Friday, 4 May 2012

Bash Crandicoot

Crash Bandicoot man.

There is so much I want to say about these games that I could dedicate a whole blog to how they shaped my childhood and how I view the world. Yes a video game about a goddamn orange rat thing made me what I am today. Explains everything.

I've decided I am going down a different road with this though and trying to see how little I can say. I could spend hours discussing the intricate coding, or the music, or characters, but each of those are just bricks building what I consider the breadth of the series - the EXPERIENCE.

The entire trilogy is a mishmash of style, atmosphere, comedy, and sound. Some kids were changed when the saw Star Wars, I was changed when I played Crash Bandicoot.

Why do I like this so much? It's so god damned memorable. There are so many themes, places, and people in the games that build up to this wonderful Warner Brothers-esque world down under. The music, done by my good friend Josh Mancell in his earlier years, is catchy and befitting - there is a surfboarder rock theme reminiscent of Dick Dale in the upstream boarding level, there is a sweeping space odyssey theme for the jet pack world, it's all just so good.

The designed world of Crash Bandicoot too had a very powerful influence on me; most kids my age got their idea of Arabia from Aladdin, I got mine from the Hang 'em High levels. My romanticised ideas of the medieval era pays much homage to the Double Header levels. Even the sewer stages in the second game made me want to explore the shit-infested gutters under my streets (no I didn't do this I am not disgusting). My friends and I used to come up with ideas for what the Wumpa Fruit were, and I was even convinced they existed in the real world as something called Pockercherry Peaches.

The designers really paid attention to the little things. In the first one if you didn't get all the boxes, they'd crash on Crash's head and it was hilarious. The third one had like a million different death animations, to the point where it was almost rewarding to die. The racing game had nigh on every minor character taking up the karting challenge, because there was always SOMEONE who wanted to play as Ripper Roo (or in my case N. Tropy, best character).

It's really hard to put into words how these games shaped me. I'm leaving this week off on a high note with talking about them I think. They're what made me want to get into game design.

Maybe one day I'll come back and talk about them more. Happy weekend!

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