Nintendo Switch has lots of major exclusives and its share of awesome download titles, but the little hybrid system can still hold its own and join in with major multi-platform titles. A recent example is Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, which arrived earlier in the Spring; in our review we described it as an "excellent offering", with the game making the necessary tweaks and cuts to squeeze onto the system.
We had a chance to pose some questions to Lou Studdert, a Creative Producer at Crash 4 developer Toys for Bob; he told us a little about the development approach, and of course we asked the inevitable question - Crash for Smash?
Can you talk about some of the particular elements that had to be changed to get Crash 4 running on Switch?
Great question! Bringing a game to a new console really depends on the amazing work that our artists and engineers do to customize our game for the specific hardware. Regarding the Switch, there are several things that needed to be done due to its unique nature. To ensure that the game looked and performed at its best, the team had to make adjustments to the following areas: texture size, static model polys, skeletal mesh bones, shadow map density, light map resolution, particle systems and textures.
It appears the game almost has more of an overall cartoonish look than other versions. Did the character models and other textures have to be completely reworked to make this happen?
I wouldn’t say completely reworked; I would definitely say the team made some smart modifications, so the game performed as well as it does on the Switch hardware. Each console is unique in what we have to do to it, so our Engineers and Artists just really make smart decisions on making sure that the game play and the adventure and the feeling of playing Crash Bandicoot 4 is preserved, playing wherever you are.
At what point in development did you decide to bring Crash 4 to Switch?
We don’t really talk about timelines but it’s safe to say we were always fully committed to bringing Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time to the platforms that fans wanted to play it on.
For those yet to pick it up, is there anything unique on the Switch version?
As far as the the core adventure, the story and the gameplay goes it is the same; obviously we have done some updates to the appearance of the game to make sure it runs the best it can on the Switch and now you can take Crash Bandicoot 4 on the go wherever you want to play it. So, really it is the inherent specialness of the Switch that is changing the way that you play the game, but the actual content is the same.
Were there any ideas the team had for Crash 4 that never left the drawing board, that you can talk about?
Part of the fun of working with this amazing team is the fact that we put it all out there and whittle it down to the kind of game that you want to make.
Oh yeah, so many… so many! The way that Toys for Bob works is a “let’s throw everything at the drawing board” type environment, and so part of the fun of working with this amazing team is the fact that we put it all out there and whittle it down to the kind of game that you want to make. It’s not that we have cut content, or we didn’t have enough time or anything like, far from it in fact; we actually kept adding things as we were making the game because we kept having these great ideas. Through development, you hone-in on the game that you want to make but we start off with a huge bucket of ideas, we have so many! That’s part of the fun; some ideas are really great, and some are really bad! But that is part of the process of making games.
Platform games of the '90s were famous for having loads of secrets and the occasional cheat code, and the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy had its fair share of course! Are there any secrets still waiting to be discovered in Crash 4?
Well, if I told you they wouldn’t be secrets anymore… I think you’ll be pretty happy with your discoveries.
Now that we have a plethora of Crash games on Switch, do you think we’ll ever see Crash join the Smash roster? We all dream of the day Mario, Sonic and Crash can duke it out like the old days!
We all dream of that day, don’t we?! If I had any influence, I sure would love to see that as well but it’s something out of my hands entirely!
What’s next for the Toys for Bob team? Crash and Spyro have often been seen as friends in the realm of platformers. Could we ever see them buddy up again for a new adventure like they did on Game Boy Advance and in the Skylanders series?
Who knows? We aren’t specifically talking about anything that we are doing next up but the sky’s the limit at this point. Watch this space.
A big thanks to Lou Studdert for their time; are you a fan of Crash 4 on Switch?
This is a true crash 4, and i'm totally on the crash 4 smash train! (LOL get it?)
I'm a little bit confused about this article... haven't they been relegated to COD support now? 🙁
PR to deflect from being tossed into the Call of Duty mines. It sucks, I know. If you guys are still working on Crash 4, can you at least fix the damn slide jump? Thank you.
