Spotlight: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has been out for PS4 for a little over a year now, but it just recently released on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch as well. Here at Joy+Sticks Gaming, we’ve been devouring it like it’s 1998, and we can’t recommend it enough. We’ve been playing it on the Switch, of course, because as you may have noticed we’re still completely obsessed with the console, and despite the subtle (but sometimes not-so-subtle) graphical differences between the Switch and the other versions, we’re having a blast.

The Crash Bandicoot series is regarded by many gamers (ourselves included) as one of the first games they ever played as kids. I personally have fond memories of Saturday nights making a pallet in front of the living room TV to play Crash with my sisters. I remember we were terrible at it, often wanting to break all of the boxes and collect all of the gems but eventually defaulting to collecting the crystals and finishing the levels instead. The simple act of finishing a level was a feat in and of itself, and it’s been an amusing experience going back to these games twenty years later, nostalgia running high, only to discover that I’m not doing much better than we did way back then.

Playing the original three Crash Bandicoot games in 2018 has been a surreal and mind-boggling experience. It’s astonishing to think that these games were released twenty years ago, but even more so that they’ve aged so well. In preparation for this article I watched a few comparison videos of the old games versus the new, just to remind myself how much better the new versions of the games really look. It’s funny how easy it is to get used to the updated appearance of the games, a testament to just how successful these remakes really are, but even more so how faithful they remain to their original source content.

As one of the first platforming games in existence, the Crash Bandicoot series remains one of my absolute favorite platformers of all time. These games are exceptionally difficult, but I’d argue that this is only because they almost stubbornly employ much more simplified ideas of platforming than what is traditional for most modern platformers. This is especially true for the first and second games, but all three still demonstrate a really compelling conceptual and mechanical evolution.

Anyone who calls themselves a gamer should play Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, if not only to witness the medium’s humble roots. They’re absolutely gorgeous, no matter what console you prefer (even the Nintendo Switch!), and they offer a unique challenge for all kinds of gamers, whether casual or hardcore. 1998 is making a comeback in 2018, and Crash is just the beginning. We still can’t believe that Crash Bandicoot is back in the forefront once again, and we can’t wait to experience the next chapter of this special “reliving our childhood” saga when Spyro Reignited Trilogy releases later this fall.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

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