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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2017) Review

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Platform Game Review - 

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2017)

 

Game reviewed on Playstation 4 

Reviewed by Brady Painter - 3/9/2020

Visual Representation of Dialogue

0

Visual Representation of Sound

0

Visual Cues

4

Controller Vibration

4

Visually Engaging

3

Multiplayer Communication

N/A

Overall Score

2 out of 5


When the remastered Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was announced, I couldn’t contain my excitement because I remembered playing the game over and over again when I was a little kid. The funny thing is that, when I played the game for the first time when I was seven, I didn’t care about subtitles or story plot because I was completely fixated on completing levels in the game no matter what. Fast forward to the present day, I’ve grown into a “mature adult” and can better evaluate the accessibility features in the game, which fall far short of my expectations overall.

As you have already probably guessed, the N. Sane Trilogy consists of three games: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped. Even though this “remastered” trilogy was released in 2017, no subtitles are provided in the opening cutscenes. This lack of accessibility is really disappointing, especially considering improvements in technology and understanding of accessibility since the game’s original release in the late 1990s. I feel there is no excuse for game developers to not include subtitles and other upgraded accessibility features in remastered games.

While the game disappoints when it comes to subtitles, there are some other features I appreciated when playing the game. As pictured above, instructions on how to play are displayed on the left of the screen in a clear and readable font. Likewise, while no subtitles are provided during boss cutscenes or fights, the loading screen sometimes gives out hints for how to approach an enemy.

As navigation through the different levels of the game is very straightforward and simple, the game does not rely heavily on use of visual indicators. The only visual indicators used consistently in the game are “up” arrows displayed on crates to let you know there is something you can collect (either on or off screen). Access to music or environmental sounds, which the game does not provided, is thankfully not necessary to advance in the game.

Unfortunately, none of the games included in the trilogy have subtitles. As a deaf gamer, this lack of accessibility meant that I could not understand or follow the subtle details of the overall plot. I personally would have loved to better understand the developing relationship between Dr. Cortex (the game’s villain) and Crash across the trilogy. I also would have liked to get to know Aku Aku, the floating wooden mask, and how he influences Crash. However, the lack of subtitles throughout really restricted my ability to enjoy the game.

Overall, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy offers classic gameplay with enhanced graphics, providing a nostalgic and immersive gaming experience. While the game doesn’t rely on understanding of music or environmental sounds to advance the levels, the lack of subtitles greatly reduces the accessibility of the game for deaf and hard of hearing gamers. I personally find a lack of subtitles almost completely intolerable, as they are one of the most important accessibility features. However, if you are able to get past the lack of access to the cutscenes and dialogue, the game offers an enjoyable gaming experience overall.

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About Brady4Jahone of us since 11:22 AM on 02.15.2020

Brady Painter's Blog

As a Deaf gamer, I began playing video games with the release of the Nintendo Game Boy. I remember begging my mom for both Red and Blue versions of the original Pokemon game, an early indication of my passion for gaming. While growing up, I played many different games on my Gameboy, Playstation, Wii, Xbox and Gamecube. Fast forward to the present, I play titles of many different genres on Playstation 4, Playstation VR, and Nintendo Switch. I most enjoy playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch, one of my favorite games of all time and one of my favorite consoles.