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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy rebuilds the PSone classics for a unique PS4 remaster package

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Vicarious Visions on tackling the iconic series, and how it’s added all-new fantastic features

We at Vicarious Visions love Crash, and we’re super excited for everyone to play the N. Sane Trilogy. And we know fans have some burning questions. The biggest question : “Is this a remaster or a remake?”

It’s not a simple answer.

It’s practically impossible to make a traditional remaster of the original Naughty Dog games. They’re roughly 20 years old, and technology has advanced significantly in that time. The original code and assets are nearly unusable. Nearly.

But we don’t consider this a remake. We know how much you all love the original games, so we didn’t want to fully remake them. The N. Sane Trilogy is a remaster plus.

Rebuilding a legend

The first step in our remaster plus was to truly understand what made the Naughty Dog games special and why fans still love them to this day. The best way to understand a game is to play it, and boy, did we play the Crash games. We played them to the point that we broke controllers from mashing the jump button too much. We studied original concept art and commercials for inspiration. And we went even further back to understand the material that originally inspired Naughty Dog, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Looney Tunes.

With all of that in mind, we started our work. Using the original level geometry from Naughty Dog as a guide, we rebuilt the Crash gameplay from scratch, capturing its simplicity and precision. As the levels began to take shape, we layered in our own lush and zany art, animation, and audio.

Let’s see the results! Here are some work-in-progress examples of what to expect:

  1. Rebuilt levels, based on the original geometry:
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  3. Rebuilt characters, following the original designs:
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  5. Rebuilt cinematics, inspired by the originals:
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Adding new features

Because this is a remaster plus, we’ve the opportunity to add new features.

Choosing these is a difficult process. We consider numerous things, including the team’s ideas and fan requests, but perhaps our most important consideration is the evolution of the franchise itself. Naughty Dog learned a lot of lessons on how to refine the Crash formula over the course of making three games. So, the first new features we’ve worked on take the best of each of the games and apply them to all three.

Here are some work-in-progress examples:

  1. A unified checkpointing & save game system. This includes manual and auto-saving. (Yes, the first game now has a proper save game system!)
  2. Unified menu system. Here’s an example of the Pause menu for Crash Bandicoot:
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  4. Time Trials in all three games!
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That’s all folks!

These aren’t the only new features for the N. Sane Trilogy. However, that’s all we’re going to share for today.

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Seriously, though, there’s no time for more. We have to get back to work making the game. (Naughty Dog packed so much gameplay into those original PlayStation CDs!) We hope you enjoyed this taste of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and we’re excited to share more with you soon!

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