On June 30, Activision released the Vicarious Visions-developed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on PS4. It contains remastered versions of the first three games in the Crash Bandicoot series, which started way back in 1996 on the original PlayStation.
Fans of Crash eagerly sat down to start playing the games they remembered from 20 years ago, but something felt slightly off and the games, especially the first one, seemed harder. Was it just the fact older games are generally harder than the new games we enjoy today? Actually, no. The remasters are harder.
the reason jumps feel harder in the n.sane trilogy isn't really due to falling a bit faster but because collisions can be wonky upon landing pic.twitter.com/jxbvijNU6c
— Ding Dong (@DingDongVG) 3 July 2017
It's all to do with the way Crash jumps. Each game in the trilogy had slightly different controls and therefore slightly different jumps. Rather than sticking with those, developer Vicarious Visions decided to use the jump from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped for all three games. The reason for that being, "it represented the most improved and modern approach as it gives players the most control."
Even so, fine tuning was done to the jump mechanic for each game, but because the jump was from Crash 3, it still ended up being slightly different than the originals. For example, you fall more quickly upon releasing the X button compared to the original first game. This translates into the first game, which was already the hardest of the trilogy, being even harder in remastered form. Add to that a new collision system and physics and, "certain jumps require more precision than the originals."
Activision has no intention of changing the controls to be just like the original, so the difficulty will remain. However, the publisher does point to the fact that the save and checkpoint system is much more forgiving and the first game now has dynamic difficulty adjustment, which the original didn't.
I'm sure many Crash fans are relieved it's the game getting harder and not them struggling to match the skill of their younger selves. However, I'm sure just as many are annoyed Activision and Vicarious decided to make this change rather than remaining true to the original games.