Tag Archives: Crash Bandicoot

SBox Soapbox: Should Crash Team Racing Be Remastered or Remade?

The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has finally been released, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been a Crash Bandicoot fan ever since first playing Crash Bandicoot 2 when I was just 2 or 3 years old. It was the first game I ever played and the reason I fell in love with video games in the first place. So, you know I was drawn to this remastering of the first 3 games like a moth to a flame.

I’ve been playing the crap out of The N. Sane Trilogy ever since I got it during its launch weekend and have not been disappointed with what I got. The graphics are superb, the gameplay was tweaked just enough to feel modern yet familiar, the soundtrack is life itself, and the new additions, while admittedly minor, are just enough to make the purchase worth it. Sure, the loading screens are a bit annoying, but the game itself is just what I wanted it to be. I highly encourage fans of the original games such as me to pick this game up when you get a chance. It’s a new take on 3 classics that I just know you’ll enjoy.

That being said, this trip down nostalgia lane got me thinking about the other big Crash Bandicoot game on PS1. What of the 4th and final Crash game to be developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing?

Released in 1999, Crash Team Racing was the first spin-off of the series and a staple of the 5th generation racing game scene alongside Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Daytona USA among others. The game was beloved by critics and fans at the time, selling close to 5 million copies during its initial run. It’s still regarded as one of the most beloved PS1 games of all-time as well as one of the most beloved racing games ever made.

The game definitely had an impact, which is why I’m sure some fans may have been disappointed to see it not included in the N. Sane Trilogy. Granted, I’m of the opinion that it didn’t belong in this collection. It’s not a platformer like the other 3 games, it would require a whole new engine to get right, and how can you re-release CTR without online multiplayer? It would be a huge undertaking for Vicarious Visions to take on that game on top of the other 3 games. Plus, then you’d have people asking “Well, where’s Crash Bash then” (which is an entirely different conversation).

That’s not to say that I don’t think CTR should be reworked. It absolutely should. CTR is a fantastic game that aged well, plays well, and would be well-received by every human on the planet no doubt. This is especially true after seeing how great a job Vicarious Visions did with the N. Sane Trilogy. However, this does come with the question of how it can be done.

One idea is to remaster the game in the same way they remastered Crash 1 through Warped. It could be an add-on to the N. Sane Trilogy via DLC or its own separate title independent from NST. I can see the benefits of both plans. Clearly such content wouldn’t be free DLC, considering the amount of work necessary for making the game again. Giving the game the necessary gameplay tweaks, artistic recreations and new content wouldn’t come cheap. In fact, it may be so big an undertaking that it would probably be more worth it to release it as a downloadable PSN /physical title. It could be called “Crash Team Racing: The N. Sane Edition”. Sell it at $20, add online multiplayer, and you’re golden.

However, this comes with a couple possible roadblocks. Would it be worth it to Activision or fans to remaster one game for such a small price. From a fan’s perspective, sure, I’d pay $20 or so for a CTR remaster. (I’ve done it for DuckTales and I’d do it for CTR). However, I can imagine some gamer’s finding just 1 new take on an old game to be a bit less worth it. One of the major appeals of remasters is that you get several older games on superior hardware for the price of a full, new game; which would place a standalone CTR remaster at a disadvantage. If it came bundled with Crash Bash, that’s another story. Then again, that would make the package cost more, and I’m not sure enough people are fond enough of Crash Bash to justify that purchase. I would, but maybe others may not.

Then from the developer’s perspective, a remaster may be relatively easy to make considering they’re going off the original code, but it may cost a bit too much and take too much time to rework faithfully. Plus, is there really enough content in the game to guarantee a CTR remaster would sell. Sure the game has 5 modes and 15 characters, but modern racing games are still relatively packed with content. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing has at least 24 characters in it (depending on platform), and Mario Kart 8 has a good 26 characters (before DLC and not accounting for the Deluxe version). For modern standards, the game may be a bit too small for modern audiences.

That’s why some may favor a second option a bit better: a full CTR remake. Not a remaster, but a from the ground up, standalone, new features included, remake.

Fun Fact: Back in 2010, Activision was looking to develop a CTR remake developed by High Impact Games before cancelling it for unknown reasons. It was honestly a pretty good idea. Considering the enriched Crash Bandicoot history that exists now, you could expand your roster to include characters like Crunch, Nina, and Tawna. You could also bring in one-off characters like Pasadena Opossum from Tag Team Racing, The Evil Twins from Twinsanity, and Emperor Velo from Nitro Kart. Hell, throw Spyro in while you’re at it. Beyond that, a full remake would be considered a brand new game at $60. This justifies the cost for online server maintenance, and allows Vicarious Visions to add new tracks to beef up the game even more.

This would still come with one drawback — you know, besides the price being higher. Such a plan would also give Vicarious Visions the ability to go off-script (or more appropriately off-code) from the original game. This opens the game up to potentially play radically different from the original, and you know what they say about fixing something that ain’t broke. Basically, a remake could serve to tarnish the original game. Then again, it also could be a good thing for the game. After all, the NST tweaked the control of the original 3 games and I still enjoy it. Maybe they’ll take care to improve the gameplay while also maintaining the feel of the original CTR. As a result you have a whole new take on a classic game.

