Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy Version

After my post about my video game backlog, a friend pointed out that there was a popular hashtag of #slaythebacklog where people were attempting to clear their backlogs, and posting about the games as they finish them.  So guess what I’m going to be doing for awhile? 🙂

First up is the game I had in progress when I wrote that post, namely the first Crash Bandicoot game, as part of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy release.  Giving long time gamers a nice little nostalgia gift, courtesy of Vicarious Visions (rather than Naughty Dog as they don’t own it anymore), the first three CB games have been completely remastered to HD and they added some new features to the game, most notably time trials you can run on all levels to earn ankh icons (and presumably percentage points towards 100% completion).

As CB was one of those games I loved when I got my first Playstation, for course I pretty much had to get this remaster.  The graphics boost is amazing, giving the game a much more polished look without losing the cheesiness and silliness of the original game.  Slippery Slope, one of the midway levels, is a level featuring rain.  It certainly looks way better than anything I remember from the Playstation days!

Not to mention that incredible detail in the bricks and backgrounds.  This for a basic platformer with the thinnest of plots (supposedly there is one) and a relatively simple purpose: go through levels, break boxes, survive.  Usually you wouldn’t expect such a game to get this kind of graphical treat, but it did and its all the better for it.  I love that the developers even purposely highlight the difference in the opening animation showing Crash transforming from his old PS days to his new remastered version.

In terms of game play, CB is as frustratingly difficult as I remembered.  Good lord there was never a game that could make me cuss quite like this one with its tricky, and sometimes seemingly impossible, jumping requirements while saddled with a stupid MC who can’t even hang on an edge!  (Don’t believe me, check out my Twitch runs on this thing).  This game features plenty of ways for you to die and die you will.  I think I ran through well over 100 lives getting to the end, and I didn’t even attempt to go for 100%.

Getting 100% requires some serious dedication and willingness to become an expert at the game controls, as it requires basically getting through each level on only one life while getting every box.  This earns you gems, mostly white, sometimes colored that are needed to get 100% in other levels.  Dying, even if you go back to a checkpoint means no gem for you.  I was able to earn gems in the first few levels, but after that I just gave up.  I like a challenge, I don’t like super ridiculously frustrating requirements like that though.  Getting all the boxes on some levels is a hard enough challenge, especially with the bonus levels.

Despite my bitching about the ridiculous number of times I died, I did enjoy the game and had some fun with it.  Hog Wild is frustrating, but still a fun level, and I enjoyed the boulder escapes.  My least favorite levels were the climbing ones and some of the mechanical ones.  Still, for a game its age, the levels had a lot of variety, which one wouldn’t general expect for the age.  In terms of controls, the game is updated for the PS4 controls, somewhat, though in a few spots I found it worked better to just say screw it and use the D-Pad for the old controls.

I also do have to thank the developers for keeping in the rope trick on the high levels, because otherwise they are just plain stupidly hard

Certainly a fun game, particularly if you like a challenging platformer.  I think I will, however, wait before tackling the second game of the set because I need a hit of actual story and the sort of challenging that I can be by thinking versus just getting better at button pressing. 😉