DrLitch wrote:Rough, not even of the diamond varietal. Without history would have never been able to link pre Crash Naughty Dog to post Crash. Although is Crash a worthy title to look back as a classic and influential game? Sonic on rails.
Is it really a Sonic game, though? The Miyamoto influences are far more aggressive, and running at full speed is both rather slow and a great way to die in any level that isn't an autoscroller. The fruits are just rebranded coins, offering none of the protection of Sonic's rings. They're often found in prize boxes.
And there are even piranha plants.
I'd argue that, token 3d aside, this game was more of a proof of concept for New Super Mario Bros and the modern indie platformer. Some gameplay formulas are timeless, and Crash was flipping a defiant finger to the idea that 8-bit design had nothing to offer a polygon world.
The fact it had some of the best polygons in the world, certainly wasn't hurting its case...
If anything, I'd argue its legacy was hurt more by how easy the second and third game made "Nintendo quality level design plus Sony state of the art technology" appear. The series suffered a fall from grace, the moment it was handed to a new developer.
And games that actually looked 8-bit and 16-bit would get the credit for the retro revival instead.
But to put Naughty Dog's accomplishment into historical context - look at what Argonaut and Rare did, the second they didn't have Miyamoto looking over their work.
And consider again that Naughty Dog was, by far, the least accomplished of the three. And according to interviews from everyone who isn't Naughty Dog, they would have completely failed to make anything decent - again - without guidance from...David Siller?
Wow, talk about hidden potential. So...he was the original Sushi X for EGM? I just found that out. And he brought us games like ...Belle's Quest ....and Roar of the Beast...and Final Fight: Revenge....really?
Okay, I'm playing dumb. Industry horror stories are easy to find - 3DO Doom is a perfect demonstration of how legendary talent and game design can still be wasted.
Siller also made Aero the Acrobat, and that series only improved as time went on. Plus, the Maximo team gives him a lot of credit.
So Naughty Dog's claims that they suddenly worked out how to enter the big leagues, all by their lonesome? With their history of not always crediting artists working outside their company? And stealing art assets from time to time?
Especially since their enlightenment happens right after their idea for a PS1 port of Way of the Warrior was rejected?
It all seems a bit....suspect. To put it mildly. Especially since Universal couldn't upgrade their other developers after Siller left the company.
Sorry for the length of this reply. But you're seeing my reactions to all this unexpected industry drama in real time.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
To it's credit though, I do not believe anything existed like this at the time, it was definitely ahead of Elder Scrolls Engine wise.
I found one game that offered a similar experience. In some ways, at least.
Legend Quest, which was making the most of 1991's most advanced arcade VR tech, looks like a flat shaded King's Field. Especially in how it struggles to run the combat at a reasonable speed, and understandably, makes zero effort to push the 3d capabilities of the PS1. So King's Field comes across almost like a fan game? It's what would happen if you improved the frame rate beyond "Google image search results" (Killing the 4 player mode was a great start), and added background textures...but really wanted to keep the overall feel.
Could be a coincidence, of course. But even if it isn't, using a VR game's combat for inspiration seems like a great idea, all around.