Crash Bandicoot Remaster

Key events

Crash Bandicoot's Xbox, PC and Switch ports tested

He's back - again - and seemingly more popular than ever. Crash Bandicoot's N. Sane Trilogy arrived on Xbox One, PC and Switch last week, once more racking up impressive sales. Indeed, Vicarious Visions' port to Nintendo's hybrid managed to best the week one tally of the impressive Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Clearly, demand is high for the remastered cartoon antics of this particular Bandicoot, but how does the quality of each version stack up against the baseline template set by the existing PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro releases?

The Xbox One side of the situation can be covered very quickly. Playing the game on the base S model offers up an experience that is virtually identical to the standard PlayStation 4 game. The visual feature set is identical and resolution is the same at 1080p, with only the most minor fluctuations in performance setting it apart from its Sony counterpart. Put simply, base Xbox users can go in safe in the knowledge that they're getting an excellent experience - and that only ramps up on Xbox One X, where Crash retains its solid 30fps performance but ramps up the pixel count to a full 4K. That's an impressive 2.25x increase over the 1440p of PS4 Pro.

But the console builds are still pegged to 30fps - one of the only real disappointments we had with this remaster - and that's where the PC version can make a difference. GTX 960 or GTX 1050 Ti-class GPU hardware delivers 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, but what was immediately apparent on our i7 test rig was that CPU utilisation barely registers. So we undertook an experiment, lashing up a PC based on the same AMD Jaguar CPU cluster as the consoles, overclocked to the same 2.3GHz as Xbox One X. Even lacking the 2.5 extra cores available to developers and even carrying the significant burden of the full-blown Windows OS, our system could run Crash 1 and 2 almost flawlessly at 60 frames per second at ultra settings with a GTX 960 (though shadows needed to drop to high), though strange bottlenecks we couldn't explain prevented us from achieving the same thing on Crash 3.

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Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy confirmed for Nintendo Switch

UPDATE 11.05pm: Activision has now officially announced the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy for other platforms itself, including Switch (as revealed in the Nintendo Direct tonight), PC and Xbox One.

All three new platforms for the game will launch their respective versions on the same date - 10th July.

ORIGINAL STORY 10.30pm: As Eurogamer reported in February, Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is coming to Nintendo Switch.

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Crash Bandcoot N.Sane Trilogy did the business for Activision - and now everyone wants a Spyro remaster next

The successful release of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy has lit a fire in the hearts of Spyro fans, who hope the adventure series will be Activision's next remaster.

It seems what was once considered a pipe dream could be a step closer to actually happening.

Spyro the Dragon is a platformer that casts players in the role of Spyro, a young, purple dragon who is accompanied on his journeys by a dragonfly called Sparx. Here's a trailer for the first game in the series, released for the PS1 in 1998.

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Hey! Pikmin fails to set UK chart on fire

Miitopia fares better, but Crash still top.

Last Friday saw Nintendo release a triple salvo of 3DS titles in the UK: Miitopia, Hey! Pikmin and Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training. The trio of games fared fair to poorly.

Dev confirms the Crash Bandicoot remaster is harder than the original

Crash Bandicoot developer Vicarious Visions has confirmed the remaster is harder than the original after fans spent the past three weeks trying to work out why it feels different to play.

A few days after the game came out, Twitch streamer DingDongVG created a video providing a visual demonstration of an apparent problem with the jumping in Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy. The footage suggested Crash's jumping arc was sped up, which means he lands slightly quicker than in the original.

Writing in a blog post Kevin Kelly, editorial manager of Activision, said jumping in the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is not the same as in the original, particularly in the first game of the series. It turns out even though the developer used Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped as a starting point, it ended up individually tuning each game's jumping mechanisms.

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Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy biggest single-platform launch of the year

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy biggest single-platform launch of the year

Second largest 2017 launch overall, behind Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy has launched in the UK to incredible sales.

Launched exclusively for PlayStation 4, it is the biggest single-platform release of the year so far - beating even Horizon: Zero Dawn.

For 2017 to date, Crash is the year's second biggest launch overall - behind multiplatform release Ghost Recon Wildlands.

