Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy / Review / Woah!

Would you find it hard to believe that it was exactly 21 years ago since Crash Bandicoot graced our screens? Remember the days where you would jump over obstacles, smash through boxes and tackle side-scrolling levels?

Well, those days are finally back! As the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy is back to true form, with all three of the original Crash Bandicoot games completely remastered from scratch.

With the source code more or less completely lost, along with the music files that made up the original trilogy, as well as the level designs, Activision Blizzard had to literally rebuild all three of the original Crash Bandicoot games from scratch.

Luckily, as the 3D Mesh Models for all three games were on hard drives provided to Activision Blizzard by Naughty Dog, this gave Activision Blizzard & Vicarious Visions the chance to rebuild and enhance all three games from the ground up, whilst keeping the remastered trilogy as true to the original.

It’s amazing how 21 years have flown because it makes you realise and appreciate the nostalgia of the past two decades, and I wasn’t even born when the first two games in the trilogy were released but I was around when the third game came out.

The one obvious thing to note about the remastered trilogy. It is much harder than the original trilogy, as you now have to time your jumps a lot more precisely as you progress throughout all three of the games. The same also applies if you skid and then jump, you have to make sure you time them both correctly, otherwise there is more of a chance you’ll fall before you try to reach the other side.

After a lot of anticipation and a lot of hype, the unfinished and unreleased level that never made it to the final release of Crash Bandicoot, Stormy Ascent, was finally released.

Of course, Stormy Ascent proved to be just as much of a popular level but was a major headache for everyone including myself to complete, but it was worth it for Activision Blizzard to release this level as the trilogy is officially finished. Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

Stormy Ascent is worth downloading from the PlayStation Store, because if you think Slippery Climb is a hard level, then try Stormy Ascent, and you’ll quickly underestimate just how hard it is to play.

To be fair, the level is absolutely hard, but it’s worth playing, and I am glad I finally got my hands on the level as I have played it and also completed it.

Below are the screenshots I have created whilst playing the groundbreaking Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, so if you have never played Crash Bandicoot, or if you have played Crash Bandicoot, then these screenshots will help you to remember and reminisce the nostalgia of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, originally produced by Naughty Dog.

Since Friday 30th June, I have been uploading gameplay footage from all three of the games in the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy; Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back & Crash Bandicoot: Warped.

Below are the video playlists I have created separately for the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy. Please feel free to watch the gameplay footage I have uploaded to my YouTube Channel, and if you have a YouTube Channel and want to see gameplay footage from the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, please make sure to like, comment and subscribe.

The trilogy has not only proved to be popular but because it has done so well in just the first month of its release, Activision Blizzard and Vicarious Visions did the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy justice as their attention to detail really did hone in on the original trilogy’s music, including the visual detail of every single level.

Concluding this review, I can honestly say that the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, produced by Activision Blizzard & Vicarious Visions, is absolutely perfect, and this remastered trilogy stays completely true to the original trilogy produced by Naughty Dog.

What are you waiting for? If you haven’t purchased your copy of the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, go out to your local store or to an online retailer and purchase your copy now. I am absolutely sure this is a trilogy you will want to play alongside the original trilogy produced by Naughty Dog.

Also, if you want to celebrate the marsupial’s comeback in style, download the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy theme packs that are available on the PlayStation Store.

Activision Blizzard & Vicarious Vision, you are awesome! Naughty Dog, you’re awesome too, in fact, all of you are awesome! Thanks for bringing back all of the happy memories of playing Crash Bandicoot!

Alex Smithson

© Activision Blizzard, Vicarious Visions, Naughty Dog & Origin Studios, 2017

© All of the Crash Bandicoot logos; Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot: Warped and the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, including all the screenshots, all of the gameplay videos, thumbnails and official art, are all copyright of Activision Blizzard, Vicarious Visions, Naughty Dog & Origin Studios. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

© The N⋅SANE THEN…N⋅SANER NOW!!! punchline is copyright to Activision Blizzard & Vicarious Visions. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy / Rating: 10/10

Performance: 10/10

Visual Details: 10/10

Gameplay: 10/10

Controls: 10/10

Stormy Ascent: 10/10

Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy / Out 30th June!

