Not so long ago, Kotaku UK contributor David Meikleham had a big old moan about the new Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy remaster. 'Too hard' he said, wah-wah-wah I thought in return. Well, it turns out I owe Dave, and everyone else struggling with the new Crash Bandicoot remaster, an apology: developer Vicarious Visions has now confirmed that, yes, the new game is indeed tougher than the original.
As editorial manager Kevin Kelly explains in a post on the official Activision blog, Vicarious Visions made a number of changes to the Crash Bandicoot trilogy that mean "increased precision is now required in the first game, which makes the gameplay experience different. For those of you who played the originals and acquired a fair amount of muscle memory, re-learning the handling in our game may present an additional challenge you weren’t expecting."
More specifically, Crash Bandicoot's increased challenge is a result of changes made to jumping and collision in the remasters. Both were borne of a desire to "unify" all three experiences within the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. As such, Vicarious Visions started with the character handling it liked best, and applied it across all three games: "We spent a lot of time studying the three titles and chose the handling from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped as our Trilogy’s starting point; it represented the most improved and modern approach as it gives players the most control".
"We went through rounds of internal testing, user testing, and iterations to get each game’s handling to just the right place," explains Kelly, "In the end, we ended up tuning jump differently for each game, so that the jump metrics are the same as the originals. However, there are a few subtle differences in Crash Bandicoot, chief among these being the fact that you fall more quickly upon release of the X button than you did in the original first game."
Throw in changes to Crash's collision system, and the addition of physics, and you're left with an original Crash Bandicoot where "certain jumps require more precision than the originals." So what are your options now that the beans of truth have been spilled all over the carpet of uncertainty? Well, Kelly suggests that if you're new to the series "you may want to start with the second and third games first, and then come back to try Crash Bandicoot after you’ve had more practice"—which sounds a tad counter-intuitive, but at least it's more practical advice than git gud.