Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a platform video game compilation developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It is a collection of remasters of the first three titles in the Crash Bandicoot series: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped, all which were originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation and released from 1996 to 1998. The game was first released for PlayStation 4 in June 2017, receiving generally favorable reception from critics, who praised the game’s faithfulness to the original trilogy, and selling over 2.5 million copies worldwide by the end of September 2017. Versions for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows were released in June 2018.
After a representative for Activistion stated in 2013 that they still owned the rights to the Crash Bandicoot series and were exploring ways to bring it back, the game was announced at E3 2016. It was developed by Vicarious Visions, who coined the term “Remaster Plus” to describe the collection, as they did not fully remake the original games, but rather used Naughty Dog’s original level geometry to rebuild the gameplay from scratch. As the levels were coming together, they also added their own art, animation, and audio. Almost none of the source codes for the original games were available to the developers, as the game engines were specially written for the original PlayStation and Vicarious Visions could not find a way to use it on more powerful systems. Sony and Naughty Dog were able to provide various polygon meshes from the original, although many important elements from these were missing and the team found that “they were compressed in some wacky format that we had to decode”. Vicarious Visions looked at various internet communities to make sure they had essences of the games captured. The team also had some fans test the game and give notes about it compared to the originals. In April 2017, there was a contest for fans to submit ideas for idle animations for the character, with the winners announced the following month.
Ports for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One were announced in March 2018 and were released on June 29, 2018. The Switch port in particular was not originally intended until a lone engineer at Vicarious Visions successfully ported the game’s first level to the platform, proving it was feasible to port the entire game.