N. Sane Trilogy Mishaps

Update (July 10th, 2017): Ah, what a twist! As I mentioned before, the jumping distance seems to be the same, and what causes levels like The High Road to be so difficult this time is the fact that Crash slips off edges now. What I hadn't fully realized is that this is only one of two major issues responsible for this mess. The other one is actually the bounce distance. In other words, Crash's jumping distance is still the same, but after he bounces on something, his movement slows down and he can't reach as far as he should. That's why you can't get the secret lives in the Diggin' It bonus anymore (see the video above), and why you need to bounce on 3 crates instead of 2 to reach the secret exit in Air Crash. It all makes sense now!

Original article with some updates is as follows:

The N. Sane Trilogy is finally here, and while I'm still working on a proper review and finishing the game's respective section, I can safely say that these remakes are the definitive versions of the first three Crash Bandicoot games.

...Or at least they would be if not for some very specific things that bog down the gameplay.

My intention with this post isn't to criticize the game or its developers. I just want to point out a few things that I'd like to see Vicarious Visions fix to turn this great collection into perfection. Thankfully, we live in an era where this is possible via post-release content, so here's hoping they'll create a patch that addresses these problems.

This post will be a little different from usual. Rather than being intended for the fandom to read, it's mostly being written with the developers in mind, and I will be asking you, dear reader, to contribute if you like. I will be updating this post frequently over the next few days as I play through the trilogy. I encourage everyone to post their own feedback in the comments, because Vicarious Visions has shown how much they want to make the fans happy. I'll try to make sure this post reaches them. Think of it as a sort of open letter.

Let's start with what matters most.

The Indispensable Fixes

  • The jumping bouncing distance | Update (July 10th, 2017): Crash now covers less distance when bouncing off enemies and crates. This seems to be because his movement slows down after bouncing (which explains why it removes your momentum when sprinting with the speed shoes). This is why the secret exit in Air Crash requires you to bounce on three crates instead of just two, or why you can't get the secret lives in the Diggin' It bonus anymore. Most importantly, this explains why The High Road is so awful now. But that's not the only reason for that...
  • Crash slips off edges very easily now. The tolerance for landing on a platform's edge is much lower, so you can make a jump and fall off immediately afterwards because of this.

    *Update (July 4th, 2017): I'm reposting a video I saw on Twitter that perfectly illustrates this and more: Combined with the shorter bounce distance, this makes platforming harder and certain jumps are now flat-out impossible.
  • The ice physics. Hoo boy, the ice physics. I don't even know where to start with these. Landing on ice after jumping kills your momentum, but your top speed while ice-skating is through the roof. It's almost impossible to turn around once you pick up enough speed unless you slide, and jumping from a standstill covers little to no distance. Overall, Crash is extremely slippery and this makes the Death Route in Cold Hard Crash an exercise in frustration (him being so off-center in this segment doesn't help). I was expecting this to be something the developers improved on (the original ice physics weren't all that great to begin with), but it's actually a lot worse now. Funny how The Wrath of Cortex, of all games, seems to have the best ice physics, even if they were barely used in that game.
  • The jetski handling. Update (July 4th, 2017): Okay, I have done a complete 180º turn on my opinion of the jetski. I complained before that it used to be too loose and that the turning arch was too wide, but after experimenting with it more, I realized the problem isn't the jetski: it's muscle memory. I tried getting accostumed to the new controls while trying to forget what the old jetski was like, and this did wonders for me. I can make tight turns and jump off ramps at an even more precise angle than ever before (and to think I complained that ramps don't center you automatically anymore), thanks to a combination of using R2 to accelerate and letting go of it slightly whenever I want to make a tight turn. When I got used to this, the difference was phenomenal! Believe it or not, I'd go as far as saying the new jetski actually controls better than the old one (well, I suppose that was kind of the point, but I'm happy to see it validated). I'm not even kidding — it's amazing how old habits can completely change your opinion. To everyone who previously agreed with me on what I thought were bad controls, I suggest you try doing this. It makes me wonder how quickly newcomers who never played the original version will get used to it.

