If you’re like me and are currently in the midst of either finals week or hell week, the PlayStation Experience probably happened right under your nose this year… and last year… and it probably will next year, too. Really, this event is in an awful spot for college students. The point is that I missed the show and was only able to watch it yesterday morning before getting right back to work. In case I don’t get another chance to blog until the end of finals week (Thursday), I wanted to take just a little time to talk about at least one big trailer to come out of this year’s event: Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy.
To provide quick background for this post, I adore the Crash Bandicoot series. Crash Bandicoot 2 is especially sentimental to me, because it was the first game I ever played back when I was 3 years old. These were the games that not only made me a gamer but also defined my love of 3D platformers that persists to this day. That’s why when E3 came along and finally answered my nerdy prayers to resurrect the series, I was giddy as that 3 year old boy playing the game for the first time. I’ll concede to the fact that I have yet to play Warped, but only because I want to beat the original two games first, and I’m already working on finally beating Crash Bandicoot 2.
Luckily for my non-Warped playing ass, this first real trailer for the N Sane Trilogy only focused on the first game. I actually like how they did that. If the next two trailers focus on CB2 and then Warped, it’ll serve as a great nostalgic walkthrough of the trilogy. One I’ll gladly embark on.
First thing we need to get out of the way is the game’s artstyle — something I was very nervous about when I heard of the remaster. I’ll admit that at first glance this artsyle looks rather jarring. Long-time Crash fans may have their attention drawn to how furry Crash’s model is, the vibrancy of certain textures, the slimmer edges found on platforms, and the extra animations. I knew I would have to wrestle with the game’s changes before I could fully appreciate what Activision did. This was the best way to have translated these games from from the 5th generation to the 8th. I’m still a little hot and cold when it comes to Crash’s model, though. It looks good at most angles, but other times I’m distracted by how hairy he is. No matter. I’m sure I’ll get used to it with even more exposure.
You gotta appreciate how this game maintains the game’s zany, colorful, and cartoony feel. It’s obviously not exactly the same as on the PS1, but the creative liberties give more beneift than harm. The Boulders level sees Crash landing on that tall circular platform, and they have a new silver surface on them. Temple Ruins is now a bit brighter, which is interesting to say the least. Conversely, I think the Papu Papu level has actually gotten darker. I anticipate that I’ll go through these games and notice a ton more tweaks than what was shown here. So far, though, there’s nothing here that can be seen as offesnively or radically different.
Thankfully, the reveal trailer wasn’t the only bit of Crash we got at PSX. With it came additional gameplay footage which gives me a ton of hope for this collection to be just as fun as the originals. I noticed that (at least in Crash 1) they left Crash at a one-jump rule, and he doesn’t have the slide, high jump, or body slam like he did in the later game. So they’re keeping things pretty consistent so as to not make the first game too easy. The gems can now be collected before leaving the level in a manner similar to Warped. You’ll still be able to collect Tanya and Brio symbols to access bonus stages, which leads me to believe Cortex symbols will also return. Though for those who have PTSD from not being able to save the game unless you reach Tanya, it was confirmed off conference that you’ll be able to save the game normally. Thank Christ!
Everything seems in order here. There are just a few things I’m still wondering about the CB1 portion of the game. As someone who has completed CB1 100% before, will the system be the same as before? Specifically, do we still have to go through each level without dying? Could they instead be implementing something similar to DuckTales Remastered where there’s a classic option and a modern option? If so, then may I give a suggestion? For the sake of completion it’s going through this game, please put a reset level button in the pause menu. I love the challenge of the 1 life rule, but the tedium of returning to the map is too taxing to do a second time.
There’s also the lingering question of what the developers meant when they described the collection as a “remaster plus”. They explained that one of the “plus” features added to the collection is Time Trails being available on all three games instead of just Warped. Suddenly I’m dreading the idea of 100% completing this game if relics are gonna be involved. (I mean, Wild Hog will be pretty easy, but Slippery Climb will be a nightmare). Though I’m curious if there’s more to that plus than they’re letting on. Maybe there’s an extra level or so added to the original. Maybe we will finally have the privilege of playing the infamous Stormy Ascent level that was cut from CB1 for being too hard. Gotta admit, I’d be pretty hyped about that.
Really, I’m just happy to see any footage of this game. When something is this near and dear to your heart, any amount of exposure goes a long way. I look forward to seeing future trailers from this collection and eventually trying my hand at playing these games in a new light.
That’s just me, though. Let me know in the comments what you thought about the trailer. What other PSX announcements caught your eye? (I’m pretty hyped for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and The Last of Us Part 2 personally).
I’m glad I got to talk about this… Now back to work.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!