It’s been almost exactly a year since Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy arrived on the PS4, and the game is finally making its way to the Nintendo Switch (as well as Xbox One and Windows). This marks the first time the first three Crash games have been playable on a non-Sony console, and it has been a long time coming. The Switch version we reviewed, in particular, seemed like a match made in heaven for the platform.
If you’ve experienced Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on other platforms, the Switch version is much the same. The main additions compared to the original PS4 release are two new levels (which are now available on all platforms). Other than that, only a slight resolution drop is the only thing that distinguishes the Switch release from other platforms. However, there are some perks to playing on the Switch version that pushes it ahead of the competition.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy Review: Blast From the Past
Each of the first three Crash games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped are presented in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. They’ve all received a fresh coat of paint in the form of a total graphics remaster, but the underlying level geometry and programming remain the same as you remember them on PS1. If you’re not familiar with the Crash series, they’re 3D platforms in which you spend most of your time running through linear levels grabbing items and dodging enemies. There are some levels that switch things up with riding a jet ski, Polar Bear, and other things, but for the most part you’re going to be getting a heaping dose of 1990s 3D platforming.
Whether or not this collection is right for you really depends on whether or not you care for 3D platformers from the 1990s. Crash was one of the first series to actually get 3D platforming right. In a time when developers were still trying to figure out how to make the transition from 2D to 3D, Crash Bandicoot offered an experience that was actually enjoyable compared to a lot of the nightmare creations of the time.
Of course, all three games suffer from the pitfalls of the time, especially the first one. The first Crash game was created before the Dual Analog/Dual Shock controllers were an apple in Sony’s eye, and as such the first three games were optimized for the D-Pad. As such, Crash is really good at moving in four directions, but not so much in others. For players who have spent the last three console generations using the analog stick as the primary means of movement, Crash can feel a bit strange to control at times.
Jumping, which you’ll do a lot of still has that floaty, early-3D platformer feel to it as well. This can give an artificial feeling of difficulty since some jumps have to be so precise. Through most of the games you’ll be okay, but every once in a while you’ll find a jump that’ll make you want to just stop playing. You won’t run into this issue often, and it’s mostly contained to the first game, but it makes me wonder why the devs didn’t just slightly alter some level geometry to make those parts less frustrating.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy Review: Switch it Around
The things that sets the Switch above other platforms when it comes to playing the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy come from the platform’s unique properties. For one, this is the only version of the game that’s portable. Crash‘s levels are relatively short, so it’s a great game for playing on-the-go, and the simple gameplay translates well to a smaller screen. There’s not a lot of reading or complex interactions you have to perform in any of the three games, so there’s not a lot of squinting your eyes involved when playing.
The N. Sane Trilogy also looks excellent in docked mode. The Switch seems to look its best when displaying bright, colorful graphics, and the Crash games have those in spades. The Switch version also has an added bonus of having a bit quicker. There are some drawbacks to the Switch version, though, the biggest being that it’s locked to 30fps. With how centered the gameplay is on the motion of Crash and enemies, this is a bit detrimental. In portable mode the screen displays at the full 720p it’s capable of, but unfortunately docked mode is also 720p upscaled to 1080p, so even though I liked the way it looked it may look a bit “soft” to some players.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy Review: Crash Into Nostalgia
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Switch is a great version to consider. If portability is essential, it’s the only choice, and it’s a wonderful addition to the Switch’s library. However, if you’ve already purchased the collection on another platform, there’s not much of a draw to pick it up here.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a loving remaster of a series of fan-favorite games. If you need a dose of 32-bit nostalgia, or if you want to see where one of gaming’s iconic characters started you can’t go wrong here.