Let’s get something out of the way, I never played the original games. So, how do you review a nostalgia-based game that you have no nostalgia about? Firstly, I tackled at least 1/3rd of each game to get my toes wet on all of them. Second, the graphics updates are excellently handled. They keep the look and feel of the originals without “modernizing” them up too much. The game still holds that old 90’s charm from the Playstation 1 era. With older games, you forget how chunky some of the sprites were; I imagine the game looks like the memories most original players now have in their heads.
As a warning, if you’re a first time player of the series like I was, I’d recommend playing the third game first as it has a much more polished feel. Several of the rough edges of the first game could be off putting to a new player. I was hoping to let my 5 year old son dive into the game and play a piece of revived history, but found he got too frustrated with the initial game. He fared much better in the second and third and had a great time with those.
Which brings up the question about remakes and remasters: Is it better to hold true to the original game with its flaws and all, or should you try to polish those up too? In this case, smoothing away the blocky shortcomings of the time successfully invigorated the game. So if some modern game design principles were carefully grafted on to the game, wouldn’t that be for the best? Maybe, but then the charm and nostalgia of the older games might be lost, because once you tinker with even seemingly small issues, the whole Jenga tower can come tumbling down fast.
The N’Sane trilogy successfully walks a fine line between remaster and redo. For newcomers, I suggest working backwards and you’ll find a fun time with a piece of gaming history. For those of you who grew up with this game, if you haven’t bought it already, get out and enjoy a game that’s just as lively and challenging as you remember.
By: Redbox Contributor, Kevin Buesse