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Old 22-12-19, 00:13   #4
Kapu's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,734

I've played the PS3, Wii, and DS versions. I actually was just replaying the Wii version the other week and WOW I don't remember it looking this bad. But anyway...

A little we know about the development: Crystal's primary platform was the 360. They collaborated with Nixxes to port the game to PS3 and PC. Buzz Monkey Software developed the PS2 and Wii versions.

Biggest level differences (completely recalling from memory, please correct or add!):
  • Croft Manor includes additional areas, one of which being a water wheel section.
  • Mexico has two challenge rooms instead of four, one ice themed and the other fire. They're quite a bit larger than the four rooms in the next gen versions.
  • Jan Mayen has an introductory sequence where you get to drive the bike outdoors
That's all I can remember off the top of my head. A couple other things we know:
The water wheel section in Croft Manor also appears in the 360 DLC Beneath the Ashes.
There is concept art depicting the Jan Mayen bike sequence.
In the Gamasutra "Post Mortem" article by our #1 homeboy Eric Lindstrom, he says this:
Another thing we did right during this long Alpha was to have multiple scope reductions. ... We would assess and determine that the game was too big, and then cut enough content to bring it under with margin to spare. Then [...] we would see that we were again coming in too big, necessitating further scope reductions.

[...] almost all the features and areas originally planned for the game made it into the final version, only smaller, and connected to each other in fewer ways. We managed to reduce the scope by trimming branches everywhere without having to uproot any of the trees entirely.
What this suggests to me (pure speculation):
The water wheel section of the PS2/Wii version was also built by Crystal for the next gen retail version of the game, but was removed during one of the "scope reduction" cuts. It still made the PS2/Wii version and was later reused in the DLC. Crystal has insisted that they didn't deliberately cut content from the retail release to use in the DLC, which I would call a half truth. I'm sure the area was cut for production reasons originally; then they simply reused it when the DLC was being made. It was already built so why let it go to waste?
For Jan Mayen island, the bike sequence concept art exists so it must have been planned for the next gen versions. I suppose it was also cut in scope reductions. Did a next gen version exist? We'll never know. The PS2 and Wii versions are so bare bones, maybe Buzz Monkey built it just to pad out the game a bit. Or maybe like the water wheel, there was once a next gen version of this sequence that was ultimately cut - only it never showed up in a DLC.

As for general PS2/Wii differences: I don't know of them because I've only played the Wii version. Of course the Wii has puzzles that specifically take advantage of the Wiimote capabilities, so I know those don't exist in the PS2 version. Maybe the other little differences that appear are a result of Buzz Monkey making little tweaks, since the Wii version was always going to be different because of the extra features.

That's my two cents. Again I'm recalling mostly from memory so I'm sure I screwed up some details. And the other stuff is just guesses. It sure is a curiosity though. Also, just a side note - the Wii and PS2 versions are unbelievably bad. I know the Wii version is generally regarded as being better than the PS2 version, but it's my opinion that it's still a low quality product.

Last edited by Kapu; 22-12-19 at 14:53.
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