I can imagine some of you have probably clicked on this article expecting me to bash the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and say that I don’t like the games because they’re too hard or because they’re outdated and platformers and gaming mascots (with the exception of Mario) are dead. However, that is not the case, I love this game and I do enjoy platformers even though I am not the best at them anymore. I have played it on PS4 and I recently bought it for my Switch; it’s the fastest selling game on Switch so far in 2018 and I’m not surprised because it is very fun and these games were Sony exclusives up until this point.
So what is my problem with it then? Okay, yes it is challenging and I have screamed at my Switch in the past week because I still get stuck on levels and I’m fed up of Uka Uka telling me game over and then laughing at me but I do enjoy a challenge which is why I loved Super Meat Boy so much. Is it the graphics? No, this game is perfectly optimised on both Switch and PS4 and every time I play it I think of how well the originals were designed by Naughty Dog in terms of their object placement to optimise render distance and frame rate smoothness on the limited PS1 hardware at the time. I also love it when I remember a level from my childhood and it feels oddly familiar even though it looks completely different which is great because it means that they captured the essence of the originals; this is also further heightened by the soundtrack which is the same as the original and who doesn’t love the Crash Bandicoot theme.
The controls do feel a tad dated and unnatural at times when you compare it to a modern platformer like Super Mario Odyssey (playing this game makes me want to replay Super Mario Odyssey again) but that is to be expected considering that this is a remaster and not a brand new game so that is forgiven. There is also the issue of the first game being impossibly hard but Vicarious Visions have admitted that this is actually meant to be deliberately hard; Crash Bandicoot Warped is the easiest in my opinion. In fact, Crash Bandicoot Warped brings me onto my issue with this remaster. There are many vehicle based levels in that game and they originally inspired one of my all time favourite games and a game I remember fondly from my childhood: Crash Team Racing.
Where is it?! Why isn’t it here?! Why hasn’t it been announced yet?! They should have either packaged it with these games or sold it as DLC. Why? Well, kart racers are still insanely popular and Mario Kart has no competition which means you can’t get a kart racer on any non-Nintendo system. Crash Team Racing was essentially just a Mario Kart clone but it was built using the mechanics of the jet ski and motorbike levels from Crash Bandicoot Warped so if they remastered those levels, why can’t they just make this game? I’m certain it would sell amazingly well either as DLC or a standalone title, maybe it is in development for all we know. I just feel like this game would be perfect right now. I know there’s a new Sonic racing game on the way but Sonic should just be left for a few years much like Crash Bandicoot has been or they should just continue to make Sonic Mania games. A Crash Team Racing remaster would sell well on all platforms, Sony could have exclusivity for a year like it had with the N. Sane Trilogy and there has been no new Mario Kart announced so it would have very little competition.
I actually enjoyed all three main Crash Bandicoot racing games (I pretend the mobile ones don’t exist) and I would argue that even when the main series games deteriorated horrifically in quality, the racing games never really did. Crash Team Racing is and always will be an all time classic. Crash Nitro Kart was insanely fun and the anti-gravity mechanic was totally ripped off by Nintendo in Mario Kart 8. I also love how there was a story in this game, something that lacks in the Mario Kart series. This was then further built upon for Crash Tag Team Racing which was a bit of ripoff of Mario Kart: Double Dash but you chose to combine with another car in this game which made split-screen racing fun. Especially if you timed the transformation right as you could separate from your friend’s car at the last minute and win the race on your own. This game also had a story and I loved the theme park setting and how it integrated platforming with kart racing. This game is incredibly underrated, much like Twinsanity.
So who knows, maybe they will remaster all three Crash karting games and release those as a trilogy but I’m pretty certain that will never happen. However, I do believe that they will do a Crash Team Racing remake soon enough and maybe, if we’re lucky, a Twinsanity remake because that game is genuinely so good. I feel like we will have to see how the Spyro trilogy remaster fairs (something else I am excited for because I loved those games a child too) and see whether fifth generation gaming nostalgia trend continues. Yooka Laylee’s lack of success was hopefully just a blip in the road because there are so many good games that deserve a remaster.