Fixing Crash's bouncing distance and his slipperiness near edges should be prioritized above everything else, because these things change the games too much in less than desirable ways. The wonky ice physics also really need an overhaul. Things were never this difficult in the original games.

And now for some other things that really shouldn't be ignored.

The Important Fixes

  • The crushing pillars in ice levels (the ones that trigger when you're close to them) act too fast. It's actually impossible to run under a lot of them without sliding!
  • Nitros bounce way too high now. This can kill you unpredictably as you're jumping over them. I've also seen someone encounter a glitch where one of them bounced so high it clipped through the crate stacked on top of it. The bouncing should be kept to a minimum, at least when you're close to them.
  • The hitbox for the roast hogs is too big. You have to be very precise to jump over the third one in Hog Wild. I've seen tons of people having trouble with this.
  • It's hard to belly-flop the spitting plants in Crash 2 without hurting yourself. Likely another hitbox quirk.
  • Polar's hitbox is too small regarding crates, so it's very easy to miss them, especially in Totally Bear. I kept jumping over all the floating crates at one point. It also makes the now looser controls a curse rather than a blessing.
  • The lone fruit above the TNT in the secret passage from Road to Ruin is missing, so the hint is gone. Kind of strange when there are so many new hints in every game.
  • You can't tell when a penguin is about to spin anymore. They used to have an animation for that.
  • The camera in 2D segments won't change when you're backtracking, so Crash will be too close to the left and it becomes hard to know what's coming (see: Piston It Away).
  • Turning around and especially spinning while underwater makes Crash move forward even if you're not moving.
  • Stopping while underwater makes Crash sink to the bottom. Update (July 8th, 2017): Disregard this, it's always done that; I'm a moron. It just does it faster now.
  • The camera shifts abruptly when riding the motorcycle off a ramp, which is disorienting.
  • The darkness in The Lab makes it very easy to fall into a pit by accident. I don't know if this is just me, but I never had that problem in the original game. Not even Lights Out has this problem.
  • You can't hear the bees until they're close to you, so you can get caught off-guard when you're backtracking in Diggin' It.

Update (July 3rd, 2017):

  • As pointed out by Samno in the comments, crouching after landing from a jump is finnicky. If you're not extremely precise, it takes a long time for Crash to crouch, which used to be instantaneous. Consecutive high jumps are hard to pull off as a result (this even cost me a life in the Spaced Out bonus because of the TNT).
  • This one bothers me immensely: once you get the Death Tornado in the third game, you can no longer break a crate at the bottom of a stack without also breaking the one directly on top of it, unless you're running away as you do it. Try breaking the crates under the TNTs in Sphynxinator and you'll see what I mean (spoilers: you'll go boom). Update: This seems to happen because Crash gets a new animation for spinning, which gives him a slightly bigger hitbox.
  • Locked crates don't make a sound when you spin or land on them. This is important for Totally Fly because you need to figure out where they are in the dark.
  • It's hard to stop the sub when you're boosting. I accidentally dove into the warp sphere in Deep Trouble as a result.
  • Pura's sprinting speed is way too high! Update (July 4th, 2017): Like the jetski, I've gotten used to Pura's top speed. The fact that your extra momentum is cancelled in mid-air if you let go of the sprint button is a little weird, but nothing you can't get used to or even turn to your advantage. I guess I'm withdrawing this complaint too.
  • The motorcycle can't make tight turns too well. Update (July 9th, 2017): Well, I've finally figured out how to drift properly. In the original game you'd just steer hard, but now you also have to let go of the acceleration without braking. Seems a little unintuitive, but at least it works. I'm beginning to think this game needs a manual.
  • The jetpack doesn't let you brake — it immediately moves you in the opposite direction.
  • You can't duck or crawl under the flamethrowers from Lab Assistants in tomb levels anymore.
  • The doors in tomb levels close too soon. You can't even clear the big stairway in Sphynxinator without being crushed by the doors unless you wait.
  • The large blocks in tomb levels drop as soon as the Lab Assistants begin the animation for pulling the lever, making them more unpredictable.
  • Hitting N. Tropy doesn't freeze you in place, so you can fall off as the camera turns around.
  • Someone has pointed out in the comments that the torches from the first game burn too quickly after the first warning. This did throw me off in Native Fortress.

