The E.A.R.: Oh The N. Sanity!

Banner design © TJ Edson

 

This Friday marked the launch of the Crash Bandicoot N.SaneTrilogy. Now for us 90’s children this is probably a huge deal. There were many awesome platformers that graced 32 bit systems in 96 but, there was something magical about Crash. Crash was a new inventive concept that consisted of a bandicoot that could spin and break crates. The first crash game will always be known for its insanely high difficulty and, crazy platforming mechanics. The second and third games sought to create a sense of balance while still retaining a sense of challenge in the later levels.

One of the things that made the Crash games standout was their fantastic sound design. The Crash Bandicoot games have by far the best sound/musical design of platformers in that era. The composer perfectly captured how I imagined riding a baby polar bear would sound like or how it felt to walk through sewers or run from boulders and giant polar bears. I also loved how instead of using a singular boss theme throughout the game, every boss had their own theme making each fight feel unique and fresh. Some more things that made the game awesome.

Other Awesome Things About Crash Bandicoot

1. No one death was ever the same, in platformers of that era if you died there was the usual death animation but in the Crash series starting with Crash 2, Naughty Dog took things a step further. Crash’s death animation was based on what he came in contact with. If he touched fire or got blown by a TNT box the HE got charred and his ashes fell. If he hit electricity then he died being zapped. If he got stung by a bee then he’d puff up. In Crash 3 they took things a bit further, in abrabian themed levels if he got cut up by a sword weilding bandit then his pants were cut up and it showed him walking away covering himself and if a giant enemy hit you then you got thrown into the screen. At the age of nine that attention to detail blew my mind.

2. The level names in Crash 2 were my first introduction to puns. Every level name was a play on an idiom. Here are a few.
-The Eel Deal: A sewer stage with electric eels and a play on “the real deal.”

-Piston It Away: A level where you’re riding and dodging pistons. A play on ” pissin’ it away.”

-UnBearable: A level where you get chased by a giant bear, a play on the word “bear” and “unbearable.”

-Sewer or Later: Another Sewer stage and a play on the saying “sooner or Later.”

-BeeHaving: A level with her hives and bees, a play on the words “bee” and “behaving.”

-Cold Hard Crash: An snow level and a play on ” Cold Hard Cash.”

-Snow Go: Another snow level and a play on “No go.”

I’ve had the opportunity to play through portions of the remaster and so far, Vicarious Visions has done the game justice. The game controls and, plays just as well as it did in the 90’s. Vicarious Visions has gone to great lengths to rebuild the game while still retaining the original level geometry. Everything plays exactly how I remember it minus some alterations in the physics here and there.

My only gripes are that some of the songs in the remaster don’t do the originals justice. I wish there was a way to switch between the older tracks and the newer ones but, licensing issues probably made that really difficult.

Overall the trilogy is great and I would highly recommend picking this up if you’re an old head like me looking for some nostalgia or, you’re looking to get into a series that really defined the genre then this is for you. It’s only on the Playstation 4 but, you can pick it up for a very palatable $39.99.

As always, stay classy…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.