Crashing Out Of Nostalgia

Memory is a funny thing. We rely on it to know what we have done, times spent with friends and family, achievements and about a hundred quotes for English essays that are forgotten the second you leave the exam hall (and insert whatever you need to know for any other exam, formula for Mathematics and Chemistry, definitions for Biology and so on). In amongst all that there are those song lyrics that you don’t even remember that you remember until suddenly the song is in your head and you can’t get it out of there. On top of that, if you are anything like me, you have memories of your favourite games from childhood.

Crash Bandicoot has recently come crashing into 2018 with an update to graphics and some changes to the physics of the games with the release of Crash Bandicoot N-sane Trilogy onto Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in June 2018, a year after the release on PS4.

The funny thing is I know the graphics have been updated. I know they have. I have seen the comparison images, I have seen the start bit of this version which has original Crash turning into shiny new graphics Crash. I know this. However, in my head this N-Sane trilogy is exactly as it was back in the 90s.

Nostalgia and rose tinted glasses definitely combined in my mind. Plus my childhood memories and the fact that as I child I probably filled in a lot of the blocky sharp edges of 90s 3D graphics into rounded figures. But this is the same Crash Bandicoot to me.

Coming back to Crash Bandicoot I have realised how poor (and sometimes excellent all at the same time) my memories of these games are. They were 90s games, they were in that fond age where the graphics were almost in an awkward development stage essentially like the graphical equivalent of puberty. But I remember Crash Bandicoot being as he is now because I imagined him as this, because I could take the leap of faith to what the design and most importantly because they have kept the essence of Crash Bandicoot. The essence of the characters as well as the levels. The grass is now grass rather than another texture but the overall look is just feels the same (and through my nostalgia tinted lenses they look identical). I love my adventures back in Crash Bandicoot and look forward to continuing on to Crash Bandicoot 2 and Warped when I get through to the end of the first game as fully as I can.

The other thing I realised is my nostalgia and rose tinted glasses have clouded my memories of the difficulty levels of these games. I have only been playing the first game so far but it is far more difficult than I remember as a child. Possibly in the sense of history is written by the victor and I completed these games and played and replayed them as a child so I remember the fun times and not the frustrating times. That said, I remembered Hog Wild and Boulder Dash (really, really well actually). These levels are pretty stressful, however, I did so well on them compared to Sunset Vista, for example. A traditional platform level caused me more pain than the levels where you have no time to think and you just have to jump and hope for the best. It is perhaps telling that those levels are the ones that I have the gem for all boxes smashes and the platinum relic without too many attempts. I think I may have played these levels a few times as a child. They were reassuring and enjoyable to revisit. I enjoy them so much.

As I go back to either cry, scream, stumble my way or breeze through a level (three of those may be more likely than the fourth) I realise how much I truly appreciate the opportunity to play these games again, as an adult, for the first time with graphics that are basically standard these days.

It’s like playing an old favourite for the first time again. That isn’t something that we get to experience often. It’s magical. Now give me time to reacquire my skills.

Has anyone else been playing Crash Bandicoot N-sane Trilogy? How does it stack up for you?

17 thoughts on “Crashing Out Of Nostalgia

  1. I haven’t picked up the N’Sane trilogy quite yet but I can imagine it would be a very nostalgic experience! It’s near that your childhood brain filled in the details to where it seems the same now despite the updated graphics. It just goes to show how special these games were back in the day!

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    1. I think it also shows how bad my memory is or how much it has warped. The rose tinted nostalgia glasses are strong with these games for me anyway. I love that it does feel the same for me. Though I feel like I have forgotten how difficult a lot of levels are.

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  2. My other half got this because he used to play it when he was younger but he kept complaining they’d done something with the controls so it was harder and stopped playing… personally I think he was just bitter because he wasn’t very good at it 😜 I never played it when I was younger though so I can’t really say but maybe I’ll give it a go!
    I’m looking forward to Spyro being remastered as well!

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    1. Haha they had altered the physics of the game slightly. I think in terms of jumps and balancing on the edges. I can’t remember exactly. Though it does seem tougher this time around. I’m assuming that was just because I was a child when I played it and I thought I was better at that point. Now I’m sticking to a few levels at a time so I don’t get too frustrated with myself haha.

      I’m looking forward to Spyro. I hope I still enjoy those games as much as I did. Since I’m still enjoying the Crash trilogy I think I will.


  3. Some very good thoughts here. I bought this game for my wife last year and she both loves and gets really ragey at it whenever she plays. I was rubbish at Crash in the 90s so I’m even worse on the remake!
    Nostalgia definitely plays a huge part in my enjoyment of retro games, and also remakes like Crash and, more pertinently for me, Resident Evil 2.


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