Additionally, when you discuss a remake of the game, you have to ask yourself if now is the time to make it happen. Should such an idea wait for after the series has a new, original platformer under its belt before going straight to a racing game? Would it allow for new characters to be introduced and new ideas to be formed? Alternatively, would the hype around NST still be there in a few year’s time, and what if a new Crash game fails? A remake definitely comes with a lot of ifs and buts to the point where Activision may not be willing to take the risk just yet.

It’s interesting to think about CTR being remastered or remade. It’s an idea I most certainly love and would support either way if and when it comes up. Though, of the two options I personally lean more towards the remake idea. It may take more time to happen and sure they could potentially make the game worse, but the NST impressed me so much that I trust Vicarious Visions to make it work. Plus, imagine a CTR remake coming out on the game’s 20th anniversary in 2019. That would be awesome! Though if they decide to instead remaster the original game with online multiplayer, I’m totally fine with that, too.

Should there be a Crash Team Racing remake or remaster? Which option appeals to you most? Would you support either option, or would you rather they leave the game alone? Leave your thoughts in the comments below so we can discuss it together!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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SBox Soapbox: My Most Anticipated Games of 2017

It is with great pleasure that I welcome each and every one of you to the fresh new year of 2017! I hope you all had an excellent New Year’s celebration last night and that you’re starting your year off right. I wouldn’t know. See, I figured I’d be spending my New Year’s Day sleeping in past noon and in a constant state of sloth (as is tradition). That’s why this post is coming to you live from the year 2016. Let’s ring in the New Year the right way by going over all of the things we have to look forward to in 2017, starting with gaming. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: My Most Anticipated Games of 2017

My Quick Thoughts on the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy Trailer (PSX 2016)

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If you’re like me and are currently in the midst of either finals week or hell week, the PlayStation Experience probably happened right under your nose this year… and last year… and it probably will next year, too. Really, this event is in an awful spot for college students. The point is that I missed the show and was only able to watch it yesterday morning before getting right back to work. In case I don’t get another chance to blog until the end of finals week (Thursday), I wanted to take just a little time to talk about at least one big trailer to come out of this year’s event: Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy. Continue reading My Quick Thoughts on the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy Trailer (PSX 2016)

My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference

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The time has finally come to discuss the biggest video game event of the year once again: the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2016. I’m humbled by the fact that this is the second E3 I’ll be spending with you all. This wouldn’t be as fun if I was simply taking in these announcements by myself with no outlet to express that information. So, hopefully this is as fun for you as it is for me.

There have been E3 conferences and events the past couple of days, but my sights as always were set on the Big 3 companies: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Monday saw the release of possibly the only two major showings of E3, so today I would like to share my thoughts of the show with you all, continuing this time with Sony. Continue reading My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference

My Top 5 Most Wanted Super Smash Bros DLC Characters (700 View Special)

This week saw the release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U, the Wii U’s most anticipated game release to date. Whether you’re a Smash fan or not, whether you love Nintendo or hate their guts, whether you have the Wii U or never wanted one, whether you dig fighting games or prefer other genres, you most likely had your eye on this game and its 3DS counterpart for a while now.

The Smash Bros series is kind of like the “Nintendo Olympics”. Fighters from a plethora of franchises come together to compete in one massive fighting game. Therefore, when a new installment comes out once every console generation it is celebrated. And if you haven’t experienced any of the now (technically) 5 Smash Bros games, I’m not sure what your waiting for, nor do I see a better time to try the series out.

With this new iteration comes a lot of firsts for the series, one standing out most of all. Sure 8-player co-op was a pretty big new thing, but I find a lot of intrigue in the introduction of DLC. Of course I’m referring to Mewtwo’s announcement not too long ago. Mewtwo being the game’s first downloadable character has officially opened the door for other characters to join the fray in the future.

But who could be next? More so, who do you want to be next? Well I have 5 choices who I would personally want as future DLC.

I understand that it’s not confirmed that there will be any more DLC characters after Mewtwo, but that’s not stopping me from dreaming. No matter if Mewtwo is the only downloadable character or not, I will love this game reguardless. These are just characters I feel would make the experience even better for me personally.

Remember, as I always say, this is not my personal top 5 characters; not everyone’s top 5, and not the top 5 characters that will be DLC. My choices may vary from yours, so please feel free to disagree. Let me know in the comments who you would want as DLC.


#1: Lucas

 

 

Believe me when I say how disappointed and surprised I was when Lucas was cut in Wii U and 3DS. He was my main fighter in Brawl, and I personally felt he should’ve been in from the get-go. Especially considering the number of self-admitted clone characters that made their way into the game like Dr Mario, Dark Pit, and Lucina, Lucas seemed like a likely candidate. And even for a clone, he still had a good deal of differences from Ness.

