Sony's last E3 was very memorable and went down in gaming as one of the very best press conferences of all time. The headlines were dominated by big games such as God of War, Days gone, Death Stranding or the new Spiderman. However, if you looked closer at the headlines, an orange bandicoot's return was also making some noise although to a much lesser degree. Sony's Shawn Layden announced that Vicarious Visions was remastering from the ground up the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy. That trilogy was actually developed by Naughty Dog back in the PS1 days. Fan reaction to the news was overwhelmingly positive and I'm sure that Sony took note. The return of a number of PS1 classics had been requested by the PlayStation faithful for decades and it seems that by E3 2016 Sony was now in the mood to open pandora's box a little bit. Crash was not the only PS1 Classic that was announced to make a return as Parappa The Rapper Remastered was also shown alongside lesser-known PSP games Locorocco and Patapon. By June 30th of this year, all these PS1 and PSP Classics will have closed the first wave of landings on PS4. Before that happens, however, Sony's E3 2017 Press Conference will have gone down with what I predict will be a second wave of PlayStation classics lead by none other than Spyro: The Dragon.
Recent news and a little of journalist intuition is leading me to believe that this will happen. Let's explore the hints found in the news first. A few days ago reddit.com captured a screenshot from Sony Netherlands that included a number of PlayStation icons. These included none other than Kratos, Sackboy, Parappa, Kat, Crash and yes, Spyro!
Suffice to say that this teaser image by Sony Netherlands shows characters for games already released on PS4 in 2017 or about to release. In fact, we may even conclude with this that the release of the new God of War, a new Little Big Planet and the Spyro trilogy for this year may indeed be a reality. In any case, the only character out of place remains to be Spyro as no game from that franchise has released yet on PS4 and that beloved main character is not really the face of Skylanders so it would be hard to suggest that Spyro here is just advertising the Activision franchise. So, if Spyro is really coming back with the original trilogy, who's making it then?
It's hard to say and that is why I was talking about the idea of Sony opening a pandora's box. The makers behind the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection remasters were Bluepoint Games. The Texas-based game developer made a multitude of PlayStation remasters in the past in addition to the one just stated, including: Gravity Rush for PS4, Flower for PS4, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for PS Vita, The Metal Gear Sold HD Collection for PS3, The ICO & Shadow of The Colossus Collection for PS3 and the God of War Collection for PS3. Now, Bluepoint Games happens to be working on a remake project aimed at pleasing the masses. Although it is true that the game is labelled a "remake" instead of a "remaster." That right there might already discard them as the makers of the upcoming Spyro trilogy. Furthermore, it is also possible that Bluepoint Games might be working on the much-rumored Playstation All-Stars Stadium or Round-2.
Or Bluepoint Games could be working on a Medievil remake instead. There was some commotion two years ago by a fan-made demo created in Unreal Engine 4. It was previously thought to be a genuine leak of a Medievil remake being made. However, soon game fans were to be sorely disappointed to learn that leaks were just based on the work of a talented fan of the series. However, Sony probably got wind of the interest there was behind remastering/remaking old PS Classics. Later both Sony and Square would troll Crash Bandicoot and Final Fantasy VII news respectively at an E3 press conference likely to gauge interest before officially announcing both games' return to PS4 via remastered or remake versions.
In all honesty, I believe that Bluepoint Games may be working on a Medievil remake as the combat/gameplay mechanics are much more dated than that of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro or even Parappa the Rapper's respective PS1 games. Even more, I believe this to be happening because the closure of Guerrilla Cambridge also inspired many nostalgic cries for Medievil all over the web. Therefore, I think that the remake of the game will be announced at E3 and it's subsequent sales will decide whether Guerrilla Cambridge's portfolio of IPs will be kept opened or shelved for good. After all, Sony does not necessarily need the developer behind the game to be involved in a remake/remaster as the case of the Wipeout Omega Collection demonstrates. Not meaning to deviate from the main theme of the argument, I will return to Spyro once again. So who's making it?
Vicarious Visions, of course. Why not? After completing the Crash trilogy, the same team could have either already started on the Spyro trilogy or can perfectly dive into it. Activision holds the rights to the IP after all and I'm sure that the Crash deal included that such a trilogy had to be developed by one of Activision's internal studios. The same might be true here again. Since the reveal of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane trilogy, the Sony faithful began demanding for the same treatment to be given to our favorite dragon mascot.
With no shortage of studios and Shuhei Yoshida's assurances since the end of last year that Sony has many unannounced titles in production, many of these may be among those to make the second wave of PS1 Classics. Instead of just re-releasing PS1 or PSP Classics on PS4, Sony seems to have thought about updating their old classics so that they may have a new chance to entice modern gamers that take graphical fidelity and performance very seriously. I for one, am very excited about this. Sure, I was one of many asking Sony to add PS1, PSP, PS Vita ports to the PS4. Yet, I actually prefer that they go back to such titles and not only update graphics and animations but also make improvements such as fixing the auto save and checkpoint systems that were a nightmare for many of these old games. That is exactly what they are doing with the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Collection.
To recap my predictions. I believe that Sony will open further their treasure-ladden chest of memories and unleash a string of PS1 remakes/remasters led by Spyro. Spyro's trilogy will be made by Vicarious Visions, Medievil remake by Bluepoint Games and I further predict that Studio Japan will bring either Ape Escape or The Legend of Dragoon. The possibilities for this wave are endless and with Square and Capcom looking to remake their most iconic franchises (Final Fantasy VII Remake and Resident Evil 2 Remake), I think it's time for the great classics to start their conquest of new gamers as well as re-discover their roots in the process. Here's to a new renaissance of "Long Live Play." Cheers!
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