It’s official! Just a few months after we all witnessed the marsupial make his comeback, Crash Bandicoot is ready to come back to PlayStation on the 30th June! Who would have thought it, eh?

This news comes after the comeback trailer unveiled Crash Bandicoot back to his true and original form, with the comeback trailer itself even showing comparisons of the original PS1 Classic levels including the newly upgraded level designs of the exact same levels.

I also came across official screenshots of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back after reading an article that Crashy News published, and honestly, Activision have made sure to keep the N⋅Sane Trilogy true to the original PS1 Classic Crash Bandicoot and they have most certainly done the Naughty Dog Original series justice with this refreshed collection of the N⋅Sane Trilogy.

I won’t deny this, I will be pre-ordering the Crash Bandicoot N⋅Sane Trilogy because it’s so good! I will not be surprised if this trilogy sells just as well as the original PS1 Classics, because Crash Bandicoot was and still is a bestseller even to the present day, and the N⋅Sane Trilogy itself will do just the same, because Activision have made sure to keep this game original by making sure it captures the true heart of the original PS1 version of Crash Bandicoot that we all came to know and love.

This release date couldn’t have come at a much better time, as this trilogy releases exactly two weeks after I mark my 19th birthday.

Are you just as excited as I am that Crash Bandicoot is finally back? If you are excited to see Crash Bandicoot come to the PlayStation 4 on the 30th June, then please let me know, I would love to hear what you think about the marsupial bandicoot making his comeback to PlayStation.

Also, if you want to be kept up-to-date on all things Crash Bandicoot, then please visit Crashy News by clicking here.

Alex Smithson

PlayStation 4 Slim: Your Favourite Console Just Got Slimmer!

As I decided to treat myself to the new PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console after a tough year, it’s safe to say I was not disappointed, as I was able to get in on a deal with PC World as they were selling three games bundled with the PlayStation 4 Slim; those games were DRIVECLUB, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End & The Last of Us Remastered.

Thankfully, I was able to get in on the deal when I did because Sony never disappoints where consoles and gaming are involved, as the console itself is much quieter than the original PS4, given that I know a friend of mine who has the original PS4 whose PS4 actually makes a noise even if the console is standing upright or horizontally when gameplay is in progress or when a film is being played on the PlayStation 4.

For the PlayStation 4 Slim, it’s so quiet! It can surprise you though when you stand it upright when a DVD is inserted into the disc compartment, as it makes quite a noise while it reads the DVD, but that, to me, is a good thing, because if the PS4 Slim can make that much of a noise while it reads a DVD, then you know the DVD will play with no problem.

So, What is in the Box?

The PlayStation 4 Slim comes bundled with the following items:

  • PlayStation 4 Slim
  • PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller
  • HDMI Cable
  • PlayStation In-Ear Headphones (these can be plugged into the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller if you join a Party in progress with your friends).
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Guarantee Booklet
  • PlayStation Guarantee
  • PlayStation Protection Policy
  • Safety Guide
  • DualShock 4 USB Charging Cable.

If you brought the three game bundle that I purchased with the PlayStation 4 Slim, you would get the following games:

  • DRIVECLUB
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • The Last of Us Remastered.

Other PlayStation 4 Slim game bundles are available and are listed below:

  • PlayStation 4 Slim (1 TB) / DRIVECLUB / Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End / Ratchet & Clank – 3 Game Bundle
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (1 TB) / Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Bundle / Includes a Digital Copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered with 10 MP Maps
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Watch Dogs 2 Bundle / Includes the first Watch Dogs.
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Includes FIFA 17 and a 1-Year PlayStation Plus Subscription
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Battlefield 1 Bundle
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / The Batman Bundle / Includes: Batman Arkham Knight, Batman: Return to Arkham & Batman: A Telltale Series
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Includes Battlefield 1 and an Afterglow AG9 Headset
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Includes Titanfall 2 and a 90-Day PlayStation Plus Subscription
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / Grand Theft Auto V Bundle
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB) / LEGO Star Wars Bundle.

If you prefer the standalone PlayStation 4 Slim with no games, below are the listed PlayStation 4 Slim storage choices:

  • PlayStation 4 Slim (500 GB)
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (1 TB).