Finally, there are some minor glitches and presentation oversights worth mentioning.

The Minor Fixes

  • When going back the way you came in Cold Hard Crash's Death Route, the music doesn't change back.
  • The slipping animation is oddly absent from Crash 2's moving pillars (ruins levels), despite having been added to Crash 1's slippery surfaces.
  • The tally in Crash 1 says "BOXES" (plural) even when you've only missed 1.
  • In Crash 2, Crash/Coco's icons don't have the forbidden sign in character-restricted levels like in the other games.
  • ARRRGH, I already know it's Crash Bandicoot, let me skip the intro!
  • The red mines in jetpack levels don't disappear when you pass through them, which can obscure the view and become disorienting.
  • The vases held by the Arabian monkeys simply pop out of existence when you die by touching one.
  • Being pushed by a Lab Assistant's shield in Piston It Away makes Crash go high up in the air in a weird manner.
  • Crash's animation for getting the jetpack is very weird when you do it a second time (if you die before the first checkpoint). It also has no initial transition the first time you do it. Update (July 13th, 2017): This only seems to happen sometimes. Specifically, I'm referring to when Crash faces the screen for some reason before hopping into the jetpack platform.
  • Also, this is more of a suggestion, but the Restart option should always be present and not restricted to time trials. Sometimes you want to retry a level after missing some crates or dying before reaching a Death Route (or color gem in Crash 1), and it's annoying having to exit and re-enter the level. It's more noticeable now because of the longer loading times.
  • Another suggestion: since the loading screen for bonus rounds in Crash 1 is only there for a split-second, why not have a fade transition like in the sequels? It just looks kind of weird the way it is now.

Update (July 3rd, 2017):

  • Crashb648 and Fuuma have suggested in the comments that the checkpoint sound should get carried over from WARPED to the first two games. Since the collection unifies so many other things, I agree.

Update (July 4th, 2017):

  • It's always bugged me that Crash doesn't look scared when running away from the triceratops. This'd be the perfect opportunity to fix that. I think there's a specific boulder where that doesn't happen anymore either, but I can't remember which.

Update (July 10th, 2017):

I think that covers everything I'd love to see being patched. Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments so you can make your voice be heard. In the meantime, don't let these things get in the way of your enjoyment, because the N. Sane Trilogy is still a great collection, and in many ways, better than the original games!

For a complete log of what's changed in the N. Sane Trilogy, be sure to check out the following page:

» N. Sane Trilogy - Changes (work in progress)

There are many other things listed there, but I've opted to leave them out of this post because they're not as important or detrimental to the gameplay (or I don't see them getting changed very easily).


Mugendude26 | July 3, 2017 - 12:41 AM
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one experiencing these problems. I've barely played Crash 1 at all in this collection but I noticed in 2 and 3 that I'm constantly dying even though this rarely happens when I play the original games. I also see myself using the slide jump more frequently because I'm afraid that I'm not gonna make the jump without it. I can't disagree with anything stated in this article and even though I love the work that VV did with the collection, I would love to see patches and improvements to fix the problems mentioned in the article.

Bastian | July 3, 2017 - 01:12 AM
Certain lines of dialogue are also lost, as in the defeat of Dingodile or N. Gin.
Maybe it's just me, but I would like the sound of the Crash 3 checkpoint to be in the two previous games.
Vicarious Visions did a great job but it can look better.