"the sky’s the limit" - and by "sky" they mean "maintaining development for CoD". It's sad to see such a creative team that seem to just get how to make a great platformer be relegated to something that so many other teams could be doing
@BloodyMurder What's wrong with the slide jump exactly?
@TeeJay No momentum. It's just awful. Don't even know how you fail at this given Crash 2, 3, and WoC are perfect examples.
@BloodyMurder Oh right, that. I mean it's a bit awkward feeling, but the levels were designed with this in mind so I didn't think it was too egregious.
It's Nintendo who says who gets in and who doesn't, I fully believe if it was up to the fans over 50% Smash Bros roster would be nothing but pokemon characters
Good thing that Toys for Bob is committed to working on the next
Crash Bandicoot gameCall of Duty Warzone update.
@TeeJay No, the levels weren't "designed" with this in mind. It's just bad.
Does this have the win button (infinite lives mode)? It seems modern developers don't trust the gaming skill of kids unlike back in the 90's. I hate crap like this. It's not as bad as the white raccoon suit in SM3DW but nevertheless.
At this point I just want to see Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and the main characters from the Contra series (Bill Rizer and Lance Bean) show up in Smash Bros.
As far as I'm concerned Crash Bandicoot is a failure and I don't care about seeing him in SSBU game's DLC roster.
@Ooyah Yup. No more TFB or Vicarious VIsions, which were the only devs left at Activision (not Blizzard, just Activision) not working on COD.
@BloodyMurder Why do you say that? I'm able to get through the levels just fine the way things are. There aren't any impossible jumps due to the lack of momentum. Everything accounts for it.
You're aware that you can slide into midair and jump from that, yes?
@TeeJay Did you even play Crash 2 or 3? Slide jumping is midair is nothing new.
At this point, you're just making excuses for a terrible slide jump. And no, the levels aren't designed for that crappy slide jump. They're designed for "a" slide jump but nothing in the design says the jump needs to have no momentum and be generally terrible.
Crash 4 underperformed on all systems so it's no surprise to see the dev team have been utilised on bigger selling franchises.
@BloodyMurder Alright your attitude is way too abrasive and awful for my mood rn so I'm cutting this short. Have the last word if you want, I don't care. Have a great day.
"The sky's the limit" is actually what Spyro says at the end of the first game when he's asked, "After you've beaten Gnasty Gnorc, what are you going to do now?"
I know they're working on CoD right now, but just sayin'...
Phew this dosent deconfirm him
@Amin_Parker Yeah Scorpion would be hype. Sadly Mortal Kombat has been banned in Japan for more than a decade no thanks to CERO.
they are technically saying crash is not coming to smash nor should he, Activision|Blizzard doesn't deserve any of their IPs to be in smash ever, also Activision|Blizzard was not happy with the sales of crash 4 so they are most likely going to perminately kill off the crash bandicoot IP as they should
@Amin_Parker contra should only get represented with a mii costume, but mortal kombat will never and can never be represented in smash ever because mortal kombat is banned in Japan and mortal kombat content would force sakurai to change the game's rating in Japan but he doesn't want to do that because he hates dealing with Japan's CERO board
@KBuckley27 and also fire emblem characters
@Snatcher crash 4 did not sell as well as Activision wanted, they will most likely kill the crash IP perminately, crash 4 is most likely the last crash game ever and i believe that the crash mobile game will be shut down do to the failure of crash 4
@desireefan36 I don't understand what makes some people think that a Mortal Kombat character will get into Smash?
It's pretty much irrelevant to anyone living outside the U.S. and Japan never really cared for that series.
@desireefan36 How are some people already jumping to conclusions when there's no hard evidence about the sales numbers of Crash 4 and just the physical sales?
Did you even take into account the digital sales?
Are the rumors that this game underperformed still spreading because of that one leak a while back, gimme a break.
@desireefan36 Uh, it didn't sell well on the switch or ps4 sure, but the mobile game did boost its sales, plus we might still get a remaster of other loved crash games but thats about it. well we at least have crash 4 to wait for.