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This one comes at you in waves. On first loading the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy, my initial thought was: Oh, this is definitely how they should reissue old games. N Sane Trilogy, which bundles the first three Crash Bandicoot games into one package, adding quality of life stuff like a decent save and checkpoint system alongside time trials, online leaderboards and the chance to play most levels as Coco, has had a lot of work put into it. The soundtrack's been remastered, the cinematics have been entirely redone, the whole thing cruises by at 30fps. The elbowy channels of this trench platformer are still rather poky, but they're fringed with glorious wildlife and delightful texturing as a complete art overhaul has taken place. Ice is gemlike and wonderfully glossy, tar pits are filled with thick black goop, and the jungles! You never saw such jungles! Big fat rubbery leaves, the fraying trunks of palms, the ruffle of a breeze as you race past, smashing crates and collecting fruit.

Crash Bandicoot on PS4: retro gameplay meets state-of-the-art visuals

Digital FoundryCrash Bandicoot on PS4: retro gameplay meets state-of-the-art visuals

Digital Foundry presents comprehensive PS4, Pro and original PlayStation analysis.

The original Crash Bandicoot started development in 1994, and in the eyes of its original developers - Naughty Dog's Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin - it would be the very first 3D platform game. The concept was simple - summed up its creators as 'Sonic's Ass' - a 90 degree rotation of a 2D playfield into a rolling 3D platforming world. Gavin and Rubin would team up with others, including a certain Mark Cerny, and the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy on PS1 went on to break technical boundaries and sell millions. Still revered by many, today we can replay those games on PlayStation 4, with completely rebuilt, yet still authentic, remakes of those original games.

Developer Vicarious Visions has bet the house on the original Crash formula holding up: there are some changes to the way the third-person camera behaves, but otherwise the gameplay is completely identical to the PlayStation releases. Fire up the PS1 code, and aside from a 'smoother' feel to the controls owing to the more modern animation, and that's pretty much exactly the experience you'll get today from the remake. And yes, that does mean that the original Crash Bandicoot remains unforgivingly difficult in a way that simply isn't much fun, while both sequels offer up radical improvements to the gameplay experience.

First up, let's get the rendering basics out of the way. The N.Sane Trilogy renders at 1080p on base PlayStation 4, while PS4 Pro owners see the same presentation running at a higher 1440p output, bolstered by very minor visual improvements including enhanced shadow map resolution and improved ambient occlusion [UPDATE: Yes, 1080p users do get downsampling support here]. But the real story isn't in the pixel-count, it's in the approach that Vicarious is taking with the core aesthetic of the game - specifically, an ambitious attempt to remake the originals almost like interactive CG movies, with a Pixar-like visual language.

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Uplifting as it is to lose yourself within them, video game worlds are often most enthralling when you're aware of the tricks and contrivances that knit them together. Wolfenstein 3D's labyrinth is all the eerier when you know that it's a Pac-Man level masquerading as "true" polygonal 3D, its walls and columns projecting upward from sets of horizontal coordinates, like volcanic gas from a vent. And how about the Mode 7 landscapes of SNES role-playing games, glowing carpets spun and panned across to convey the impression of distant 3D geometry, or the bejewelled pop-up backdrops of the Sonic games? These realms would be nothing without their obvious, delightful artificiality - to wander through them is to revel both in the illusion itself and how it has been crafted.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy release date set for June

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy release date set for June

The dream of the 90s is alive on PlayStation.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy - the remastering of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped - will launch on 30th June for PS4.

Developer Vicarious Visions (of Skylanders fame, also working on the next Destiny) has massively rehauled the games' graphics and sound effects for something that looks drastically better than the 90s originals, as can be seen in the following comparison video.

"This is a AAA remaster. We're giving this the love and attention to detail that we pay to all of our AAA games," said game director Dan Tanguay on the PlayStation Blog. "We're building it using the original level geometry so that it plays as close to the original as possible. We've also referred to this as a remaster plus, as we are adding new features that we think the fans are going to love!"

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Watch: See how the Crash Bandicoot remaster holds up to the originals

The fans asked for it, and now they have it. After what felt like years of teases and cameos, Crash Bandicoot is back. Kind of.

Vicarious Visions, developers of countless Skylanders games, is remastering the first three games in Naughty Dog's series in The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and it's doing a pretty good job of it judging by our first look at the game.

It's a remarkably faithful remake, and as this video demonstrates Vicarious Visions has gone to great lengths to replicate the originals, with (almost) everything in place and given an attractive makeover.

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Here's your first look at the Crash Bandicoot remaster

Crash Bandicoot remaster, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, has debuted its first footage at the PlayStation Experience moments ago.

This collection includes remasters of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is due on PS4 in 2017.

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