Friedslick6 | July 3, 2017 - 01:24 AM
I think the problem with the jump distance and a few other problems is too much of an emphasis on momentum.
From a standing position, pressing a direction does not instantly move crash.
Now one could argue that this helps when navigating narrow passages.
But the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy (especially the first game) tends to reward the player for confident and sudden motions, and punishes or kills you for anything less.

rory-magnus | July 3, 2017 - 09:16 AM
YES! For the love of God fix the jumping distance!!! I t makes things 100 times more frustrating then they should be! I can't tell you the number of times I've died and got a game over because of it, I jump a from the edge of a platform and fully expect to land on the other side, (as it was in the originals) but NO! I fall to my death!
If the rest of the game wasn't already so good, I would call this the fatal flaw. That's how bad it is. Luckily since the rest of the game is so good, it's the most annoying flaw.

Secondly the jumping and spinning controls are NOT as responsive as they should be! There off by a faction of a second, and believe me that makes all the difference as again, I've died numerous times because Crash didn't spin or jump at a crucial moment, but I KNOW I pressed the button. I felt me press it and heard me press it.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Fix these flaw if nothing else.

Samno | July 3, 2017 - 09:33 AM
Couldn't agree more. The controls are the main problem for me - it's like having to learn an entirely new game. Also, have you noticed that there's no animation for directly crouching from landing after a jump? If you hold the circle button about 3/4 of the way through a jump, the character will land normally, wait about a second, and THEN crouch. In the originals, there's literally no delay - you crouch as soon as your feet land from the jump. Also, Coco's hair seems to be affecting her hitbox - it's really easy to get crushed in the ice levels, even if you your merely standing next to the danger zone.

crashb648 | July 3, 2017 - 11:43 AM
The little annoynces have already been noted (THE HIGH ROAD!?!) but there are a few more things i would like to see:
1) The checkpoint sound from Crash 3 to be added to the other games (easy fix i reckon)
2) Crash or Coco after the boulder levels in Crash 2 don't do the roll after the boulder stops (like this: https://youtu.be/ZlKPrzrZqwM?t=22s)
3) Fix the crouch delay. There is a delay between crash and coco running from a crouch.
Other than that, I'm happy :)

crashb648 | July 3, 2017 - 12:29 PM
Oh and another one: the arrow on top of an arrow crate in the lab bonus stage. (This one: https://youtu.be/zMnLKbSrPCA?t=59s) Maybe moving the arrow crate further up? Man, I managed to get it after a dozen tries, but then died on the main level :(

Fuuma | July 3, 2017 - 05:31 PM
I love this game so much and am delighted to see it is as amazing as I expected! Thank you very much Vicarious Visions! :-) This is easily my favorite game on PS4. It's an improvement over the original in nearly every way, especially with the new Time Trials, Auto-Save and playable Coco.

I have three requests that, if addressed, would make the game perfect in my eyes:
1) Have Warped Checkpoint sound in Crash 1 & 2 too, it sounds great
2) Enable Restart option even when you're not doing time trials, it'd be helpful when going for the colored gems in Crash 1 and I guess kinda in Crash 2 (the two timed gems if you accidentally break a checkpoint box while attempting them).
3) Fine-tune some of the animations and hitboxes people have been pointing out

I guess I'm the only one but I don't have any problem with the new physics, control, jump mechanics or stuff like that. I think the reason people are struggling more in Crash 1 now is that Crash's movements in this game are identical in all three games (basically based on Warped), while in original Crash 1 they were a bit different. Or... I just got used to them real fast here.

