Back in the day, anthropomorphic mascots were all the rage.
Sonic the Hedgehog, Aero the Acrobat, Spyro the Dragon and a host of other platforming mascots were seen running and jumping across several consoles. One of the most memorable heroes from that era was PlayStation’s iconic Crash Bandicoot, a character who defined Sony’s gaming 1st gaming platform. The last time gamers got to take Crash for a spin was in 2010 and quite frankly…it wasn’t a good one. Imagine everyone’s surprise last year at E3 when it was announced that Crash’s 1st three games were receiving remasters. At the 2016 PlayStation Experience, we all got to see actual footage of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
June 30 is inching ever so closer, so it’s about time to delve into everything you need to know about the return of Crash Bandicoot.
1. Crash Bandicoot Was Birthed in 1996
The Crash Bandicoot series first sprang up in 1996. As a franchise, it owes its creation to Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin during their time spent at video game developer Naughty Dog and Universal Interactive Studios. Naughty Dog is responsible for producing the 1st three Crash Bandicoot games, while the multiplayer party game Crash Bash was developed by Eurocom. The last Crash Bandicoot game Naughty Dog worked on was the kart racing spinoff, Crash Team Racing. Sony is responsible for publishing all of those aforementioned titles.
After all four of those games were launched, Crash found himself moved under a new video game publisher/developer banner. Once Naughty Dog became an official Sony development studio in 2001, they decided to stop working on Crash’s games after the release of CTR. Universal Interactive Studios, who originally held the rights to the Crash Bandicoot IP, was eventually bought out by Vivendi. Later on, Vivendi entered into a merger with Activision, which then gave them ownership over the series as a whole. You can take a look at the video above to check out all of the Crash titles made by Naughty Dog and the development studios tied to Universal Interactive Entertainment, Vivendi and Activision.
2. The 1st Three Games are Getting Fully Remastered
Activision has decided to give development duties for the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy to Vicarious Visions. This remaster collection features Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. It’s quite easy to see just how much improved the visuals and audio for these games are in 2017, due to the 4K resolution and remastered BGM/sound effects. Even more special is the fact that Crash Bandicoot’s fur is actually more noticeable this time around.
All three games feature Crash running, spinning, jumping, sliding and performing more physical actions across a variety of themed stages. Fans old enough to remember Crash will get a nostalgic rush when they come across the game’s Wumpa Fruits, side-scrolling bonus stages, protective Aku-Aku masks and wild chase sequences. An extended gameplay demo of the remastered version of Warped can be seen in the video below:
3. A Few Welcome Changes are Being Applied to All Three Games
Besides the graphical enhancements, Crash’s trilogy of games are getting a few mechanical adjustments. All three games feature unified checkpoints, manual/automatic saving, time trials (which were introduced in Warped) and pause menus. Also, all three games have their own dedicated set of trophies. And finally, a whole new character will be playable throughout the whole collection, Crash’s sister Coco. Just think back on how you collected trophies during your time spent with The Nathan Drake Collection and you’ll have a clear idea of how this process works with the N. Sane Trilogy. And to the surprise of no one, this collection is a PS4 exclusive.
4. Crash Has to Contend With the Evil Dr. Neo Cortex and a Host of Other Villains
Crash’s ultimate nemesis is Dr. Neo Cortex, a mad scientist who’s dead set on realizing his goal of world domination. To accomplish that goal, Cortex takes advice from the evil Tiki mask Uka Uka. Uka Uka advises Cortex to mutate the local animals on several neighboring islands and turn them into loyal soldiers. Cortex is the one who ends up creating Crash Bandicoot, but he deems him unworthy of joining his army and decides to throw him out like unwanted trash.
Crash eventually becomes a thorn in Cortex’s side across the entirety of the series after making the choice to stand up to him and his villainy. Crash not only has to deal with the wrath of Cortex, he also has to fend off his collection of bosses. The trailer posted above showcases all of the main baddies Crash has to defeat in battle.
5. Pre-Order Bonuses are Available for Those Who Obtain the Game Digitally or From GameStop
If you choose to pre-order the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy from GameStop, you’ll end up getting a cool little Aku-Aku Keychain. But if you digitally pre-order the game from the PSN store, you’ll obtain three PS4 themes – “Sunset Vista,” “Friends” and a special Pre-Order theme.