A summer night in 1998, in a young Johnny Rootbeer’s basement. Snacks and soda cans all over the place, sleeping bags out, a couple of friends playing Playstation. The game of choice? Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. This night will forever stick out in my memory as one of the best nights of my life, playing such a great game with great friends, but also the night I met my first dog. My dad brought her home as a surprise and just let her loose into the basement, we freaked out big time. A zippy, energetic german shepherd puppy let loose into a basement full of 8 year old kids, it was chaos. My dad asked me what name we should pick, immediately, without any thought, I said Crash.
Unfortunately, the dog was a girl, so we didn’t actually go with Crash, but that first choice should exemplify how much I loved that series at the time, and I still do. I have many many great memories of trying to beat those games back then and I loved every minute of it. It brings me great pleasure to know that there’s a brand spanking new, numbered entry to the franchise coming up fast: Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and it sure as hell is.
For the unaware, Crash Bandicoot is a game series about a dopey, clueless Bandicoot (basically an australian racoon) who was genetically enhanced by an evil and hilarious mad scientist, Dr. Neo Cortex. Cortex shows up with an evil plan and Crash has to stop him, hilarity and controller throwing ensue. The first game in the series was a humongous leap forward for 3D platforming games, in a time where Super Mario 64 was king, Crash showed up to take the portly plumber down a peg. Each game consists of warp rooms filled with stages of various, hilarious settings filled with ridiculous enemies and deadly hazards. With each sequel the series upped the ante and added something new, Crash 2 gave him some new moves, and Crash 3 added new types of stages like ones set on the ocean while riding a jet ski or a biplane in the middle of a WW2-like aerial battle.
Now, after 22 years, (not counting the less than stellar non-Naughty Dog entries) Crash is back to stop Cortex once again. The game developers have promised a return to form for the series, with tight precision platforming and goofy humor. From the first trailer we can already see how gorgeous and imaginative the games levels are going to be, and even how some boss battles are going to be bigger and badder than anything we’ve seen in a Crash game before. While I had hoped the game was going to be a little bit more open (quite like Crash: Twinsanity) it seems like they’re sticking to the tried and true level layouts of the older games, which is fine too. Toys for Bob, who previously handled the Crash N.Sane Trilogy collection, look like they’re doing justice to my boy from way back when.I want nothing but the best for my old pal, and it seems like he’s getting the treatment he deserves, better late than never!
We’ll be able to hang out with Crash again when Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time hits Xbox One, Playstation 4 (and hopefully Switch) on October 29th.
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