Lastly, regarding the intro, I believe it is disguised as some sort of loading screen. As such, I don't think a skip function is possible in that case.

idonthaveone | July 3, 2017 - 09:05 PM
I have some suggestions too. In the aztec levels in crash 1 the fire platforms start burning quicker than in the original and their hitbox is unusually big , the same goes to the spikey thingies too. In the bridge levels the turtles are slippery af, its really hard to jump on them. Especially when in time trial mode when you want to do everything fast.
In the water levels in crash 3 the underwater jet is very sensitive . If i go right and i accidentally tap left it goes flying left and i cant control it. The motorbike levels are hard because the wheelies are more uncontrollable.
I found these, but im sure that there are more

Carrot-master | July 4, 2017 - 06:41 AM
I agree with pretty much everything mentioned in the article. The High Road was a nightmare to complete because of this. As for other issues, I'd personally like the be able to invert the x-axis for the jetpack controls as well. As of now it only inverts the y-axis.

idonthaveone | July 4, 2017 - 07:21 AM
And also the tribesmen sometimes dont hold the planks above their head when jumped on them.

Epicdaman | July 4, 2017 - 01:08 PM
I've noticed that in Slippery Climb, sometimes the platforms that move in and out will get out of sync, making some parts nearly impossible to pass without restarting the level.

BubbleButt | July 4, 2017 - 08:25 PM
I feel as though another big thing that absolutely NEEDS to be patched in are subtitles.

Really annoyed that there aren't any subtitles or closed captions of any kind. No game made and released in the 21st Century should not have them. How the game was allowed to release in this state is beyond me.

jamesrob12 | July 4, 2017 - 10:21 PM
Wonderful post! I just wanted to add to this by pointing out a couple things I haven't seen mentioned anywhere yet.

One is the fact that in this version of the games, the Crash life tokens (or 1ups, I don't remember the actual names of them) change into fruit if you get them in a bonus round but die before you get to the end. (I. E. When you re-enter the bonus round, there will be fruit there instead of the life that was there previously.) Now in the originals, this only happened outside of bonus rounds. And if I remember correctly, they would reset back to lives next time you entered the level. That also doesn't happen in N Sane- the next time you enter a level after collecting the life from it, that life will now be fruit.
This also applies to the extra checkpoints that get added if you die a lot. If you die multiple times in, say, one of the CB2 ruins levels, and eventually get a game over, that extra checkpoint will still be there. I'm pretty sure it wasn't like that in the ps1 games.

nsanecrashu | July 4, 2017 - 11:59 PM
I really think you should take a look at the lab assistant in Slippery Climb, his throwing animation is really off, the flask isn't in sync with the throwing motion of his arm and the sound effect is really strange for a glass breaking sound. Minor, but I think they should fix this as well.

Ozfer | July 5, 2017 - 04:28 AM
The clipping aka "jumping problem" is a huge problem and this affects almost everything. From landing on platforms or going under obstacles, or even landing on hippos in the water levels it all feels very different. The way x needs to be pressed to jump high also is strange. or the fact that you can be above a tribe person and they don't always put the shield up and it counts as a death.
If I remember right in crash 2 if you had a power-up the giant stone wheels would fly when you ran into them with power up (like the apples when you hit them). In the original crash 1 crash would make the hurt noise and be pushed away from the stone wheels. In nsane crash clips right through the giant stone wheels and nothing happens.

Saint--James | July 5, 2017 - 08:31 AM
Thank you for this analysis, I agree with all of it and would like to add a couple of things that just took away from my Crash 3 experience:
The triceratops used to explode from behind the bones, now the bones sort of just fall away;
Pura used to look like was running side to side, now he seems to have a digital slide going on;
Dropping onto a box from a hanging position (example: high time) no longer bounces you back up;
The biking controls, multiple problems. The speed at which the turning angle increases accelerates causing it to be very hard to judge, this causes problems with regular turns, boost turns and in air turns. This means you can't take some corners because the turn is too slow initially and that you get taken by surprise later in the turn. The camera you mentioned. A couple of the boosts throw you straight off the road (orange asphalt). 50% of the time the ramps don't seem to get you high enough, and I can't figure out why yet;
Gone tomorrow, the big robots seem to have less impact similar to the triceratops;
The final level. First Uka Uka has lost any anger after picking up Cortex. Then the final scene with the time twister pulling itself apart has been dramatically shortened, it no longer comes out of the room and consumes the twister.

