Nostalgia is a powerful thing, but only inasmuch as it is able to recapture the same emotions from which it was derived. It is now commonplace for media companies to exploit beloved franchises from the past to make a quick buck, oftentimes delivering an overall disappointing product. While consumers have become wary of anything associated with the words “remake”, “remaster” or “reboot”, the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy puts any cash-grabbing fears to bed one wumpa fruit at a time.
Crash Bandicoot was Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s wildly acclaimed Super Mario 64. They figured that Nintendo shouldn’t be the only gaming company with a mascot who could jump his way through 3D rendered levels.Though the Crash Bandicoot games were never as highly regarded as core Mario games, the series amassed a loyal fan base. With over a dozen Crash games ranging in quality from “playable” to “hot garbage” it was believed, despite fan outcry, that the series had died.
Enter Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, a video game compilation featuring the first three core titles in the franchise, recreated with modern visuals and updated music. Developer Vicarious Visions consider the game a “remaster plus” where they used the original level geometry data as a framework but added their own art, animations, and gameplay programming. Each cutscene was remade using modern animation and lighting techniques and featured the return of many of the original voice actors reprising their roles. Both lifelong Crash fans and newbies enjoyed the game without protest. Similar to last year’s reboot of Ratchet and Clank, the N. Sane Trilogy delivers on nostalgia in a way that feels authentic and consumer-focused. Any fears of Crash’s resurgence being a mindless cash-grab were peacefully put to rest.
Furthermore, it reminded the world yet again that Nintendo isn’t the only company with bright colorful mascots who mean business. It seems that Crash is relevant once again with the N. Sane Trilogy becoming a significant driver in recent PlayStation 4 purchases among lapsed gamers. Who knows if we’ll see Crash again in the future, but it’s a pretty good bet considering the N. Sane Trilogy has outperformed all expectations. For being a truly N. Ticing blast from the past and paving the way for an oranger future on Sony platforms, Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane trilogy earns our Game of the Month.