There’s A Reason Why Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Is Harder Than The Original Games
Raging at how difficult Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is? Turns out you’re not the only one, and there’s a legit reason why this remaster is way harder...
This is for all the gamers who have been driven to nearly throwing their controller out the window (someone literally did so on a video sent to my Snapchat) while playing the remastered Crash Bandicoot - specifically the first game.
“Why the f*ck is this so f*cking difficult?” You ask through gritted teeth and a vice-like grip on your controller, as your orange, furry friend plunges to his death for the 51st time on the Native Fortress level. “Maybe I’m just not as good as I used to be at this game.”
Wrong. Well, to a point (my skills have certainly weathered over nearly two decades).
While you completed a Crash Bandicoot game on your monolithic, grey Playstation console, this is not an exact remaster of the original titles.
Quick disclaimer: This is not me condemning the game - it’s been incredible to play and reminisce about a simpler time of bright, rebellious 90s heroes. Vicarious Visions had to rebuild the entire games from scratch, as the original source code and material was nowhere to be found. And that’s where this falsely reported issue lies.
This required the team to reinvent the physics and gameplay from the ground up, and while it does feel familiar, there’s also something that seems a little “off;” leaving a slightly sour taste in your mouth as you die multiple times.
And that something? Two ‘somethings’ actually - jumping and collision detection.
Twitter user @DingDongVG did some digging and compared the jumping mechanics of the original Crash to the remastered Crash. He noticed the Bandicoot’s jump (both stationary or in a direction) is sped up slightly, resulting in the character landing everso slightly quicker.
Looking further into this myself, it’s clear Vicarious Visions based their gameplay physics off what existed in Crash Bandicoot: Warped - finely tuned physics for the specific game in question - and retrofitted it to the original Crash with limited success.
But let’s not blame this first bit. After all, any control scheme is masterable with the adequate amount of time put into the game. So what if it’s different - you’ll just learn it again.
The real killer comes with the collision detection.
Quick lesson: Collision detection is (you guessed it) how your in-game character collides with the world. This is usually done in two ways - flat box or pill shaped.
Original Crash games from the late nineties used the flat collision box, meaning if any part of your character’s feet landed on any fiddly platform, it would count that as successful.
However, N. Sane Trilogy uses a pill shaped box collision detection - common when developing in the Unity engine. This changes the physics significantly from how you remember them, as if you just hit the edge, you’ll probably slip off and die.
So no, your memory is not just deceiving you. Nostalgia is not clouding your eyesight, and it’s not just because you’re getting old. Crash is harder than you remember - something to take with you when someone uses the whole “a bad workman blames their tools” schtick.
But, as I said above, this is not a criticism of the game. In fact, I would not be giving away a copy if I didn’t think it was good!