I know it’s kind of short, but I’m planning to have “Nerdy Mondays” from now on.

Just to mix it up a little bit, every once in a while I am going to showcase how much of a nerd I truly am.  I want to turn this into a corner spot of my blog and name it something cool like “More Nerdy-ness Mondays” or something a little more clever.  I collect obscure, vintage/retro video games and their systems, I love Batman and the Transformers, and overall am a huge dork.  It’s okay though, without my geekified personality you wouldn’t get to enjoy such masterpieces as this…

An Ode to Crash Bandicoot

I have a soft spot in my heart for this little guy.  Say what you want about him, he speaks mostly in gibberish, he’ll never be as popular as Nintendo’s Mario, and no one really even remembers him since Crash Team Racing in 1999.  Crash Bandicoot was originally supposed to be “Willy the Wombat” and was created to compete with Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic.  The creators eventually landed on the name “Crash” because of how the rascally marsupial could body slam into crates, causing them to smash.  Personally this is one of my favorite things about the entire Crash Bandicoot series.

While Nintendo had Mario, and all of his levels and suits and everything, he still had limited maneuvers when it came to in game play.  Running or jumping is what he had.  Or best case scenario, he had running AND jumping at the same time.  The suits and everything had different functions, but in the end, all you were using to play it was the D-pad and the A/B buttons.

It’s the same thing with Sonic The Hedgehog.  Spin, then go fast.  Oh, and collect rings.  Can’t forget those rings.  In a way I applaud Sonic, he seems to be a lot more well off than Mario.  That’s why he doesn’t make videogames anymore, he’s collected so many gold rings and chaos emeralds he never has to work again.  Mario on the other hand is an Italian Plumber from New York and he runs around similar looking levels picking up pennies off the pavement.  Or he has to bang his head against what we all can only assume is brick.  Nintendo makes poor Mario scrounge around for pocket change while they went behind his back and turned his first name into a multi-billion dollar market niche.

Crash is a genetically advanced Eastern-Barred Bandicoot.  He lives on a 3 island chain southeast of Australia.  All he does is relax.  Most of the time in the introduction of any Crash Bandicoot videogame, Crash is found on a hammock sipping some kind of tropical drink with sunglasses on; the epitome of relaxation.  It isn’t until Dr. Neo Cortex, Crash’s creator and nemesis comes along, when Crash has to go out of his way to defeat the evil doctor.  Crash is more for gamers who liked to think and solve problems.  He had moves and maneuvers that didn’t require suits, and he didn’t collect any form of currency.  He collected apples.  One hundred of which would earn you an extra life.  You had to make it through the levels perfectly, because in most games with only a few exceptions Crash was a one hit kill.  He could not only jump and run, he could also slide, double jump, tornado spin, hover tornado spin, body slam, double jump into a body slam, and the list goes on.  Timing had to be spot on as the player would reach more advanced levels.  Also, upon completion of each level Crash earned a purple gem.  Levels could be repeated and different rewards were given out for a time trials run, bonus level runs, “smashing-all-crates” run, and other red/green/blue gems that are almost impossible to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Mario games, and I love Sonic the Hedgehog.  Everyone has their favorite, and I would have to say mine is Crash Bandicoot.  I don’t know why he didn’t get the fame and acclaim that Mario did.  I don’t know why he never became recognizable as the Sony Playstation mascot.  He never even became as popular as Sonic.  He followed the same format, tried different kinds of games, like the kart racing spin-offs.  He’s been in our videogame culture since his debut in 1996.  I for one hope Crash gets bored on his hammock on his island and decides to get into some more trouble with Dr. Cortex.  Even after I beat all the Crash Bandicoot games growing up, I loved erasing it from my memory card and going at it again.  There hasn’t been another release of a Crash Bandicoot game, since 2000.  Ten whole years since a REAL Crash game has hit the market.  I’m not counting anything released as a mobile or iphone game.  I don’t even count Nintendo DS or Game Boy Advance games.  I love the real platform games I have to sit on the couch to play.

Please Naughty Dog, develop some more Crash Bandicoot for us Die-Hards out here.  I’ve seen retro games redone and modernized and most of them turn out pretty good, even though nobody wanted to play the games when they were brand new.  Surely the makers of Crash Bandicoot have some more ideas for the old school fans.  And with the Playstation 3 being as extraordinary of a machine as it is, and the next platform from Sony well on its way, I can’t see why we should have to wait any longer to see what Naughty Dog has been working on for the past 10 years.

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One Response to “I know it’s kind of short, but I’m planning to have “Nerdy Mondays” from now on.”

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