Crash Bandicoot has seen quite the resurgence over the last few years. After being completely dormant after the poorly received 2008 game Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Crash Bandicoot has come back in a big way. Starting with the excellent remaster of the first 3 games in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and the remaster of Crash Team Racing, we find ourselves here with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. This is the first brand new game in the mainline series in 23 years. It’s a tough job to follow up beloved PS1 classics, but Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time does a great job feeling right at home. Crash 4 originally released on Xbox and PlayStation back in October 2020, but it’s finally made its way to Nintendo Switch. While it might not be the graphical showpiece as it is on next gen hardware, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time on Nintendo Switch is a great way to play the game!
In our original review of Crash Bandicoot 4, we said:
“Crash Bandicoot 4 offers an entirely new art style for the series going forward, brought to life by the incredible team at Toys for Bob who managed to do the same for Spyro only 2 years ago. With beautiful, slapstick cartoon-inspired animation in both cutscenes and gameplay, Crash Bandicoot 4 includes the exact same unique visual energy that made the original PlayStation games so memorable back in the late 90s alongside the animation of the era. With Crash Bandicoot 4, Toys for Bob has successfully made up for all of the lost time between now and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, taking every aspect of the titles in-between that worked and weaving it with the studio’s own ingenious talent for creativity and excellence in level design to create what is ultimately the orange marsupial’s best adventure to date.”
For this review, we’re focusing on the Switch-specific version of the game. What you’re getting with Crash 4 on Switch is the entire experience you’d get anywhere else. This is very impressive when you play the game. This game was designed with PS4 and Xbox One consoles in mind, so the impressive visuals would seem like a harder task to pull off on Switch. Yet the game remarkably looks and runs great on the Switch. The wonderful art design the game has translates well in the portable console, with the game looking just as good on the big screen as it does in handheld mode. Ultimately, for this type of game (which will require a lot of trial and error), playing on Switch may be the best way to play. It’s perfect for the pick up and play style of the Switch, making me feel like I need to do one more run or one more level. Really, Crash Bandicoot 4 feels right at home on Switch.
The only real negative thing I can say about the Switch version of Crash Bandicoot 4 has less to do with the power of the console and more to do with the game engine itself. To put it simply, making the game in Unreal Engine 4 might make the game visually pleasing, but the engine has quite a few hiccups that occasionally interrupt gameplay. This was an issue on PS4 and Xbox One, and I can say the issue is still there on Switch. The game has a blurry look to it at times, even on the more powerful systems. Background details and even character details can look fuzzy, regardless of how much or little action is on-screen. The Switch version has this too as it’s an issue with the game engine itself. There will be moments when you stop and wonder if the issue is the console. Unfortunately, this issue isn’t fixable, and while in no way a deal-breaker, you’re going to notice it in your playthrough.
In short, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a fantastic game that fans of the series (or challenging platformers) should absolutely play. Crash 4 on Switch feels pretty perfect too, fitting the pick up and go playstyle of the Switch quite well. Sure, the game engine will make the game look a bit blurry no matter what system you the play game on. That said, don’t miss out on one of the best platformers to come out this year. Like the title says, it’s about time Crash was back.
Developer: Toys for Bob
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Release Date: 2nd October 2020 (PS4, Xbox One), 12th March 2021 (Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S), 26th March 2021 (PC)
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was provided by the publisher.