What do I think of the PlayStation 4 Slim? I think it’s so good because the speed of the console is extremely fast and thanks to Sony making it possible to share gameplay from PS4 Games, I have been able to upload some gameplay videos to my YouTube channel. Plus, I love how you can keep in touch with your friends over the PlayStation Network, including the added ability to play games that you don’t have that your friends have with Share Play, which allows you to invite friends to play a game that they don’t have over your internet connection. This is beneficial for me because if I don’t have a game that a friend does own, then I can receive the controls from the game from a friend and then play that game that they are playing, and that’s a massive bonus.

In terms of the size of the console, I am pleased that I was able to get in on the three-game console deal when I did, as I find the console spacious considering I can stand it up vertically without worrying about the PlayStation 4 Slim heating up, and because I have also got a stand for the PlayStation 4 Slim, this helps me in many ways as I can still find the space to move things around in my bedroom whilst the console is in its own place. I have noticed even though this is my first PlayStation 4 that it’s a little smaller than the original PlayStation 4, so that’s perfect for me considering I like to have enough room to position a console or two. With that being said, the console itself is really quiet and it works perfectly in my bedroom.

Overall, I was lucky to get the PlayStation 4 Slim when I did, because as Sony & Activision recently showed off the comeback trailer and the first gameplay video of some of the remastered levels of Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy, it’s safe to say that I am absolutely excited for the trilogy considering it’s out sometime in 2017, and once it’s out, I am definitely purchasing it. A lot of good games are coming to the PlayStation 4, so I cannot wait to find out what games are in store next year.

But overall, I love the PlayStation 4 Slim and I wholeheartedly recommend the PlayStation 4 Slim to all of you.

To end this in spectacular style, as Sony would say: “This is for the Players.

If you enjoyed my review of the PlayStation 4 Slim, then please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Corporation 2016

© Any logos / promotional images used, such as the Registered PS4 Trademark, including the Vertical PlayStation 4 Slim Stand and the PlayStation 4 Slim & DualShock 4 Controller are all copyright of Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Sony Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Sonic Generations: A Shift Between Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic

As Sonic Generations marked the 20th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, it was clear that this game had everything to offer, because for the first time, and with Stereoscopic 3D, you would get to see Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic in an entirely nostalgic form that would shift between the past and the present. I will not deny this, but I have played the game myself and I absolutely love it, because it delivers and creates not just a nostalgic feeling that makes you think of the good old days of Classic Sonic, but it gives you the approach that Sonic is back and Retro is back too.

As a massive SEGA fan, I love the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and have played previous games, such as Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush and even the Christian Whitehead reboots of Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and I won’t lie, I wish I played Sonic Generations sooner, because it’s one of those games where you cannot afford to not play it to appreciate and understand the true aspects behind how the game was really made, as well as the hard work that SEGA went to in order to modernise and remaster past levels.

For the first time, you can play these levels in modern form:

  • Green Hill Zone (Taken from Sonic the Hedgehog)
  • Chemical Plant (Taken from Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
  • Stardust Speedway (Metal Sonic Rival Battle) [Classic Sonic] {Taken from Sonic CD}
  • Death Egg Robot (Boss) [Classic Sonic] {Taken from Sonic the Hedgehog 2}
  • Shadow the Hedgehog (Rival Battle) [Modern Sonic] {Taken from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle}
  • Sky Sanctuary (Taken from Sonic & Knuckles)
  • Speed Highway (Taken from Sonic Adventure)
  • City Escape (Taken from Sonic Adventure 2)
  • Seaside Hill (Taken from Sonic Heroes)
  • Crisis City (Taken from Sonic the Hedgehog) [2006]
  • Silver the Hedgehog (Rival Battle) [Modern Sonic] {Taken from Sonic the Hedgehog ’06)
  • Perfect Chaos (Taken from Sonic Adventure)
  • Rooftop Run (Taken from Sonic Unleashed)
  • Planet Wisp (Taken from Sonic Colours)
  • Egg Dragoon (Taken from Sonic Unleashed)

Also, for the first time, you can play the final boss in the level, Time Eater. If you have all of the 7 Chaos Emeralds, you will be able to play as Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic but as Classic Super Sonic & Modern Super Sonic, and you will be able to fight Dr. Robotnik & Dr. Eggman.