@Snatcher please provide the switch and PS4 numbers to back up that claim. Without any hard evidence you are just making things up.
This is a certified Terry Syvertson moment.
@kobashi100 There is one here
@russell-marlow It’s Terry Syvertson He’s infamously known on Twitter for not doing any research (as well as sending death threats).
During the whole Michel Ancel thing he was actually saying he was glad that he is gone because that meant “no more Rabbids” even though He hadn’t done one in more than a decade
@Snatcher so no switch numbers worldwide provided so saying it sold poorly is pure speculation. Also the PS4 version compared to trilogy sold way less. It was discounted pretty quick and never hit the numbers Activision expected.
Really sad to think they’re now just another team supporting CoD. Worst part is CoD isn’t exactly in need of it! It’s been doing consistently phenomenally well for years. If anything they should be looking at how they can maintain that with a scaled back team, freeing up more to support other IPs.
@Machinasystem Fake news spreads faster than real news it seems...
@Ogbert call of duty is the only IP that Activision has that sells well in their eyes and it's the only IP they actually care about, i wouldn't be surprised if Activision kills all of its other IPs including all blizzard IPs and puts every single team member on call of duty support and Activision only makes call of duty games going forward
I would like to see Crash in smash, but honestly he would most likely turn out like Sonic. All of his moves are variations of spinning except his body slam being a down air and down tilt could be his slide. His bazooka could be a neutral special which could make him a combination of Sonic and Banjo Kazooie.
@kobashi100 when did I say it sold poorly? Edit: I guess I did, but I don't really think so, to me I think it sold pretty well, I thought you were asking me proof of it selling well, so I did LOL.
@Snatcher the only IP Activision has that they really care about is call of duty, i wouldn't be surprised if Activision decides to kill all other IPs they have including the blizzard IPs and they put everyone on call of duty support
This must happen for real and on it's 25th Anniversary.
@desireefan36 Ya but, were still getting spyro 4 (I think)
“We don’t really talk about timelines, but we decided to bring it to Switch when we realized we wanted to actually sell copies of the game and everyone knows Nintendo fans are the only ones who play games like this in the year 2021.“
@desireefan36 Terry Syvertson, how the hell are you 35 years old and manage to carve out the time to tell people they are wrong only to constantly get things more wrong yourself for like 12 hours a day across social media. Do you even have a job or
can’t you just find something better
to do than this? Or just stuff to do outside of harassing people on Twitter or acting as if you are anywhere close to being right when you have only ever gotten things wrong?
For example you think Shantae is actually gonna appear in Smash when it’s literally been confirmed that Wayforward sent a PNG of Shantae and said Nintendo can freely use it. They didn’t even go to get licensing for her which shows they don’t even respect the IP which literally is as close to a deconfirmation as you can get, aside from non video game characters. Just get something better to do dude cos this is obviously not good. If you were to actually be polite when doing this instead of getting aggressive with people over a fighting game that is for children then people will actually appreciate your opinion a lot more instead of a guy who has gotten literally tonnes of crap wrong, (more than anyone in fact just because he thinks it’s ok to spend a tonne of time doing it online).
Remember when you said we weren’t getting a Xenoblade 2 character? Or that Crash would start the pass but then said he wasn’t happening just because we were running low on slots.
Hell, ATM you think Sora and Shantae are happening but it’s ridiculously obvious why they aren’t. Sora ain’t going to be last as smash ends on lows and Sora being next is ridiculously unlikely, let alone all the Disney stuff and we just established why Nintendo literally gave a figurative middle finger to Shantae. Just stop this Terry please. They aren’t happening and you are ultimately gonna be proven wrong again so why don’t you just stop now and start acting more reasonably then we could maybe be a step closer to this community not being a bunch of toxic people acting like children
It sure seems like this article was prepared prior to the reassignments. It seems to take place in a world where this type of game is valued in its own right, and where the specific talents at Toys For Bob could be put to use properly.
