Crash is back and I don't know how to feel about it
I grew up playing Crash well, emulating the PS1 Crash games on PC using Bleem (or something like that), so I have fond memories of it. And when I got the promo code to review the newly remastered version of the original 3 games I was stoked. Downloaded the game, started playing it and it was exactly the Crash I remembered.
The human brain is an amazing piece of "tech" we all have and it still baffles me how the memories are stored, how we remember stuff, how enriched in details, that weren't actually there in the first place, everything feel. This is extremely noticeable when it comes to video games we grew up playing. Maybe it's nostalgia that plays this "beautiful fake" trick on our minds. And this remastered trilogy is a testament to that, at least for me it is.
The new devs have carefully crafted everything and I mean everything, from level design, graphics and animations to sounds, from the ground up. It's a true remaster and you can feel the dev's passion and love for these old games in everything. How Crash runs, slides, runs away from the incoming boulder, how he raises his eyebrow (in a totally non-creepy way - if you know what I mean) before riding the hog or polar bear or the lovely and cute death animations (I know I put lovely, cute and death in the same thought, but bear with me) are recreated with pinpoint accuracy and everything just looks bloody gorgeous.
Again, I still do not own a PS4 Pro so I cannot comment on the 4K, but even in the good old 1080p the N.Sane Trilogy looks amazingly beautiful. The colors pop and the palette is vibrant. The animations look fantastic, Crash has never looked better. In terms of the sounds and music, they redid everything in that sector too and it sounds amazing.
So if the presentation is top notch, what about gameplay? Well, here's where things get complicated. Crash Bandicoot games, the Naughty Dog games, were always difficult and challenging platformers. I accepted that when I was 7 or 8 years old since I had nothing better to do and also Crash was the only game I had to play along with Blizzard's Viking game. But today, some 15 years later, here I am playing the same ice level in second Crash game over and over again cause I can't jump over a fu*king sliding seal.
That's frustrating and super annoying. And the worst part of it all is that in 80% of the cases, it's really not your fault. The devs kinda confirmed it that they did something to "emulate" the difficulty of the old games, but they went totally overboard with it. You miss jumps that you really shouldn't and the hitbox is stupidly large compared to how it should be and that for that you'll die countless times. There are also some incredibly stupidly hard platforming sequences that I do not understand how got past the QA testing. When you sum up all of these unfair instances, and there are a lot of them, it makes the games n.sanely annoying and frustrating to play through. And this statement comes from someone who loved Crash back in the time.
I want to play the games, but the amount of bullsh*t deaths is just too much. I just don't know how to feel about the games. Yes, there is a ton of game to play through and a lot of replay value in getting 100% completion for each level and unlocking all the hidden levels and secrets but the total unfairness undermines the whole experience.
Take what you want from this review. I got nostalgic when I was playing the trilogy, especially the first game, and maybe a man tear was shed, cannot comment on that. But the forced difficulty made it quite hard for me to continue playing till the end of the trilogy as I just played only a few of the levels in the third game. Crash indeed is back and he looks fantastic, but at the moment he plays like sh*t. Hopefully, an upcoming patch fixes that. Thanks for reading!