CRASH BANDICOOT N.SANE TRILOGY NINTENDO SWITCH REVIEW • £34.99
- Pros – Unrivalled levels of nostalgia • Incredible art style • Packs a graceful audio punch • Nintendo Switch’s portability makes it the definitive version of Crash • Tons of replayability • Adorable cast of characters
- Cons – New mechanics can initially be frustrating to learn • The first game can be very difficult • Crash Bandicoot: Warped has far too many vehicle levels that have aged poorly
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy marked the end of the unconventional mascot’s 10-year hiatus last year when he arrived on PlayStation 4 consoles.
But now Crash has made his way to Nintendo’s endearing portable hybrid console, so how does it compare to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions? Here is Express.co.uk’s review of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch features exactly the same content as its more powerful console brethren.
That means the game comes loaded with the original Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
The game looks outright gorgeous on the Switch’s small display
The title also includes two bonus stages that did not feature in the originals – they were offered as DLC for PlayStation players but having a complete package from the offset on Switch is a neat touch.
For those unfamiliar with the Crash Bandicoot series, the games are platformers that see the bandicoot make his way through a variety of lush, ancient and futuristic environments as he gathers crystals to progress to the next stage.
His arch-enemy in the series is Doctor Neo Cortex who mistakenly created Crash in a lab experiment and is determined to rid of the bandicoot to achieve his lofty goal of world domination.
All three Crash games were originally released for the PlayStation and were renowned for their iconic characters and challenging gameplay.
The Nintendo Switch port manages to run at a buttery smooth frame rate while retaining the same graphical prowess as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with only a few compromises.
With that said, Crash does lack the same levels of detail on his character model and textures across the world can look slightly more blurry.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy marked the end of the unconventional mascot’s 10-year hiatus
Shadow effects have also been downgraded and they might not appear at all in some instances, but such moves are expected on a console that will never be able to keep up with its competitors in terms of raw horsepower.
The Nintendo Switch’s trump card that makes it an essential for any Crash fan is the ability to take their progress with them wherever they go.
While the screen on the handheld is only 720p in resolution, the game looks outright gorgeous on the small display.
Levels from all three games are perfectly suited for the pick up and play nature of the Switch.
During our testing of the game we played the majority of the collection in handheld mode, finding time to jump, spin and slide through a few levels whenever we had a free moment.
Vicarious Visions, the studio behind the collection, insisted they wanted to keep the feel of the original games the same in the remaster.
The Nintendo Switch port manages to run at a buttery smooth frame rate
However, the studio has altered the mechanics of the game ever so slightly, so fans of the series that could play the originals with their eyes closed won’t be flying through levels with ease in this remaster.
Instead jumps are harder to make overall, meaning players will have to run right to the edge of a platform before they make a leap of faith.
The tweaked feel of the title will be frustrating for Crash veterans that nailed every time trial and collected every gem in the originals, but we welcomed the new challenge and accepted this as a new title, rather than a replica of the PlayStation classics with updated visuals.
Once you have mastered the nuanced change in controls, the N. Sane trilogy has a plethora of content for players to get through.
Memorable boss battles, levels that will have your palms sweating as you make a last-ditch jump to escape a boulder chasing you Indiana Jones-style and unrivalled replayability are just some of the great features offered by the Crash remaster.
With that said, the first title is by far the hardest of the trio and will inevitably cause moments of frustration.
The N. Sane trilogy fits on Nintendo Switch like a glove
Incredibly difficult platforming sections combined with the game’s unforgiving nature sometimes make the game feel more unfair than the player simply not having enough skill to progress.
This ultimately degrades from the feeling of satisfaction you get when you complete an incredibly tough section.
The second Crash offering is by far the most fun in the series – it features a great balance of challenging gameplay and sidesteps the vast number of vehicle levels that plague the third game.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped feels the most modern of the bunch, but should have put more a focus on the series’ bread and butter, the platforming.
Instead the title opts to put the player in a variety of vehicles that really show the game’s age.
In particular are sections where you are riding a motorbike – the steering when attempting to best punishing AI opponents is best described as awful.
The Switch version makes a marginal sacrifice in graphical fidelity
This brings out the worst side of the N. Sane Trilogy; when the player feels hamstrung not by their lack of ability, but because the game is incredibly unforgiving and punishing.
Vehicle levels and some of the most frustrating stages the first game has to offer aside, this is a challenging package that leaves the player feeling accomplished after they have conquered each title.
Those that played the originals will revel in the nostalgia present in the N. Sane trilogy, but the remaster also does enough to distinguish itself a game in its own right.
In addition to receiving a new coat of graphical paint that looks downright gorgeous, the N. Sane trilogy has completely new cutscenes and music that pay homage to what came before but feel new at the same time.
It is worth noting that some of the PlayStation-centric laugh out loud moments have been removed from the Nintendo Switch version.
This means that you won’t see Coco Bandicoot watching a cutscene from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End or a subtle picture of Nathan Drake in Crash’s hut.
The N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch is the definitive way to play these games
But despite the absence of references to some of original developer Naughty Dog’s decorated history, we found ourselves enjoying the Switch version more than its counterparts.
Despite originally being console titles, the N. Sane trilogy fits on Nintendo Switch like a glove and has completely changed how we want to experience Crash titles in the future.
Being able to gather gems on the commute and then being able to carry on where we left off when we get home is the Nintendo Switch’s unrivalled feature.
The portability of the Crash titles is more than worth the marginal sacrifice in graphical fidelity in our opinion.
That makes us confident to label the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch as the definitive version of the remaster.