Crash Bandicoot is one of my all time favorite game franchises. I owned the main trilogy as well as Crash Bash and Crash Team Racing (CTR), and plowed countless hours, days, weeks, probably months, into them.
So when I heard that the original trilogy was being remastered in 4K for PS4 I was thrilled, but also rather nervous.
I've been burnt before. Micro Machines, especially V3, is another all-time favorite and when it returned last year I was excited… until I installed it on my iPad and started playing.
Instead of a loving homage to the Micro Machine classics, the new version has been hideously modified.
It sports a freemium model while local eight-person multiplayer has been ditched in favor of online battles which don't just rely on skill – and the occasional slice of luck from the Micro Machines gods – but also how much money you're willing to plough into in-app purchases to get you ahead of the competition.
For the record it's not a bad game, I've actually played it a lot, but to try and pass it off as a Micro Machines follow up is a little insulting.
It was this experience, and similar app-based reboots of games such as Theme Park, that had me questioning whether I'd ultimately be let down by the new Crash Bandicoot.
Thankfully, I wasn't.
Hello again, my furry friend
For anyone who has played Crash Bandicoot down the years the theme music is iconic. A blast of nostalgia delivered directly into your eardrums.
It was a positive first step as the N-Sane Trilogy loaded, and the improved graphics were certainly welcome – yet the gameplay remains almost identical. And that's the great thing about this reboot.
As I was washed up on the beach for the very first level everything seemed so familiar.
Those first three crates to smash, the pits that required a well timed leap to avoid and a gleaming, silver gem waited for you at the end if you managed to break every crate.
The folks over at Activision and Vicarious Visions have lovingly recreated the fiendishly tricky levels and addictive gameplay while refraining from too much modern day glitz and glam.
This is how reboots should be done, if a classic title is to be revived. Keep the gameplay, the levels, the overall mission the same. Give it all a lick of paint so it looks great on our full HD and 4K screens and then push it out.
Now if someone can get on to giving Theme Hospital the same treatment, I'll be a very happy man.
What classic title do you want to see rebooted? Let me know on Twitter
- and are getting reboots too!