Maybe NL didn’t want to bum us out by including reminders that imaginative talents have been folded into a support team for s series that has nearly nothing to do with what they excel at.
I really have to wonder what factored most in the the apparent “failure” of Crash 4 in Activision’s eyes. How much did they need it to sell to prove that not everyone wants play as a gun barrel floating around in a bombed out war zone landscape? Did they even give the Switch version enough time to boost its profile? And why were sales low enough to cause this reaction? Did word of the difficulty scare off too much of the N Sane Trilogy audience?
@desireefan36 I literally just got an email which said you replied and I quote ‘go ***** yourself you ***** eating *****’. Do you think it’s OK to act like this? It’s a goddam kiddy fighting game and you more or less proved my point. Yeah sure Shantae and sora aren’t gonna happen but who should care? You do and that’s the problem. You invest too much into this silly charade and don’t even do a good job at it. Its literally not at all healthy and replies like that are what I expect from a childish troll not from a 35 year old man. You know full well this isn’t right, so please just stop it. You doing this is hardly pleasant for the people who just want to discuss certain characters and trust me Terry when I say opinions are much better than baselessly shutting down what people are saying. The entire point of speculation is coming up with a potential outcome that could be reasonable or just cool and not at all likely but baselessly shutting stuff down just goes against that. So what’s the point of doing it? You clearly want to speculate but the way you are doing it is ultimately going to be proven wrong again just because you think it’s about saying other people are wrong when they usually aren’t
I had hopes for Crash 4, but when I saw the remake of CTR, I knew that it would go downhill. Here you can see what greed, awful planing and pandering to people, who are not interested into what you do, but in converting you with lies for their own premise, is changing you.
Nintendo seems to be the last true developer, and even there, the twitter toxine has found its way.
I really don't believe we'll be seeing anything from them for a while.
Loads of staff were laid off, so they'd be incapable of even making another game on the scale of Crash 4 at the moment.
Hello Toys for Bob, what do you guys think of Activision skimping out on a European retail version?
"And why were sales low enough to cause this reaction?"
Now I don't know how many sold copies Activision expected, but I fear many people didn't put their money where their mouth was. People go bananas for remakes. And with the N Sane trilogy people thought value for money (though people also bought Crash team racing, wich was just one game). Then everyone wanted a new strong title. But when it arrived people didn't buy apparently, maybe they even thought it was lots of money for just one old-school type of game (people also thought dkc Tropical freeze was over-expensive). A real shame, I would already have bought the game if there was a European retail version. Now I just wait for a 50% discount on the digital version, I really don't want to pay 100% on digital.
I don't want to sound to extreme, but basically everything I am mildly interested in goes down the drain: Rareware, Retro studios (they are reanimating though), Alpha dream, etc. It looks like every game I am interested in is not what others are interested in. We won't see a new strong Spyro soon, that's for sure.
One last glimmer of hope: Nobody expected another strong new Crash bandicoot, but it happened. Maybe the franchise ends up in other people's hands. Maybe in 10 or 20 years there's another great Crash bandicoot. For now this has to do. Crash 4 has just been out, and it seems to last quite some time!
@desireefan36 Yup. According to Kotaku, Blizzard is now the only Activision owned studio not working on anything CoD, and the only other ones not solely on CoD support is King. All the rest are on CoD support and nothing else.
Update: I found a dutch shop that has Crash bandicoot 4 Switch retail American version. I went for that, the price was very reasonable. Only problem might be dlc and updates, though I heard you have to play the game with America set as your region. Then again, I don't think there will be dlc anyway.
@desireefan36 You say that but Snake and Bayonetta are both in who are from pretty violent M rated games and one of Snake's move's is breaking someone's neck and a lot of Bayo's moves have her cloths leaving and becoming weapons soooo you're wrong
@Dhjshsha So... basically desireefan36 is the next Phil Fish?
@BloodyMurder Just to point out there was a secret stage that needed you to use the slide jump, A few other's to.
Tap here to load 53 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...