I still think Lucas has a good shot at being in the new game. Like I said, he fits right in with the clones, he would continue to give Earthbound representation, and he has a good base to build upon. With some tweaking, you could probably even make him a bit more different than Ness. Maybe downplay his physical ability while buffing up his psychic ability. I dunno. At least his inclusion would make me happy.

#2: Paper Mario

The idea of this character was being tossed about the Smash Bros community so much that I was surprised they opted not to include Paper Mario. I honestly expected him before Bowser Jr. It’s such a genius idea. Not only is he Mario, but he would play almost entirely different from Mario if done correctly. His paper quality also fits in when you place his flat self next to Game & Watch. I see nothing but potential with this character.

In my previous posts, I supported this character by saying that, as far as Mario clones go, Paper Mario would be the most preferred over Dr Mario. Apparently, Nintendo saw it the other way around. That’s why I’m not really holding my breath for Paper Mario to make it. At least in this iteration of Smash, people would probably draw the line at one clone per every character. Even I will admit that three versions of Mario would be hard to swallow. At that point you might as well throw Metal Mario in, too.

In my world Paper Mario could coexist with Dr Mario based on how different he would be from Mario already.

#3: Crash Bandicoot

Yes, I know it’s not happening. I still want him in the game!

I really commend the choice of third party characters this time around. It’s clear that Nintendo went with the most iconic characters they could all representing a major part of Nintendo history in one way or the other. To pick another third party character would have to be on the same level of nostalgia as Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Sonic. I believe Crash is one of the closest to fitting the bill.

This is clearly a biased pick on my part since I have a huge soft spot for Crash Bandicoot games. But tell me he wouldn’t fit in the roster. standing next to Fox or Sonic he looks natural. As the former representative mascot for Sony in the 90’s, he has a similar relevance to Nintendo history as Sonic does. Besides, Crash was multiplatform for the majority of his career and has exckusive handheld games on the GameBoy and DS. Not to mention how much moveset potential he has.

I realize that Crash would be one of the last characters Nintendo would consider for Smash Bros, especially with rumors of a new Crash game coming to PS4. For me, an announcement of Crash in Smash Bros would do nothing short of make my head explode. Besides, Snake got in, so why not Crash?

#4: Wonder Red

He’s absolutely perfect for Super Smash Bros. Think of the possibilities. It’s not that hard. He’s a brawler who can morph into a giant gun, an anvil, and a sword among other things. You can also play him up as a little powerhouse in terms of strength. Maybe not Little Mac strong, but perhaps Captain Falcon level strong.

I will concede that Wonderful 101 didn’t sell well and Nintendo may not see much reason to put him in. But since when has sales dictated inclusion? Ness got in after all. Even if it did, sales for Wonderful 101 could only benefit from extra exposure. Besides, he had a pretty good campaign going for him before the game came out. I still think he’d be an awesome character.

#5: Ryu Hayabusa

In terms of third party candidates, even ones from the 8-bit era, I feel Hayabusa isn’t as popular of a choice as characters like Simon Belmont. He still is an awesome contender though. Ryu is a master of swordplay and ninja skills. In fact, Smash Bros can use another ninja since we only have two. There is a ton of possibilities for his Ninpo powers as well.

Ninja Gaiden was a big part of Nintendo’s history which is why he has a good shot. While he would stand out in Nintendo’s cleverly chosen third party mascots, Ryu still has nostalgia on his side, not to mention relevance. I have faith that Ryu would be an awesome fighter.

Runners Up

Bayonneta: Not sure I need to explain why she’d fit in, but she would.
Rayman: Rayman is another one of those characters who would blend in with the other third-party characters. Plus, he’s already a trophy.
Toad: A dull choice, but I feel Toad could provide an interesting style to the roster. Whether regular Toad or Captain Toad, he’ll be cool.
Simon Belmont or Solid Snake: Konami should have a character in again. These are my top choices for nostalgia (Belmont) and familiarity (Snake).
Isaac: Fans have convinced me even though I never played Golden Sun before. Besides, I find it peculiar that he isn’t even an assist trophy.

There are plenty of characters I would want for the newest Super Smash Bros games. While I’m not saying everyone here is a shoe-in for entry, these are characters I’d love to see.

How about you guys? What characters remain on your dream roster? Let me know in the comments and continue the speculation together.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Soapbox: What I Want From a New Crash Bandicoot Game

The reason I play video games is because of Crash Bandicoot. More primarily, Crash Bandicoot 2 is the reason I play video games. It was the first game I have ever played back when I was just 2 years old. Because of that game, I would stand here today a 17 year old gamer, whose love of gaming would leak into his actual life, the friends he would end up making, the games he would end up playing, the skills he would end up wielding, and the passion he would end up expressing on a blog such as this. It doesn’t take long to find out I’m a gamer if you talk to me, and this is the game that started it all.

For those of you unaware, Crash Bandicoot is a series of 3D platformers. Not just any platformer, though. This was one of the first, and one of the first to get it right. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: What I Want From a New Crash Bandicoot Game