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Crash Bandicoot Producer Says N. Sane Trilogy Looks ‘Same Old’; Franchise Should’ve Moved Forward

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

The producer of the original Crash Bandicoot game has criticised Activision’s upcoming remastered trilogy as being a “Frankenstein-ian” project, saying the franchise should have instead looked to “enthral” players with new and innovative ideas.

In a sit-down chat with Power Up Gaming, Crash developer David Siller shared his thoughts on the Vicarious Visions-developed N. Sane Trilogy, which was shown off for the first time at last weekend’s PlayStation Experience 2016 in Anaheim, California.

Siller hit the headlines last year when he claimed he had been “black-balled” by Naughty Dog and original Crash publisher Universal Interactive Studios, with his contributions to the series being “totally forgotten about”.

The following are the developer’s full thoughts on the N. Sane trilogy and its initial gameplay trailer:

The remastered game looks great no doubt. Vicarious Visions is doing a great job as well. I don’t know how it plays but if it isn’t an obvious improvement then that would be a disappointment. After twenty years there are ways to improve what was already there and instil an even better feel to complement the looks. This was no easy task and I give them credit for giving it a shot in the first place, but then what developer wouldn’t take this on as I am sure the money and potential upside was worth it.

There are a million ideas as to what form this should have taken, and Vicarious Visions is implementing some of those fan requests, but that too is quite risky. Never let the audience make the game for you! Surprise and enlighten them instead.

Was this project even a good idea, I am not sure that it was. I would have (Activision/Sony) built an amazing all new “next generation” Crash Bandicoot game that would amaze and enthral everyone from then to now, meaning new customers and the fanatic old ones as well.

Innovate and blow some minds! There is so much more that could have been offered now or even during the earlier generation of consoles. There wasn’t a Crash Bandicoot game for the PS3 now was there?

An all-new Crash Bandicoot game for PS4 should be starring Crash’s own kid and his kid’s crew. He could flashback and even tell stories of what his dad told him about “back in ‘da day”, while blazing a new trail including great new features and abilities including “techno-gadgets” that are awesome! Maybe this is actually Coco’s child but indeed the franchise could have and should now move into the future.

When I look at the new remastered game, I say “WHY”? This should be new and clever and introduce so much more gameplay techniques and interesting new story plot twists that are missing from the new remastered product (I assume). It looks like the “same ole – same ole” with just a new spiffy suit or coat of paint. They will especially sell this to everyone that already has it and a few more sure. Old is new again, just look at the Mini NES!

As a game designer, creator and producer I would have taken the course of something new and dynamic that begs to be born, over rehashed games. Show the world what new can do! If this franchise deserves to live then pump life into it, not a Frankenstein-ian effort. Why could this have not been offered on the PS3?

When asked what is your favorite film work, Hitchcock would answer “My next one”!

What are your thoughts on the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy? Do you agree with the points made by David Siller? Have your say in the comments below.

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  • Tamago1

    If there’s something we learned so far is that Activision can’t make Crash Bandicoot games. After they got the IP they have made many attempts but all of them have been failure after failure.

    • wahaah

      uh you realize only 3 games (1 if you don’t count mobile games) were actually published under Activision?

      • Marthian

        And they were mostly done by Radical. Vicarious Visions (formerly under Vivendi, now under Activision) worked on some of the previous Crash games and of all the non-Naughty Dog companies, they did the best job.

    • Marthian

      Activision just publishes the games. Radical made the truly terrible Crash games (Mind over Mutants, etc.) Vicarious Visions made previous Crash games prior to being under Activision, and while those weren’t as great as the originals, they were still pretty good in their own right and faithful to the originals (with how far they could be with GBA hardware. Nitro kart was also good.)

      Out of any company that worked on previous Crash games not named Naughty Dog, they did the best job.

  • suli559

    I never thought of it in this way, but it makes a lot of sense, could have at least made the same game with major noticeable differences such as longer levels of the same levels, add a few surprises that weren’t in the original so you can trick people or just add tons of new levels. Would have been cool if this were a checkpoint game instead of lives because that shit only gets annoying after a few deaths.

  • andy

    Well this is still a nice start. It must be an amazing lesson for Vicarious Visions to be working on this with access to all those old animations and how to bring them forward.
    If this is a success, THEY will be the team to make a brand new Crash Bandicoot 4 just like Sanzaru games made Sly 4 after doing excellent ports of the original trilogy.
    I would also love a Spyro Trilogy Remaster Plus in 2018/19 🙂

  • Fretless94

    “An all-new Crash Bandicoot game for PS4 should be starring Crash’s own kid and his kid’s crew. He could flashback and even tell stories of what his dad told him about “back in ‘da day”, while blazing a new trail including great new features and abilities including “techno-gadgets” that are awesome! Maybe this is actually Coco’s child but indeed the franchise could have and should now move into the future.”

    That sounds…awful. Like, really really awful. Like bad fanfiction awful.

  • Fafil

    I’ve been following David Siller for a long time. I’ll try to explain what he’s talking about.

    Siller’s game design philosophy is to always surprise and innovate, even in the sequels. This does not mean to do a reboot of a beloved franchise and ignore what made the original great, he’s claimed that he hates reboots that do this. He simply means adding on to what made the original special. He liked what Naughty Dog did to Crash 2 & 3. Crash of the Titans is a bad example because it completely ignored what made the original games special and is a different game entirely. However, Siller did say he liked Twinsanity’s direction, so I assume he wants more Crash sequels to be like that. He wants new installments to add more to the formula instead of rehashing it or rebooting it.
    Siller’s story idea of Crash’s kids and crew is just a brainstorming example that he put out there, and is a callback to many of the 90s cartoon shows like Taz-mania, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Ducktales where these classic cartoon characters now have kids, nephews, or a new generation to pass on their wisdom to. He wants this plot to be executed in a light-hearted cartoony fashion, not in a cheesy fanfiction fashion like most people fear. He hasn’t kept up with the Crash lore since his removal though, so I don’t think he realizes that Crash has grown over the years to have darker, more complex plots and is more than just an interactive cartoon.

    He’s worked in the industry for a long time, so he knows WHY Activision is making a remaster rather than a new game (money and testing the waters to see if Crash is still popular), but he still wants to share his disappointment that they’re playing it safe with Crash. In general, he doesn’t like how the entire industry has been relying on nostalgia lately to make money. Back in his day of developing games, developers were always looking to make the newest thing and not look back on the old. You didn’t see many Super Nintendo remasters of Atari games back in the 90s, and that’s what his whole criticism is about.
    I’m not saying people should agree with him, just trying to elaborate his points. Personally, I think David Siller shouldn’t be shunned and called irrelevant because he contributed so much to the creation of Crash. He was practically the game’s lead designer and wasn’t given enough credit by Naughty Dog. He brings up some good points in this article, but I will agree that some of his thinking is a bit outdated, especially since he hasn’t kept up with Crash in a long time.

  • http://nevermorestudiosonline.com Marcus Raven

    Crash’s kid and crew have adventures while Crash reminisces about the past? Anything else you want to copy from Donkey Kong Country?

  • Benjamin Mills

    His words aren’t gonna mean anything after the thousands if not millions of positive reactions to the trailer.