If you have the PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Generations, it comes bundled with the first ever Sonic game, Sonic the Hedgehog, which is an added bonus considering you can play two games as well as one. To get the first ever Sonic game in Sonic Generations, you need to buy the SEGA Mega Drive Controller in the game with the points that you collect through every level that you have completed and don’t worry, you don’t pay extra money for the game at all, you just use the points you earn in the game for every level to get the controller in the game and you’re ready to go at any time.

Below are some screenshots from some of the Classic & Modern levels of Sonic Generations if you want to relive the nostalgia of past Sonic the Hedgehog games.

It’s hard to believe it was five years ago this game was released, and I won’t lie, playing this game has made me realise just how much technology has evolved in the gaming world, and not only that, but to see games from past time being remastered, it’s amazing how some games still capture that nostalgic appeal from the last 10 to 20 years.

I felt it was right to write a review on this game considering it’s exactly 25 years this year since the first ever Sonic game was released, and to continue the celebrations, Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who has ported Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 & Sonic CD to smartphones and consoles, is working again with SEGA and also with PagodaWest and Headcannon on the upcoming 2017 Sonic game, Sonic Mania, which will relive the nostalgia of past levels from some games, including some new levels, though some of the new levels will be new to me as I have never seen them before, apart from watching clips of Sonic Mania on YouTube and on some gaming websites. Also, as the as yet untitled Project Sonic 2017 game is being developed for the XBOX ONE, the PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch and also for Laptop / PC, it’s safe to say that SEGA have a fantastic year ahead. 2017 is going to be SEGA’s year, and I am absolutely sure of that.

What do I think of Sonic Generations? I love the game with a passion, because it relives the nostalgic appeal that I had with past games, such as Sonic Heroes & Sonic Unleashed, and because I have played Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic CD & Sonic Heroes, including Sonic & The Secret Rings and Sonic Colours, Sonic Generations really captures the heart of what made SEGA, and Sonic Generations as a whole captures the flare that past Sonic the Hedgehog games had as well.

Overall, I am absolutely glad to have played this game and I will still continue to play the game anytime and also because the HD Graphics on the game are perfectly crisp, and you can’t help but feel like as if you’ve immersed yourself in the game even though you’re the one playing the game. Sonic Generations is such a fantastic game and I absolutely love the fact that SEGA have decided to give past levels from past games the new lease of life they deserve.

One more thing. If you haven’t got Sonic Generations, then I strongly recommend you buy it for the PlayStation 3 as it is on the PlayStation Essentials list, or if you have a Laptop / PC, then it will be available to purchase on Steam.

I wholeheartedly recommend Sonic Generations.

If you enjoyed my review of Sonic Generations, then please feel free to comment below your feedback on this review. All feedback is much appreciated and to end this review on a high note, I just want to say this:

THANK YOU SEGA FOR SUCH A FANTASTIC AND NOSTALGIC GAME!

Alex Smithson

© SEGA & Sonic Team 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

© Any logos / promotional images used, such as the SONIC GENERATIONS Trademark, the Registered SEGA Trademark, including the promotional image of Classic Sonic the Hedgehog & Modern Sonic the Hedgehog, including the concept art behind the logo and the game’s screenshots are all copyright of SEGA & Sonic Team. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy Unveiled at PlayStation Experience!

A short while ago, I wrote an article following my excitement that Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back & Crash Bandicoot: Warped were being remastered after years of rumours and speculation, and tonight at the PlayStation Experience, Activision unveiled the first ever look of Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy and I have just seen the comeback trailer of the new Crash game and believe me, I wasn’t prepared. It’s so good! To reminisce the nostalgic fever of the PS1 Classic Crash Bandicoot, Activision showed the original levels from the Crash Bandicoot PS1 game, and then they put the original levels together with the remastered levels and it’s so good!

I know I keep saying it’s so good, but trust me, it is that good that your jaws will drop the moment you see the comeback trailer. I have provided the comeback trailer below so all of you can see Crash Bandicoot in his full glory, officially remastered for the PlayStation 4 in 60FPS (Frames Per Second)

Sony & Activision couldn’t have picked a better time to show Crash Bandicoot off, and just in time for Christmas, they have given all of us hope and have put smiles on all of our faces, because the marsupial Crash Bandicoot is back and marks his 20th Anniversary of being on PlayStation.

