I have never played a Crash Bandicoot game until I tried out Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, a remaster that includes Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. Each game has at least 30 levels. However, while there is a fair amount of content and variety, each level is very short, and each game can take about 5 to 10 hours to beat. Despite this, however, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy offers a lot.
My thoughts on the original Crash Bandicoot
The original Crash Bandicoot is probably the most difficult out of the three. Crash Bandicoot includes some insane level designs that require very precise jumps and the depth perception needed to make these timed jumps has a learning curve. This can scare away newcomers, like myself, but difficulty should not be the sole reason you avoid a game.
Crash Bandicoot is a platformer where you control either Crash or his sister, Coco. You can defeat enemies by jumping on them or using a spin attack. You lose a life by getting hit by an enemy, obstacle, or falling in a pit. Collecting one hundred pieces of fruit grants you an extra life, and collecting Aku Aku masks allows the player to take an additional hit from an enemy or obstacle. Breaking all crates in a level and completing that level without dying gives players a gem at the end of the level.
Crash Bandicoot revolves around a bandicoot that has been mutated by Doctor Nitrus Brio’s Evolvo-Ray. The main villain, Doctor Neo Cortex, wants to create a mutated army of animals to conquer the world. The two doctors experiment on Crash, but after he gets rejected by the Cortex Vortex, he jumps out a window and escapes. However, Tawna, a female Bandicoot, ends up being prepared for the next experiment. After escaping, Crash decides to embark on a journey to rescue Tawna and defeat Cortex.
Some of the levels in Crash Bandicoot require perfect jumps which can be infuriating at points. Some of the hardest levels in Crash Bandicoot are High Road, Slippery Climb, Stormy Ascent, and Road to Nowhere. The levels focus around basic platforming and have a few different mechanics. Hog Wild is a level where Crash is riding around on a hog and it’s fun. I also like the Indiana Jones styled levels that involve Crash running away from a boulder trying to crush him.
The levels, while inconsistently challenging at points, feel really polished and the game has plenty of fun moments. Sure, the levels are short and pale in comparison to Mario levels, but they are still fun and are juicing with gushing colors.
The graphics on the Nintendo Switch version are gimped in comparison to other console versions. However, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy offers a great portable experience on the Switch. The load screens on the Switch version are very quick. While the graphics pale in comparison to other consoles, they don’t look that bad given the Switch’s limitations. If you understand the limitations of the Switch, then the graphics will not bother you.
Despite Crash dying from a single hit, I found the bosses to be closer to the easier side in all the Crash Bandicoot games. The bosses are extremely fun and have a goofy vibe that makes them stick out and feel memorable. Ripper Roo is a goofy goon that you can rip out of a child’s comic book. You also have Pinstripe Potoroo pinning you with rounds of ammunition from his tommy-gun.
The music also fits each boss very well and I love the cheesy characteristics and charm that each boss shares. In all honesty, it’s hard to forget a koala that skipped leg day, twerks, and flexes his pecks.
My thoughts on Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Cortex Strikes Back is a sequel to the original Crash Bandicoot. There are a ton of similarities between the original Crash Bandicoot and Cortex Strikes Back. Despite the similarities, Cortex Strikes Back is still a fun game and additionally improved on a few things from the original.
Fun fact: Cortex Strikes Back became one of the best-selling PlayStation games of all time and became the highest-selling western title in Japan at the time.
The gameplay is very similar to the original Crash Bandicoot. Crash, however, can now slide on the ground.
Bonus paths are also easier to find. Bonus paths are marked with platforms that have a question mark and each bonus path can be retried without any consequences. This gives the player access to additional lives. You can also earn a gem if you destroy all boxes, including nitro boxes. The game still follows the same platforming style as the original, just less difficult than the original. Throughout the level players also must obtain a crystal.
The story begins with Cortex awakening in a dark cavern filled with glowing crystals. After examining the crystals in his lab, Cortex realizes that the planets will soon align. This alignment will create a catastrophic solar flux that can destroy earth. The crystals are the only means of containing the force, but Cortex, being the main villain, wants to capture the energy for himself. He realizes he needs 25 crystals to power the “Cortex Vortex” which can capture the energy. Cortex then dupes Crash into retrieving the crystals for him.
