If the physics in the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy feel off and the games seem harder than they were back in the 90s, you can be rest assured that it isn’t just your memory failing you.
Redditor Radhew put the time and effort into explaining the choices made during development. It’s a fairly lengthy read, and it’s here for anybody who wants to read the walls of paragraphs. I’ll sum it up the best I can for those who don’t like reading and want a quick explanation as to why the physics and hit detection seem fairly off.
Essentially, Vicarious Visions unified the physics for all three games. They have used Crash Bandicoot: Warped as a model (so if you spent most of your childhood playing this one in particular, the controls and physics may not be as much of a problem to you). Anyone who’s spent a fair amount of time playing all three games back in the day could probably notice that they all had distinct feels to them, and because the new engine sticks with Warped’s physics only, some jumps are obviously going to seem completely different and (in some cases) more difficult.
One other thing Radhew notes is that the remasters use rounded hit detection as opposed to the square detection used with the Playstation 1 titles. With the originals, you either made a jump or you didn’t. Here, you can “kinda” make a jump and Crash will still be pushed off to his death, which will make some of the challenges feel a bit cheap when they seemed just about right once before. This type of hit detection is more appropriate for games of other genres, but given that the Crash series is known for demanding precise platforming, it seems that VV decided to cut a few corners in bringing the games to this generation
Personally, although I still enjoyed the remastered versions of Crash 1-3, I think this is rather disappointing and VV should patch it in the near future (or at least plan to). An option to switch between the old and new physics would definitely make what’s already a pretty good collection even better. I can understand fixing what didn’t work in the past (which, thankfully, VV DID fix the save system in Crash 1 as well as make the bonus rounds checkpoints of sorts), but the controls and physics weren’t broken to begin with and were part of the reason why I enjoyed the original trilogy as much as I did many moons ago. Control and physics are two of the most important pieces of any game, especially when it’s action or platforming heavy. If you can’t change it for the better…don’t change it at all.
Should Vicarious Visions patch the game to balance things out for those who don’t care for the unified engine, or should they leave it be?