Sunday Wrap-Up July 2nd, 2017.
Let's just get right to the Bandicoot in the room, shall we?
Crash Bandicoot thoughts.
Hey, so you might not have heard but a new Crash game came out this week. Well, I mean sorta. The Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy is a stunning from the ground up remake of each of the three PS1 Crash games. The games are beautiful, vibrant colors splashing across the screen. The excellent soundtrack is lovingly brought back, and most importantly to many a Crash fan the gameplay from those three classic Crash games has been left untouched, perfect enough to stand on it's own. Having played a few hours of Crash 1, of which you will be able to see starting this Monday, I am left with one lingering and troubling question though.
Is Crash Bandicoot good?
Now to be clear this is with regards to the original Crash and not to it's two sequels, neither of which I've played yet. The game is certainly fun, but how much of that is the game and how much of that is the fact that I'm playing it with one of my best friends as we record a let's play.
Complicating the matter more is the fact that I am not a big Crash fan, yet neither am I a hater of the series and everything it stands for. I seem to be one of the only people coming into these games with no prior baggage, either good or ill towards Crash. I didn't grow up playing these games I guess is what I'm saying. So what do they mean to me? What do they matter to me?
They make me feel nostalgic. They offer me a wonderful experience into the history of games, into the birth of one of gaming's great studios. But, it's false nostalgia. Crash lets me glimpse into my past, let's me taste the year 1996 all over again, but ultimately it's fleeting, ultimately just like my faint and fuzzy memories of this game it's a lie.
Anyway, Crash is fun and I can't wait to get back to it later, it's just not a time machine to the past and I think I'm quite ok with that.
Ocarina of Time.
I REALLY started to dig in and fly through this game this past week. With the rapidly approaching release of Crash I knew much of my time would be sucked up by the wild and crazy Bandicoot. My mission thus became to beat as much of the game as possible. The verdict? Good game is good y'all.
The water temple is great and honestly as I think about it more it just might be my favorite temple in the game. The Fire Temple might have had slightly bigger highs, but the Water Temple felt more cohesive, intimate, and awe-inspiring. To say nothing of the fact that the final boss of the Water Temple was about a million times better then the jerk of a dragon at the end of the Fire Temple.
I really dig just exploring and goofing off around Hyrule...to an extant. I mean, it is a video game from the 90's. The world is fun and colorful, yet that hardly makes it perfect and every now and again it feels like I'm traversing the same area for the hundredth time. To Ocarina's credit though, anytime that happens something new will open up and offer me a new adventure in a old path.
Can we have a real talk about the Gorons y'all? The best, they are just the best. The big giant one at the top of Death Mountain is the homie. Speaking of Biggeron, his side mission covering all of Hyrule and the many people you've encountered along the way is a sweeping, epic of a mission that easily ranks among the weirdest, goofiest, and best parts of the game so far. Again, I say Ocarina is so self-aware, so in on the joke that it makes this such a delightfully unserious experience. It's the 90's at their overtop, cheesy, and self-deprecating best.
Shoutout to Epona.
Also shoutout to the haunted house full of spiders in Kakariko Village that nobody sought to clear out or anything. That town is really weird in either timeline.
I have some ideas and theories on what's going on with Zelda but I'll keep them to myself for now, story is better then Zelda 1.
Really that's my big takeaway, this game is better then Zelda 1(sorry Kevin). It's bigger, feels lived in, has a story, features cheesy, silly, fun characters who give spark and life to Hyrule and the game. It's fun. It's goofy. It's not perfect but dang if I haven't enjoyed myself still.
I guess Zelda isn't all bad.
Let's Plays for days.
Hey. Hi. Hello. I'm officially doing a Let's Play series over the entirety of Crash 1. It is a very hard game and me and my fellow adventurer Josh die lots of times. Like LOTS.
That said it's been an absolute blast to finally jump into let's play and the crazy world of video content. Exciting times for me. The episodes start going up at 9:30 tomorrow morning and are some of the most fun I've had playing games in awhile. While far from perfect and top of the class let's plays, they are a big first step into the world and I've definitely learned some things. So, even if they are all terrible videos and nobody likes them, I enjoyed myself and got plenty out of it.
Again, tomorrow morning. Watch for yourself and give me your thoughts. Can't tell you how excited I am.
Deep breath everybody. Here we go.
Shoutout to Irrational Passions for celebrating it's 7th anniversary. Alex, Scott, Tony, Nabeshin, Jarrett, Jurge, Danny, myself, and the many many past contributors, writers, and co-hosts have all played a part large or small in building IP into something special. Something unique out there. I know it's probably gonna make Alex try to hide under a bush but it's true when I say everyday that I am honored and thankful to write and be a small part of the history of Irrational Passions. I am endlessly proud to be a part of something bigger then me and never lose sight of the huge opportunities that have been afford to me due to my time with IP.
It's been an absolute joy and honor and hopefully I've played some small part in helping to make IP a special and different voice in the larger industry. I'll never be able to repay Alex for bringing in a goofball kid from the midwest like me on to the site but you best believe I'll do everything in my power to make sure he never regrets that decision.
Second shoutout: Everyone should go read two articles that came out in the past week or so.
First is an excellent oral history piece on Polygon that tells the story of Crash 1 from the many different people involved. Excellently written, packed with endless numbers of funny trips down memory line with the old guard of Naughty Dog, and leaving behind a few separate stories of genuine intrigue and controversy this is the kind of in-depth, long form, and brilliantly reported journalism this medium needs more of. The piece left me inspired in about four different ways. Great read.
The second piece to check out is a far different one from Waypoint. Understated, and subtle yet no less a great story, it's all about Beatles Rock Band and the power and impact the game had on the author of the piece. Taking a usual piece of games commentary and turning it on it's head I love how the author approached the game and what it means to him. Plus as a massive fan of the Beatles myself so much of what the writer had to say rang true with me. It's wonderfully different and odd and a touch bittersweet and I loved it very much.
Also third and final shoutout goes to 4 Yanks 1 Aussie whose newest podcast episode I've been listening to as I edit this. I love dem boi's.
Whew. I think that's everything. Love y'all and until next time go chase some dreams.