A lot of these just add to the experience and were part of what made the original so great. Feel free to agree, disagree or adjust any of these how you wish

Flarezap | July 6, 2017 - 01:10 PM
The method to get the secret lives in Diggin' It's Bonus has actually changed, simply you must spin the box ontop of the TNT on the shorter stack of boxes, then use the iron arrow crate to easily make it across to the shorter stack, landing ontop of the TNT, priming it, and then doing a simple slide jump to the next stack.

KokoB | July 9, 2017 - 05:03 PM
I love the N. Sane Trilogy and I'm so glad it's finally here, but I do agree with everything mentioned in this article. And since we're invited to "make our voice be heard", I have a couple of things I really need to share:
1) In a 1996, not being able to move the camera was just fine. Getting to play a game with 3D environments, like Crash Bandicoot, was more than a fulfilling experience. Yet, in 2017, I would have loved it, if the camera could be moved. I mean, imagine being able to explore N. Sanity Beach, or the Lab, or every single level, we grew up with, in full 3D! That would have been awesome, but it didn't happen.
2) They didn't add any details to the story! As far as I know, every cutscene is exactly the same, with, maybe, a few tiny alterations here and there. Of course, I don't mean I wanted them to change anything (I'm grateful they didn't make Tawna/Pinstripe cannom), but since this is Crash's origin story and since the developers were in the right way, they could clear some things, like what happened to Tawna, how did Coco step into the story, why did Cortex and Brio stop working together and many more. In other words, they should have added more cutscenes (like intros and outros for boss fights) and more dialogue. Some questions were never answered to us and the N. Sane Trilogy can be the key.

Cortexpower | July 9, 2017 - 10:29 PM
***o, I agree with the details pointed out here. I just wanted to point out something that bothered me in Crash Bandicoot Warped, which was the boss battle of Cortex and Uka Uka. This seems easier than the original, since Aku Aku and Uka Uka's tornado movements are slower and their explosion in the third part of the fight is very small compared to the 1998 version. Anyway, I just wanted them to improve these movements of Aku Aku and Uka Uka, to make the final battle of the third game more difficult.

GWKTM | July 15, 2017 - 06:54 PM
You missed three:
- Font is still wrong (and I still don't see if VV had any reason to change it. What if they hated it or something?)
- Pinstripe's mouth looks ugly
- All games use Warped's game over screen which is INCOMPLETE

GWKTM | July 15, 2017 - 07:10 PM
I might have complained about Coco borrowing Crash's moves and vehicles as well, but I might have gotten an obvious answer. In any case, no matter how satisfied you are with N. Sane Trilogy, I can't. The original PS1 versions just feel more correct in several ways...I prefer defending them from ceasing to exist.

GWKTM | July 15, 2017 - 07:13 PM
Forgot to mention: I hardly believe they're gonna fix anything anymore since the game's been already released. Sigh...
I might have preferred they made a new Crash game with classic fomula, if you know what I mean. Then these things wouldn't matter that much

crashgamer | July 16, 2017 - 04:24 PM
Yes, I have encountered some of these problems as well. On my copy I'm still getting the bug that makes the time-twister cutscenes spasm. Also, it would be a gift from heaven to have the restart option on all levels with or without time trials!!!!! 0_0

GWKTM | July 17, 2017 - 05:27 PM
Well, I heard that they somehow are capable to update N. Sane Trilogy despite being a console game. Hopefully they're gonna fix the gaps that we have mentioned in comments

Yacort | August 6, 2017 - 08:29 AM
In the original trilogy, if you spinned in a underwater level, it would make you move forward. Here's the evidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2rZsBLetQI
And, if I recall correctly, the flamethrowers from the lab ***istants were impossible to crawl under, I remember trying this and they killed me no matter what.

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