Crash Bandicoot likely would drive people nuts if it returned in its original form. Vicarious Visions made it fun again, without altering its DNA–a feat that deserves recognition. Although Crash spins and jumps his way through most levels, variety was the key to this series’ success. Naughty Dog always included a different wrinkle or evolution of a concept in each stage, and that continues here. For all three games, the feeling of repetition never sinks in, a factor that goes a long way in making this trilogy a blast to play. It’s good to have Crash back in the limelight. I hope this isn’t the last we see of him.” — Andrew Reiner [Full review]

GamesRadar — 3.5/5

“There’s just no escaping it, there might be brand new death animations to keep you entertained–oh look I’ve been swallowed by a lion again–but there’s no avoiding that the controls just mean that Crash Bandicoot has become Dark Souls. It’s a horrible shame. After being so excited for the remaster, there’s just no avoiding that the N. Sane Trilogy and you aren’t going to get along for a while. When it takes sheer willpower to survive the original’s first island when you’ve played the game for years, you know something has gone wrong somewhere. Those coming in fresh to the franchise aren’t going to know what’s hit them. Sure, it’s big, beautiful, and positively packed with charm, but it’s time to prepare to die. I love the N.Sane Trilogy in its new roguelite form but some things will definitely frustrate those new to the franchise looking to find out what all the fuss is about.” — Louise Blain [Full review]

Trusted Reviews — 3/5

“It’s no big surprise to say that the N. Sane trilogy is another pleasant form of fan service from Sony, which does seem keen on this kind of thing when you remember it’s doing the same with Final Fantasy XII and Shenmue III. And the intended audience will love it. If you don’t fall into this group, though, I don’t think you should take the plunge now. Probably best to find something that was developed a bit more recently.” — Simon Miller [Full review]

TheSixthAxis — 9/10

“As far as remakes go, you can’t get any better than this. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is exactly how fans envisioned it–an unadulterated celebration of a PlayStation pioneer. With such a weight on their shoulders, Vicarious Visions have pulled it off with such diligence, infused with a streak of their own creativity. Then there’s Naughty Dog original efforts, of course. Even those only acquainted with Uncharted and The Last of Us can appreciate how the studio first made its name, and the journey from Crash Bandicoot to Warped is one of continued innovation. Some two decades later, it’s great to see that some things never change.” — Jim Hargreaves [Full review]

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