This one goes out to the 90s kids
Crash was a classic example of an early-3D platformer, with the game having you control a cartoon-like character along with a set track that had you either moving into the screen, out of the screen or sidescrolling. The only attacks you had were jumping and spinning, but the game used that to it’s fullest potential on the now prehistoric hardware. You had enemies, gaps to jump over, and crates to smash which contained a wonderful fruit called the Wumpa fruit, which after collecting a hundred of them…well you could probably guess, the game threw you an extra life. If you made it all the way through the level on your first try, great! But if you make one little mistake, hit one enemy, jump too short and fall into a pit, you went all the way back to the beginning of the level.
…but it had a charm to it. Which is why Naughty Dog decided to bring old Crash back, and in style, with a remastered version of the first three games which released last month, titled the N. Sane Trilogy.
Now, normally this would be a great thing! The old games had a large audience who now, all grown up, could relive their childhood a bit with the exact same games but with graphics on-par with today’s hardware capabilities.
But somehow, the trilogy just isn’t quite holding up to the original games. And it’s not really because they’re any better or worse than the originals, it’s because of the people who played the games in the first place.
Most of the clear-cut complaints stem from the controls, which makes a lot of sense. In the original games, you didn’t even have an analog stick to work with (at least until ’97), you had the classic Playstation D-pad which was less than desirable for directional movement. On top of that, the game had and still has the classic jumping mechanic of pressing and holding X to control how far you want to jump. And since the levels are designed so that you often have a weird perspective of the road ahead, many players have and are still finding themselves misjudging a lot of jumps. This also leads for some poor playing on boss levels too.
These complaints are well founded, but there’s one thing you’ve got to consider about this game:
It was made in the 90s
And not just that, it was made in the pioneering age of 3D platforming. You can’t expect a game from that era, despite how good it was, to be remastered and be up to date with the game mechanics of today. In order for the Trilogy to be a true ‘remaster’ it had to be as close to the original game as possible, just looking a hell of a lot better.
Are the mechanics in the remastered trilogy a bit wonky? Yes, but only because the original controls were the same way. A lot of people are looking at the original Crash Bandicoot games through rose-colored glasses, and are then confused as to why the remaster isn’t giving them the same wonder and joy that the original games did.
It all has to do with the changing times, and the expectations from that era. Back then, there wasn’t Call of Duty, or Destiny, or Far Cry. Hell, there wasn’t even an analog stick to use! Naughty Dog did the best with what they had at the time, and it was a success because it was genuinely good for the time.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that you may want to go back and see the games from your childhood, but what you’re used to now isn’t necessarily what you were used to back then. The N. Sane Trilogy is not a bad remaster, it’s just more of a nostalgia trip than anything else.
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