Crash Bandicoot is the latest classic game to receive a remaster. The trilogy, developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation, will release on PS4 in future.
Other games in Crash’s era became modernised, in one way or another. Oddworld, Metal Gear Solid, and Final Fantasy are just a few examples of old games reborn.
A remaster is often an indicator developers are exploring the potential of further titles. It is great Crash is already back, albeit in Skylanders, but this could be his last chance of coming back for good.
There are so many talking points regarding Crash’s return. Here are five of the most decisive factors to determine whether it will be a happy one.
5. Revert to Pre-Titans Characters
Titans (and Mind Over Mutant) made characters a parody of their former selves. Examples were Crunch Bandicoot becoming a Mr. T wannabe, and Tiny Tiger having a voice like Mike Tyson.
It wasn’t just their personalities, but also their appearances. Designs changed; Crash gained tattoos, and N. Gin changed colour for the nth time.
Crash, both the character and franchise, needs to become serious again. Villains like Cortex and Tiny should instill fear, and not become a joke themselves.
Classic cartoon humour is great, but the pop culture humour of Titans was too much to bear. The new characters shown in this Skylanders video is a step in the right direction.
The new character designs in Crash of the Titans was just one of many things which led to the demise of the series
4. Don’t Dumb Down the Difficulty
The current generation of single-player games seem easier to complete than previous. This is by no means a bad thing, but various elements of Crash games were difficult 20 years ago. Some levels remain unforgiving to say the least, even today.
Sunset Vista and Slippery Climb were treacherous levels in the first game. Crash Bandicoot 2 introduced ‘Death Routes’, which were more difficult paths to get gems. Gaining all Platinum relics in Warped (time trial mode) presented a new challenge.
Completing levels without dying for gems, a feature from the first game, is an element which can go. But, at the same time, the developers should not dumb things down for the modern gamer.
Sunset Vista remains one of the most difficult levels in the franchise, and should remain untouched
3. More Eventful Boss Battles
A criticism of the original Crash trilogy was that levels were more eventful than boss fights. Many bosses were 1-2 minutes in duration, and presented little challenge to players.
The final boss in Cortex Strikes Back, chasing Cortex in space, was a huge anticlimax. Twinsanity, released in 2004 for the PS2 and Xbox, contained more exciting boss levels.
Boss battles need to be more intense, and should at least be as challenging as regular levels.
Crash’s defeat of Cortex in the second game was a poor ending to the excellent 25 levels which preceded it
2. Release the Games Together
To be a success, all three remasters must be sold as a collection. Some games in the past released in episodes, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4. The problem with this is if few people like the first part, future additions may be in doubt.
The pricing of the games is another important decision. Older fans would buy regardless of cost, but a price more than £39.99 would not attract new players.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 remastered was around £35, which included two games. Put a reasonable price tag on the product, and people will (at least) take a look.
The graphics of Crash games were stunning in the PS1 era, and should be even better this time round
1. Stay Faithful to the Originals
Above all else, the remasters should be a tribute – and improvement – of the originals. Gameplay should be the classic run-and-jump simplicity we all know and love.
Any change of style, such as the abomination that was the combat-heavy TItans, will be a disaster. If the games sell well and receive a positive reception, it could pave the way for new titles.
Crash is 20 years old, and it’s time he became a leading character in the platform genre once again.
Look forward to dying in style once again, replaying moments such as this in high definition