One of my fave games of all time and also one of the most forgotten besides people quoting the dumb GDQ memes revolving around Tomba 2. I loved this game so much I beat it in like a week and immediately played through the entire thing again. Just go listen to "The Village of All Beginnings" and tell me you aren't instantly charmed.
Kind of a mixed bag honestly.
Crash 1 remake: better than the original in literally every way
Crash 2 remake: almost as good as the original but some glaring issues that bring it down a bit (mainly ice physics)
Crash 3 remake: original crash 3 wasn't great to begin with and this is about the same, you can tell all the effort went into Crash 1 and the 3 remake feels a bit more rushed than the others
I loved this game so much growing up, me and my friends played it every single weekend for hours on end and had so much fun. So of course I had the great idea of playing it with my friend a decade after the game's release just to see how it was. Game feels like trash to play and we only lasted about 3 matches before turning it off and deciding to never play it again. Subspace Emissary was cool as hell though and it's sad we'll never get something like that again.
This game is honestly so lame. It has a few decent tracks but comparing it to the vastly better options you had for kart racers in this era (Diddy Kong Racing and Crash Team Racing) just had me wondering why in the world anyone would want to play this barebones-ass game over them. There's just so little to the game and what you're given is nearly nothing in the first place. I will never play this again for the rest of my life unless someone forces me to.
This is a game that is so close to greatness but falls short. The platforming is just as amazing as 2, which is some of the best controls in a platformer, and the general platforming levels are amazingly done. The problem lies in nearly 1/3 of the game being bogged down by stupid vehicle levels that ruin the flow of the game. Even on my first playthrough as a kid I remember constantly avoiding the vehicles levels in each hub until last because they just drag down the pace so much when you want to get back to the interesting and fun platforming levels. In the first warp room alone you have only 2 pure platforming levels, with a lame jet ski level, an underwater level and an auto runner. Every warp room is like this and they get even worse with the motorcycle and plane levels. After you beat the game you unlock spriting shoes and once you beat a level for the first time you can replay it and beat it as fast as possible for a chance to get a relic, which gives the game so much more replayability if it weren't for the constantly gimmicky vehicle levels. Racing for times on your average platforming level was a blast but doing anything else is just a drag. I still played it an insane amount as a kid and even got 105% in it as an adult in anticipation for the remakes but it was an awful gaming experience and I'd never do it again. What a shame.
Feels like the natural progression for Naughty Dog after the Crash series. I remember playing this for the first time and constantly thinking "this feels like an open world Crash game," and I always feel that way when I play it, which is absolutely a good thing. Possibly hot take but man I miss these old ND platformers and don't care about their new types of games, I want these fun silly games from them again.