N. Sane Trilogy - News Roundup (February)

(UPDATE - February 16th, 2017: Great news! The release date and voice cast have been officially revealed! Scroll down to the bottom of the article to read all about it.)

New screenshots from the N. Sane Trilogy have been revealed today, making this the perfect opportunity to talk about everything we've learned since this collection was revealed a few months ago. Let's dive right into it!

The New Screenshots

Revealed earlier today by Game Informer, these new screenshots mostly focus on Crash 2. This is especially exciting because we'd only been shown Crash 1 up to this point, so it's good to see something different for a change.

The first thing that immediately caught my eye was Crash's expression in the boulder screenshot. Crash's face has felt off to me ever since the initial reveal, but I think it looks perfect here. With the help of another fan, I had previously suggested a few changes regarding the way Crash emotes to be more in line with the original games, and this screenshot is exactly what I had in mind. I hope we get to see more of this and less of "burp face" Crash.

Polar is looking good too. The little bear cub is the only new character in these images, and he looks close to his original appearance, albeit with slightly different proportions and, of course, a lot more detail. The unusual camera angle is undoubtedly for screenshot purposes only, but it does make me wonder if the games will have a photo mode of sorts. This would be more than welcome (and would make my life so much easier when it's time to update the site).

I think a photo mode is further hinted at with the Komodo Brothers screenshots, because the exact same scene is depicted twice from different angles. Not only that, but the boss icon is conspicuously absent from screenshots where the camera angle appears more cinematic than usual. Hmmmm! Whatever the case is, I do love what they've done with the place. Crash's spin animation, on the other hand, not so much. In all honesty, it still looks half-baked.

The remaining levels have some added whistles and bells, such as the foliage in Road to Ruin and Sunset Vista, the latter of which is the only Crash 1 level in the bunch. Sunset Vista actually looks pretty different from the original thing, thanks to the dense vegetation and a decidedly more orange color scheme. It works, but I think it would be cool if the iconic red and blue palette was kept for this or The Lost City. A lot of levels in Warped that had duplicate themes changed the color scheme and time of day, and this is something I wouldn't mind seeing in the first two games.

As always, you can view more screenshots in the game's gallery, so be sure to head there if you haven't already done so.

General Improvements

Besides the new images, there have been a few things worth mentioning in recent times, so if you haven't been watching all the videos or following Crash Mania, here's the perfect chance to catch up. Of particular interest is a Game Informer interview with Dan Tanguay and Kara Massie from Vicarious Visions:

As suspected by many, the game uses the same engine as Skylanders Imaginators and some other entries in the series. This has had the advantage of cutting down on a lot of work for the team, letting them focus on important details as they recreate the original games. Speaking of which, Vicarious Visions received the original 3D levels from Sony, and they're building their revamped, modernized versions on top of them. The actual controls and physics, however, are being meticulously recreated by hand (one aspect they've already proven to have nailed so far).

Something that was already noticeable in last year's demo was the addition of several new animations to complement the old ones. Staying true to the original games, Vicarious Visions wants to add a few extra things to make people laugh, such as the various ways how Crash brings out a gem he's collected (he can be seen burping it out or taking it out of his ear, among other examples). You can even miss the gem in Crash 1 after it spawns, which upsets Crash in the tally screen. Similarly, the bosses will have additional animations and display a wider range of emotions, as well as new intros and outros in some cases.

All three games will have unified features and improvements, but the physics, controls, and abilities will remain faithful to each individual game (so no sliding in Crash 1, for example. This seems like a wasted opportunity, but I'm still holding out hope that it's an unlockable option of sorts). We already knew about the added time trials in Crash 1 and 2, but it's nice to confirm that they're going to great lengths to rid the former of some of its more egregious problems, such as the awful save system and having to break all the crates without dying (Sunset Vista suddenly doesn't seem so frustrating anymore). You can even replay the bonus rounds just like in the sequels, but now you need to break all the crates in them as well. A reasonable trade-off, all things considered.

Voice Actors and Rumors

Debi Derryberry has recently confirmed on her Twitter account that she will be reprising her role as Crash's sister, Coco. She's been with the franchise for longer than any other voice actor, so it's great news to fans of the character and Debi's work. She's the fourth VA confirmed so far, after Lex Lang, Maurice LaMarche, and Jess Harnell, who are reprising their roles as Cortex, Brio, and Crash, respectively.

Although this hasn't been confirmed yet, it seems very likely that Nolan North will return to his role as N. Gin. A few months ago, he alluded on Twitter that he wasn't yet done voicing the character. Since a majority of the most recent actors have already been confirmed, it's almost a given that "Nolan Gin" will be a thing again. (UPDATE: Actually, nope, Corey Burton has been confirmed to be N. Gin's voice actor.)

Speaking of rumors, it looks like the N. Sane Trilogy could very well be getting a special edition! By heading over to Amazon.com, you'll see that pre-orders for the game are currently labeled as "PlayStation 4 Standard Edition". It's also worth noting that the official Crash Bandicoot web site has an image of the box art under the filename of "standard-boxart-ps4.png". The implication of a special edition seems obvious, but nothing's been confirmed yet. The Amazon title could also mean the game is only a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive, since it strangely includes the console in the description (but again, this is only speculation and there is no evidence of the game appearing on other platforms).

That about wraps it up for now, but with the release of the Crash 2 screenshots and the confirmation of Debi Derryberry's return, perhaps we'll get a new trailer dedicated to this game soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

UPDATE - February 16th, 2017: Activision just released a video containing the game's release date. It's officially June 30, 2017!

Just a few more months to go until we finally get the ol' Wumpa juice running in the PlayStation 4! Not only that, but Activision has also published a Q&A with Vicarious Visions. Among a few interesting facts and some insight into the studio's design choices, you can also find the official voice cast, reposted below for your convenience:

  • Fred Tatasciore (Dingodile, Koala Kong, Komodo Brothers)
  • Debi Derryberry (Coco, Tawna)
  • Greg Eagles (Aku Aku)
  • Dwight Schultz (Papu Papu, Lab Assistant)
  • Maurice LaMarche (Nitrus Brio, Lab Assistant)
  • John DiMaggio (Uka Uka, Tiny Tiger)
  • Jess Harnell (Crash Bandicoot, Pinstripe Potoroo, Ripper Roo)
  • Corey Burton (Doctor N. Gin, Doctor N. Tropy, Baby Cortex)
  • Lex Lang (Dr. Neo Cortex)

It looks like Nolan North's tweet last year was a red herring, since Corey Burton will be the one reprising his role as N. Gin. Mr. Burton had previously voiced this character along with N. Tropy in The Wrath of Cortex, but it's worth noting each one only had a single line of dialogue, so the direction might be quite different this time. They might also add the robotic effect to his voice for authenticity's sake.

It's interesting that Dwight Schultz is returning to the series not as Dingodile, but as Papu Papu. Dingodile will instead be voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who is a newcomer in this franchise. The remaining actors have all been established in previous games, and as many people correctly guessed, John DiMaggio will be voicing Tiny again, along with Uka Uka. DiMaggio was extremely close to Tiny's original voice in Crash Nitro Kart, but it'll be interesting to see how he tackles a more classic Uka Uka this time.

That's all for now! I think! We're getting a lot of updates all of a sudden, so who knows?



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