Returning to the first Crash Bandicoot in 2017, more than twenty years after its release, is an interesting experience. It serves to put things in context. It has not always been so obvious, but for some time now I know that video games I do not like today for the same reasons as in 2007 or 1997; For that reason, when I play now to things that I had already played in 2007 or 1997, I usually focus on other things, and from this new look new readings, different conclusions, new insights for me. It happens to everyone.
Crash Bandicoot was no exception. I can imagine why in his day it was a game “that hits the eyes”, as Herranz wrote in Hobby Consoles; His way of exploring the third dimension still has a recognizable and unique flavor today. The first level is a declaration of intentions: it advances towards the bottom of the level, instead of towards the right, and at a certain moment the road forks. Today it seems a minor detail, but at the moment this use of depth (and its opposite: it is tempting to think of the levels in which Crash runs in front of a giant stone ball not only as a nod to Indiana Jones, but Also as precursors of Uncharted) proved that it was possible to think platform games otherwise. Super Mario was going from left to right; Crash too, but also moved in directions that, especially on consoles, seemed unthinkable.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review
We advance to 2017. We are presented with the opportunity to return to that revolutionary platforms within Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, the compilation that brings together the three main games of the series for the first PlayStation, and the impact of this use of depth is different. It remains more or less unique, although now it is difficult to be surprised in the same way. You can see the seams more easily; Some decisions of the original design are a point more dated than we possibly remembered.
The basic plataformeo works well, partly because it usually relies on ideas that even then had already been tested in other games and partly by the exercise of contention in the design of levels, which usually revolve around a single idea. It’s a conventional way of creating levels that goes well with Crash Bandicoot, although it’s significant that the best moments are in the levels in 2D, closer to the classic platform games. The age shows in the difficulty, I imagine; From what I have been able to read, many people have received with surprise that Crash Bandicoot is a game so brief and so crazy. Although the remaster’s peculiarities have something to do (it is easier to slip on the edges of the platforms, for example), the truth is that from a certain moment it is easy to fall on the Game Over screen, because the lives are not precisely Infinite and deaths are frequent.
Road to Nowhere could be the turning point; From there, more than one sequence of jumps demands absolute precision not to end up deep in an abyss, with The High Road (the difficult version of Road to Nowhere) as the culmination of a somewhat irregular but never restrictive difficulty curve . In that sense, it disappoints the final section, in which it is not possible to justify the peaks of difficulty as part of an organic and logical progression; The levels prior to the final combat with Neo Cortex are brief and his ideas (such as doors and corridors activated with metal boxes) are not interesting enough to anticipate the great end, not especially inspired. I understand what you are trying to do at The Great Hall (a level that is only fully shown when all diamonds are achieved at all levels), but I think that the effort that is demanded in that anteroom to the final boss does not have a reward at the height.
In the same way, I think that almost all the mistakes of the first Crash Bandicoot are innocuous. Hidden boxes out of camera, perspective problems that make the readability of some obstacles difficult, the few ways to deal with enemies that Crash has; Are little more or less harmless stumbles that make something less pleasant completista but that do not detract from the nostalgic enjoyment that surely look for all those people who has made this N.Sane Trilogy in one of the most successful hits of the year. I think it is reasonable to say that this first installment, beyond the incalculable sentimental value, of its impact in the catalog of the first PlayStation and of its interest within the route of Naughty Dog like study, is received today in a way lukewarm than in 1996, when his context turned it into a game that “never ceases to amaze stage after stage”.
He is also an interesting remaster. On the one hand, it respects the original in a way that has led its managers to avoid the word remake: it is the same game as in PSX, but with a work of sheet and painting extremely important above. The work of Vicarious Visions, the studio in charge of bringing the mascot of Naughty Dog to the new generation of consoles, has a heroic point that gives a different quality and finish: his goal was to make three more or less Eye, without having much of the material that dominates their skeletons. “The original engine was created specifically for the first PlayStation. Naughty Dog took her to the limit. They created a fantastic engine to do that. The engine did not see the light of day beyond PlayStation 1, as far as I know, and of course we could not use it. We had no access to any code or anything like that, “explained Dan Tanguay to Ars Technica.
With the information that Sony and Naughty Dog could provide (Tanguay talks about meshes and some information about music), the rest was comparing their version with the original, screen with screen, investigating in online communities and asking for help to fans to try to nail The times and weights of Crash Bandicoot. That carry to the limit the Sony console (Naughty Dog’s house brand, it seems) here translates into a certain baroque that fills the stage with details to the point of forcing a sense of distance at times uncomfortable; Reading Robert Yang’s article on video game bezels I thought of this new Crash Bandicoot, and how a significant part of the visual tricks used seem to want to give it commercial value rather than bring something to its design. I find it difficult to speak ill of the work of Vicarious Visions, because I do not really dislike what they have done, but I do believe that along the way something of Crash Bandicoot’s personality is lost.
This is not the first time I have been back in charge of Naughty Dog’s marsupial delirium in recent years, but for some time I did not sit back and calmly play the first Crash Bandicoot. It is, I say, an interesting exercise. In 2017 it is possible that fans of the platform games feel “abandoned to the fight and the speed”, as in 1996, and in that sense the function that can be fulfilled Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is not very different; Is a summery fun very appetizing, although it is possible to think about what was the first Crash Bandicoot at the time (a new game that tried to do something different thanks to the new possibilities of a console that extended horizons) and put it in front of nostalgic review, Which hypertrophies the graphics trampling a little the charm of the original. The best thing is that you do not have to wait a year to see how the formula is refined and improved; We’ll talk about Crash Bandicoot 2 and how Naughty Dog aimed a little higher before breaking the board with the third installment.