Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #3

#3 Hang Eight

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 3 (of 27)
Level Type: Stream
Random Fact: It can be argued that this level is the first ever Time Trial level in Crash history – to turn the level into a Time Trial you have to run through around a third of the level (just before the jet board) quick enough to activate the timer.
Another random fact - it’s also the first level in Crash history to have parts of a level both on land and on a vehicle in the same level!

The stream levels in Crash 1 were cool, and the music was great. But the Stream levels in Crash 2 were so much better. They were longer, they were cooler, they were harder too but in a good way. The music in Hang Eight is just as good as the music in, say, Upstream in Crash 1, but it’s a completely different style of music, it’s more surf rock. It’s damn cool anyway. And doing the timer adds a layer of speed to the level never experienced before in a Crash game, obviously, not until Crash 3 anyway. But it’s more than that. Hang Eight has some awesome bad guys to deal with, obstacles to avoid, and going on the jet board is so much fun. The bonus levels are great too. For me, Hang Eight is simply one of the best platformer levels of all time, and it’s one of the levels I’m most excited to play in the Remaster on Friday.
If you missed #4 click here.

Join me tomorrow to find out what the next entry is in this listing!

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #4

#4 Orient Express

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 3 (of 32)
Level Type: Pura
Random Fact: It is believed that the inspirations of this level (and Midnight Run) are from the south end of the Great Wall, somewhere in the Jinshangling section. This is because of the look of the watchtowers, which have similar looking sections in real life in that location!
I do love the Pura levels, like a I love all of the animal riding levels. The original Pura level is simply a thrill ride you’ll never forget, or at least, it was when I played it as a kid in the late nineties! As I mentioned in “Midnight Run”, the other Pura level that got to #14 in my list, I do love the fact that you can run even faster with Pura, in comparison to the Hog in Crash 1 and Polar in Crash 2. And I absolutely love doing the time trials for these levels too, they go incredibly fast and create a thrill that isn’t there in any other Crash levels. They’re just so much fun to play and Pura is absolutely adorable as well.
If you missed #5 click here.

For #3 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #5

#5 Turtle Woods

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 1 (of 27)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: To get the blue gem in this level you need to break ZERO boxes. To my knowledge, this is the only level in the entire series that you get rewarded for nothing!
If you were to ask me what my favourite of the “first” levels of the Crash trilogy were, then it’s “Turtle Woods”. Comparatively for quick reference, Crash 3’s “Toad Village” got to #10 in my list and Crash 1’s “N. Sanity Beach” got to #20 in my list. And, like always, it’s hard to point out why I prefer this level the most. I must try and explain though, that’s why you’re here.

I love that despite the fact that this level is relatively easy, it has some difficult layers to it. Like, getting the blue gem. Getting NO boxes, it’s gotta be easy right? It’s not! There’s a part of the level where there’s around 8 boxes creating a wall and not hitting them when jumping over them is a skill in itself. You’re not allowed checkpoints because they’re boxes too. See what I mean? I also love the secret part of this level. I played through this level many many times when I was a kid and had no idea it was there. Little secrets make games so much more fun when you discover them. And “Turtle Woods”, for the first level in a video game, has many.
If you missed #6 click here.

For #4 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #6

#6 Hog Wild

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 8 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Hog
Random Fact: This is the first level in Crash history where you don’t control Crash but the animal he’s riding! He rides the Hog in Crash 1, Polar in Crash 2, and Pura and Baby-T in Crash 3!
Strange, the last three entries have been the eighth level of the three Crash games! Anyway, again, I know I’ve said it a lot already but this level is a CLASSIC. Genuinely, I think those people playing Crash 1 back in 1996 probably never saw this level coming. The first seven levels of the game (one being the first boss, Papu Papu) have you control Crash, and, even if they are very different levels in style, NOTHING compares to what’s to come when you get to Hog Wild. It must have been such a shock to those players! The level’s music is also legendary, and to be fair, considering it’s the first level where you control an animal in the series, the level design is pretty good. Crash 1 suffers with its controls at times but “Hog Wild” is pretty much spot on.
If you missed #7 click here.

For #5 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #7

#7 Hog Ride

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 8 (of 32)
Level Type: Race
Random Fact: The four different “Race” levels in Crash 3 are at different times of the day. This one is at midday, “Orange Asphalt” is at sunset, “Road Crash” which was #22 in my list is late at night and then the secret level “Area 51?” is overnight when aliens come to play!
Ah, “Hog Ride”. The level so famous it’s actually the cover of the game itself. I remember Crash 3 coming out, having played Crash 1 before (believe it or not Crash 2 was the last Crash game I played out of the three), and seeing the motorbike on the cover, not knowing if Crash actually drove a motorbike in the game or if it was just a “cool” cover.

As you can imagine, when I got to level 8 in the game, I was so chuffed to find that it was a motorbike race level! And in fairness, the motorbike levels don’t disappoint at all. Sure, the controls are a little clunky, but they’re meant to be, I think. This isn’t a racing game, this is a platformer, so the motorbike levels can be excused for not being genuine racers. It’s all fun and games after all! I’ve placed “Hog Ride” as my favourite Race level, not because it’s the easiest but because it’s the most accessible of them all, in the end, it’s the first you play and the track itself is lots of fun! It’s just truly one of the most memorable Crash levels of all time.
If you missed #8 click here.

For #6 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Friday, June 23, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #8

#8 Bear It

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 8 (of 27)
Level Type: Polar
Random Fact: Before you enter this level, Polar sits outside of the portal. If you jump on him enough times, you’ll get ten extra free lives! It only works once though.

I love the Polar levels! And they’re all so very well designed too, a large improvement on the “Hog” levels from Crash 1. Polar is the cutest animal too, more so than Pura I find. The first Polar level, “Bear It”, is definitely up there in the best and most memorable levels in Crash history. The music is super cute, the ice is slippy to provide some difficulty and the bad guys lifting the blocks up and down can be a pain too. But it’s not that hard really, and the difficulty that does exist adds to the fun. “Bear It” is simply one of the best Crash levels in the trilogy, and very few people would say otherwise.
If you missed #9 click here.

For #7 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #9

#9 Upstream

Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 5 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Stream
Random Fact: This is the first Stream level in the entire series! Stream levels were expanded on for Crash 2.
I do love this level a lot. I love jumping from lily pad to lily pad, there’s something free flowing about that experience when you do it for the first time. And even though it’s the first level, there’s some difficult parts in it, especially again, if you’re playing through it for the first time. But the best thing about this level? The music. I find myself humming along to it every time I play it, it’s such a peaceful track but it also has some good beats to it too. It’s just one of the best designed levels in Crash 1, no doubt about it.
If you missed #10 click here.

For #8 click here.

For the latest updates on my work, follow me on Facebook and Twitter here!