What did you think of the comeback trailer for Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy? Do you have all three of the original PlayStation 1 Crash Bandicoot games? Are you just as excited as I am about Crash Bandicoot’s comeback? Please let me know if you feel nostalgic by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Sonic CD: Old-School Retro Meets Modern Gaming

As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD officially went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classics, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets and as I was lucky to grab a copy of Sonic CD via iTunes, I started playing on the game and I can be honest, it is much better now compared to the 1993 SEGA CD release.

As Sonic CD was also re-released for the PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, Android, Steam and Windows Phone, it was safe to say that the Classic Sonic we all knew and loved was back and to be honest, playing the game in widescreen is so much better now than before as you can finally feel comfortable playing a treasured classic from the past without needing to go back to a certain area in each level that you play.

The 7 time stones, later known as the Chaos Emeralds in the future Sonic the Hedgehog games, were the crucial pieces of the puzzle that would come together once you claimed them through 7 Special Stages in the game. This, of course, would give Sonic the Hedgehog the ability to defeat Eggman once and for all, or Dr. Robotnik as Sonic’s arch nemesis is most famously known as.

I won’t lie to you, it’s such a good game to play and it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released. I love the game, as it is different in its own right, but at the same time, you can’t help but feel like you wished you played this game sooner.

It’s hard to believe it was 23 years ago that this game was released, it’s amazing how the time flies, but when you consider how much technology and gaming have evolved, it’s amazing to see old games becoming new again, and it’s also amazing to see old games being revived for the big screen. Sonic CD was remastered to be played in 16:9 widescreen and it is Full HD, so you’re getting the best from this game, even if you have or haven’t played it before.

But overall, Sonic CD is such a fantastic game and you cannot go wrong with such a fantastic old-school classic like this. Sonic CD’s old-school retro appeal has officially met the modern gaming world and it’s safe to say that this game is worth downloading and is worth playing. I wholeheartedly recommend playing the game, because the moment you start playing it, those seconds turn into minutes, and those minutes quickly turn into hours of gameplay.

If you enjoyed my review of SEGA’s Sonic CD, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© SEGA & Sonic Team 1993, 2016

© Any logos / promotional images used, such as the SONIC CD Trademark, including the promotional image of Metal Sonic & Sonic the Hedgehog side-to-side are all copyright of SEGA & Sonic Team. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Crash Bandicoot is Back!!!

On the 13th June 2016, after years of rumours and speculation, Sony finally announced that the classic Crash Bandicoot series that consisted of the three PlayStation 1 games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped will be remastered.

Of course, I’ve been waiting for that news to arrive, and I’m absolutely pleased that it’s finally happening. It was only on the 9th July 2015 that I talked about Crash Bandicoot: Warped in a gaming review, and to now hear that all three of the first Crash games are finally being revived, that’s amazing.

The Crash series was the norm 20 years ago, and loads of people would literally lock themselves away in their bedrooms for hours on end playing the games, because the games were that good that you could play it and feel like you were in a world of your own.

Believe me when I say this, when I’ve played the Crash games, I’ve been like that, locking myself away in my bedroom just to play the games because they’re classic games that, even to this day, will always be so good, and the potential for revivals of all three Crash games were on the cards for a very long time.

We all have, so far, got a taster of the new version of Crash Bandicoot, as he makes his debut on the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the XBOX 360, XBOX ONE and the Nintendo Wii U in the new Skylanders game, Skylanders Imaginators, which will be released in three editions, the Standard Edition, the Dark Edition & the Crash Edition, on the 14th October 2016. The Crash Bandicoot Remastered Series is being released next year, though more details of the trilogy will follow nearer the time of release.

All I can say is that as long as the remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot’s 1, 2 & 3 for the PlayStation 4 live up to the same potential or to the highest potential as the PS1 Classic versions of the games, then I’ll be pleased, and as long as the remastered versions of the Crash PS1 Series live up to the hype that the originals had at release, then I’ll consider getting the trilogy when it comes out, after I see gameplay videos of the remastered versions in action on YouTube of course.

Are you just as excited as I am about the Crash Bandicoot series being revived? If so, please me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson