Thursday, January 2, 2020

Down Under - Crash Bandicoot (PS4) - Finale

At long last, we have arrived at our final destination. After braving the trials and tribulations scatted across these isolated islands off the coast of Australia, our pal Crash Bandicoot, the blunder from Down Under, has foiled his creator's plans for world domination via an army of mutated animals, and save his girlfriend Tawna.

His island castle burning crumbling, burning down around him, Dr. Neo Cortex has only one though: Revenge. Ambushing the reunited couple as they pilot their escape blimp, creator and creations clash.

In this episode, we conclude our adventures in the outback, with special guest Chris, from the Marvelous Duo.

Apologies for the audio balancing issues. I had to reconnect my Capture Card to my computer earlier that day because it was experiencing issues, and forgot to set the volume of the game recording down to it's usual levels. Thankfully, both Chris is loud enough that he has no issues, and I am still audible, even if I'm quieter than I'd like.

Although we didn't finish the cut, Stormy Ascent, I am still glad that we played it on stream to demonstrate how difficult it was. There is a good reason it's on the cutting room floor instead of in the final game, but I'm happy that it was brought into the remake to give people a glimpse of what design choices had to be made.

Something I got to talk about here, but neglected to mention in other posts, is the surprising sense of world building, even in the original PS1 release, that exists in the details. It's something as simple as seeing the after effects of Crash exploring the castle in the final boss, with it burning in the background as we fight Dr. Cortex. Even in earlier levels, the castle is often in the background to remind the player what their final destination is going to be. Or how the third island is noticeably more "industrial" than the other two, with machinery and power plant levels helping fill in extraneous detail for how Cortex runs his operation.

While I don't think the original Crash Bandicoot aged well, it served as a valuable piece of gaming history for being a pioneer in the space of 3D platforming, even before Super Mario 64. Further, it paved the way for the later games in the franchise, which are games that I still play semi-regularly. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is one of my favorite PS1 games, and I look forward to playing it with the rest of you here.

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