The stages are still a joy in Cortex Strikes Back and feel a lot less cheap than the first Crash Bandicoot game. The bosses are also still easy and still fun due to their characteristics and cute charm. And Cortex Strikes Back did improve a ton of things from the original game. However, at the end of the day, Cortex Strikes Back is a similar, fun game of trial-and-error like Crash Bandicoot.
My Thoughts on Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped is the third entry in the Crash Bandicoot franchise. Warped is my favorite game out of the three even though it is a little to easy at points. The amount of innovation and creativity put into each level is a beauty to witness and play through.
The game takes place after the events of the second game. The space station owned by Neo Cortex crashes on earth unleashing Uka Uka, and Aku Aku, Uka Uka’s evil twin brother. Uka Uka teams up with Cortex to gather all the 25 crystals. You, Crash and Coco, must grab these crystals and defeat Uka Uka and Cortex. Several cutscenes are also played throughout your journey that give some character to the upcoming bosses. The cutscenes are a nice addition that is greatly appreciated.
Players can now obtain power-ups after defeating certain bosses. Power-ups are a major change in the Crash Bandicoot series that greatly reward a player for defeating certain bosses. Power-ups include the super charged body slam, the double jump, the death tornado spin, the fruit bazooka, and the crash dash. These power-ups do a lot and makes it easier to get certain hard to reach boxes and makes it easier to clear certain levels.
Another massive change happened in the level design. Warped, however, probably has my favorite levels and most creative levels out of the three games. Warped has amazing flying levels that allow players to gun down enemy fighters in a jet streaming N-sane dogfight. The racing levels are not perfect, but they are still extremely fun (it’s also nice playing a racing game where I don’t get red shelled and blue shelled in the same 10 seconds). Underwater levels are not bad and surprisingly not that painful (unlike most water levels in other video games).
Coco also has a few exclusive levels. She has levels that involve jet-skiing through a crashing N-sane wave of bombs and pirate cannonballs. Coco can also ride a tiger cub while trying to avoid civilians and Chinese dragons. There was a ton of creativity and thought put into these levels that N-sanely crashed onto the screen perfectly.
What are my complaints about Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy?
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is a good game; however, the levels do tend to be on the shorter side. The levels also don’t have the same level of polish as some of the higher end Mario games. While Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy offers 100+ levels; most of these levels are a bit short. Without going for 100% completion each game takes around 5~10 hours to complete depending on skill level.
In all honesty it probably would take 15~20 hours to beat all three of the games. To 100% all three game probably would take 30~35 hours. For forty bucks this is not a problem. However, I thought it would be worth mentioning that a regular playthrough won’t take too long. The difficulty curve in the original Crash Bandicoot did not bother me but I can see how it can turn people away. I do believe that difficulty should not be sole reason you hate a game, yet the difficulty in the original Crash Bandicoot has been something that has consistently popped up time and again.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is a good remaster of the original three Crash Bandicoot games. There is a fair amount of difficult moments and the game offers plenty of fun levels that have a beautiful cartoonish vibe. The boss fights follow this great vibe which makes each boss stick out. The game may not be on the same level as great Mario games; however, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is still a great addition to the Nintendo Switch that is worth picking up.
Did you like Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy? Let us know in the comments below feel free to crash by our social media for more reviews.
Thanks to Activision for providing us with a review code.
- THE GOOD
- There are a handful of great levels
- Awesome cartoonish vibe
- Crash Bandicoot 3 has a great variety in level designs
- fun yet easy boss fights
- THE BAD
- the level design is not on the same caliber as some great Mario games
- Difficulty and learning curve in the original Crash Bandicoot may be a major turn off
- Very trial and error based which may be another turn off for people
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is a good remaster of the original three Crash Bandicoot games. There is a fair amount of difficult moments; nonetheless, the game offers plenty of fun levels that have a beautiful cartoonish vibe. The boss fights follow the great cartoonish vibe which makes each boss stick out. The game may not be on the same level as great Mario games; however, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is still a great addition to the Nintendo Switch that is worth picking up.