Review: Crash Bandicoot’s first time on a Nintendo console is a triumph
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC)
Developer: Vicarious Visions, Bob’s Toys, Iron Galaxy
MSRP: $ 39.99
Crash Bandicoot was one of the most beloved characters of the 90s and early 2000s, giving PlayStation a must-have mascot to compete with Nintendo’s Italian plumber. By the mid-2000s, the character slowly faded into obscurity, leaving diehard fans wishing for a revival.
As Mario continued to dominate the gaming scene on Gamecube, Wii, Nintendo DS, and more, Crash died out and was just a memory of a bygone era in the industry. In 2017, the character returned to the public eye with a collection of remakes of his first three adventures on PlayStation 4.
Fans and critics alike responded well to the character’s sudden re-emergence, but what fans really wanted was to see him come to life on Nintendo’s new hybrid console / handheld, the Nintendo Switch. A year later, we finally have Crash Bandicoot on a Nintendo console (not counting DS games) for the first time, crushing a decades-long feud between the Bandicoot and the Plumber. The only question isâ¦ does it really belong here?
The answer is simply yes, it integrates perfectly with Nintendo’s new console and one can only hope that if a new Crash game is in the works they will bring it to Switch immediately instead of keeping everyone waiting for one. year after launch to take where they want.
From visuals to gameplay, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on Nintendo Switch is exquisite. It still maintains its difficulty factor on the first game and has all the integral parts to look like the original version, this is another incredible achievement for the Nintendo Switch.
Of course, some tradeoffs are made here, but nothing substantial enough to be considered a complaint. The Switch version runs at 720p on docking station and 480p on handheld and while it might sound like a nightmare, it still looks quite remarkable and maintains its visual identity with its lower resolution. Part of the reason is that it works on a small screen, so the picture isn’t enlarged enough that you can see how bad it can look on a good TV.
The textures aren’t significantly weaker and it’s rather amazing that they managed to keep the game so appealing despite the huge hardware differences. The only visuals that take a hit are the characters themselves but especially the animals. Instead of having that more vibrant hair / fur effect of the original version, creatures only have simple textures covering them now.
While Crash Bandicoot itself still looks good, even with a darker shade, other characters look almost flat or muddy. It’s not absolutely magic or anything, but it’s very noticeable, especially if you’ve played the PS4 version or own the newer Xbox or PC versions. Even with that, Vicarious Visions did an amazing job of making the platformer still look and feel competent.
If you’re looking for Nintendo Switch exclusives or substantial modifications like motion controls, you won’t find them here. It’s pretty much the same game on all other platforms with all bonus levels and DLC included at no extra cost, but honestly, despite some small graphics degradation, it seems like the best way to play Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
Even when you’re playing without a Pro Controller, it’s amazingly smooth and a pleasure to play. Sure, you might have to try and contain your outbursts of rage when playing it on a plane or in public, but it’s an authentic Crash Bandicoot experience on the go and on a Nintendo platform. Difficult to ask for much more than that!
Whether you’re a longtime fan who’s played the PS4 version before or someone new to Crash, this modernized version of three undeniably classic platform games feels right at home on Nintendo Switch. Even with some success in the graphics department, Vicarious Visions captured the heart and soul of the iconic Naughty Dog trilogy and made it playable just about anywhere for the first time.