I had the pleasure of diving back into the way back machine with the old overgrown, orange marsupial last week with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch. Crash, despite a few niggling flaws, it still holds up magnificently after 22 years thanks to its wonderful remaster of the very first 3 games in Naughty Dog’s original video game releases that started way back in 1996.
Of course, this is now available on it’s original released home on the PlayStation 4, but now also on Xbox One and PC (Steam), but my review delves into the title on the Nintendo Switch.
I’ll start by saying, there really isn’t a single platformer out there that’s needed portability more than Crash Bandicoot, the Switch brings this fantasy of mine into fruition after all this time, I could not be happier getting the absolute shits in a wide open public space with infamous original levels such as Road to Nowhere and Slippery Climb as I waited at a doctors appointment, quite frankly I can’t think of a time without Crash Bandicoot in my life and now, I can have it with me wherever I go. This is one of many positives.
The level design and gameplay doesn’t need to be discussed here, as it’s been discussed for many years now, suffice to say the controls hold up extremely well and I had purchased this on the PlayStation 4 system a few months back on it’s original release and I have to admit, playing it with Nintendo’s switch Pro Controller while the Switch is docked is a much tighter experience, in my opinion, the joysticks aren’t as slippery for levels like Rolling Stones and Hog Wild where a break from the joystick can cause instant death. The sound design holds up well when docked, but sadly doesn’t pack quite the same punch with my sound system as it did on the PS4.
Quite frankly the only thing that is very noticeable is the Switch’s lower resolution and frame rate. I know, resolution isn’t everything and it definitely doesn’t detract from the overall experience, but after seeing it in 4k on a PlayStation 4, it is a huge noticeable difference as some movements can look a little blurry and the on-screen close up environments are very good unless in more open areas such as the first N. Sanity Beach where foliage and even the animals such as the skunks look bland and colourless and suffer from some lowerer form of anti-aliasing, not sure why either, as I have seen the Switch do some amazing things with its graphical prowess, even the shadows seem to come across too dark even on Crash himself and in the end it’s less of a cartoony experience on the Switch.
I won’t go on, it is Crash Bandicoot on a portable device, if that appeases to you, it’s already sold. I have not had the experience with it on PC or Xbox One, but my preferred platform outside of PlayStation 4 is the Nintendo Switch, it’s fast and easy to pick up and put down and Crash Bandicoot is by far a pickup and play game that sits perfectly on Switch’s awesome platform. I am just happy that it’s now on all platforms so that everyone can experience the original masterpiece that Vicarious Visions have bought back in such a masterful way.
Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Solid performance, extreme replayability with family and friends, it’s Crash Bandicoot!
Lowlights: The Switch version suffers from lower resolution and bad shaders, the manual save system sucks.Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Publisher: Vicarious Visions
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Review conducted on Nintendo Switch with retail code provided by the publisher.