Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy was undoubtedly well-received when it launched on the PS4 last summer, and the remake’s success led Activision to decide to bring the game to other platforms. N.Sane Trilogy does wonders in recreating our memories of our favourite orange marsupial in a much more modern art style, with the same gameplay and collision mechanics as the original trilogy on the original PlayStation.
What’s truly impressive about Crash Bandicoot on the Switch is how smooth everything runs both in handheld and docked modes even when stacked up alongside the PS4 version of the game. The game runs at less than native resolution in both cases, topping out at 720p even in docked mode, and this obvious drop in resolution compared to the PS4 version can make visuals a bit blurry when playing. You also have reduced quality on shadow and texture quality, while Crash himself isn’t as fuzzy as he is on home console, as his fur effects have been removed.
However, because of these trade offs the game is constantly running at 30 frames per second with no drops whatsoever throughout the three games. The Switch is a considerably less powerful system, so it’s impressive to see one of last year’s biggest titles run near enough flawlessly on a portable device.
What’s new alongside this release is a new level for Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! called Future Tense, which is themed like the other future levels in Crash Bandicoot 3. Vicarious Visions previously released Stormy Ascent as DLC on PS4, which was a level taken from the cutting room floor of the original Crash Bandicoot, but this time the developer’s have put their creative caps on and made a tribute to Crash Bandicoot using what they learned from this remake This level throughout is very clever and much easier than Stormy Ascent, but it’s a nice extra fun thing to do in this release especially as a returning player, even if I am playing on a different platform.
The game controls very well on the Switch and everything feels just right, but this depends on the Crash game that you’ve chosen to play. The original Crash Bandicoot becomes annoyingly difficult as you progress, as the jumping in the original game is as shoddy and unforgiving as it always was, leading to much higher difficulty as the enemies and obstacles become harder.
Despite the original game’s core issues, Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 are easily my favourites from the trilogy and offer better level design and checkpointing that will familiarise players with obstacles and mechanics that aren’t too punishing or unenjoyable. These games also have varied level types like races, using jet ski’s and riding on a tiger or a polar bear with many collectibles and secrets to find. Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 both ran flawlessly and were definitely more fun to play than the first game, as there are power ups and added abilities which help Crash defy death and makes the later two games feel more like a finished product.
With the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, you’re getting three PlayStation classics that have been wonderfully ported to the Nintendo Switch. Yes there are compromises in visuals, but you get perfectly stable performance across board because of this. Crash Bandicoot on the Switch shows us that its great level design and gameplay can be enjoyed in 2018 and that Crash Bandicoot feels right at home on Nintendo’s latest platform.