So it’s been a week since everyone’s rose-tinted nostalgia glasses have been broken, stamped on and smashed into oblivion.
Of bloody course we are talking about Crash Bandicoot and his trolling return with the N.Sane Trilogy.
Now like the rest of those who have played it, I was bursting with child-like anticipation for getting my hands on this at launch, even buying it digitally to satisfy my impatience.
I was all set. This was to be the perfect summer title, a platformer I could casually waltz through at my leisure. How hard could it be? I remember beating these games as a kid!
Little did I realise that two major revelations that would come to light in the hours that followed.
One, this game is fucking BRUTAL. And I have no shame in saying that. It isn’t about ‘getting gud’, it is simply a testing return from the cracked-up marsupial.
Secondly, either this game genuinely is harder than I remember or I was legit a special mutant child put on this earth to finish only the most frustrating and exacting of platform games.
(I know the latter was a lie, as my only purpose as a child was to slowly fight morbid obesity).
I sat there on launch night feeling dejected and slightly humiliated at having my taint handed to me with ease by a childhood favourite.
What was supposed to be a gentle saunter through the good old days felt was more like painful suppressed memories.
Out of nowhere though, some light emerged in my struggle. It turned out I was not the only one getting sick of the sight of Uka Uka telling me “GAME OVER”.
Something remarkable had happened with the return of Crash, something no one in their right mind could have predicted.
The remaster has managed to become more than a nostalgia trip, it has become genuinely relevant again with a more grown up audience.
Granted, this has happened completely by accident, but Crash has managed to find a place in the hearts of the hardest of hardcore again, where only the crustiest of gamers reside in showing off their superior ability to others.
Suddenly a game that by all accounts should have been a quick weekend fling with retro lust is now being hailed as a genuine challenge.
I even read ‘Dark Souls’ in the same sentence at one point. Utter madness.
It’s impressive that twenty-plus years later Crash has managed to capture the conversation with gamers online that is only really reserved for the biggest of newcomers.
There’s a real buzz around the N.Sane Trilogy, whether it be folk like myself who talk mince about how hard it is or the apex-gamers sharing videos of the moment they ploughed ‘The High Road’ with ease.
Crash’s return has completely torn up the script. The over-exacting nature of the simplest of jumps has rightfully been lambasted by some professional fans out there, but in all honesty, it has become a welcome accident.
PlayStation’s one-time mascot has found a place again within a gaming environment that treasures challenge above all else.
You get your arse handed to you again and again, but you find yourself going back for more each time for that moment of achievement when you finally beat it.
Sound familiar? Utter madness.