Posted Friday June 30th 2017
Today the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is released (yes I pre-ordered) so it’s the perfect time to talk about my favourite game.
I’ll never forget the first time I played a Playstation. I was sitting at home with my Sega MegaDrive playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Then, my dad came home from work with a box and said “Hey I got this new video game console. Let’s set it up!”. So then some unboxing, connecting SCART cables and there it was – but what the hell was it? There was no cartridge? A CD? What’s that?
Anyway, he put in a demo disc and told me “Pick one of the games and we’ll go down to the shop and buy it.” So the first game I played was Resident Evil – needless to say as a six year old I had nightmares for weeks. Then…..then……I played Crash Bandicoot.
My mind was blown; I couldn’t comprehend how this was possible. It was like Sonic but in 3D. So I told my dad I wanted Crash Bandicoot and he drove us to the local store to buy the game. The second we got home I was instantly playing it.
And I was obsessed.
I had to know how this worked. Every time I saw a magazine in the local store with Crash Bandicoot on it I hounded my mother to buy it for me. I read every interview with Naughty Dog that I could get my hands on. Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin became my idols. I started sketching on notebooks level designs and mechanics for my own Crash Bandicoot-style games. I would have people “playtest” them by tracing their finger across the levels on paper. I wanted to build my own games and I went through a notebook at least once a month filling it with ideas.
Then I remember a year later my dad was driving me home from school and he said “did you hear they’re making another Crash Bandicoot? It’s called Crash 2.”. Now, my dad is a complete joker so of course I didn’t believe him. Then a few weeks before Christmas I saw it on a magazine and I couldn’t believe it. Crash Bandicoot 2. Holy shit, it was actually real – I had to have it!
Growing up my grandmother was like my second mother to me and I love her a lot. And Crash Bandicoot was my favourite thing in the world, and I wanted her to get it for me for Christmas. So Christmas was pretty good that year and I got a few games. We went to her house the next day and I brought my Playstation with me. Nobody was getting between me and Crash Bandicoot 2 that day. I would rain hellfire on you if you dared to interrupt my Crash Bandicoot!
And Crash Bandicoot 2. That first intro level and warp room….it blew my mind all over again. Jumping between multiple environments? Genius. Now you don’t have to wait until later in the game to play with cool mechanics and see the cool environments! Level 3? Crash on a surfboard! My God it was brilliant.
Then the next year, my gran got me Crash Bandicoot 3. Time travel. Okay I may have become obsessed with Ancient Egypt the year before but man, mind blown all over again. I played that game on infinite loop. I’ll have you know I can complete Crash Bandicoot 3 105% in 3 hours – it’s like muscle memory to me. To this day Crash Bandicoot 3 is the pinnacle of 3D platforming and nobody can convince me otherwise.
It was around that time my uncle bought a Packard Bell PC with a Pentium 2 processor. He’d let me come over and play around with it every now and again. I had read that game developers would program on PCs and here was one in front of me. I wanted to learn as much as I could about it.
On my 10th birthday my grandmother and my uncle chipped in together and bought me own PC with Windows 98. It was a dream come true. Immediately I started playing around with it and started using the Internet to find information about how to build games. By the time I was 12 I had built my first game using Games Factory.
Since then I’ve been making games. If I ever have the opportunity to work on a Crash Bandicoot game I would accept it in a heartbeart. And for my own games, I hope that someday some kid will play one of them and have the same experience that I had with Crash Bandicoot.