Altought not a Monthly Musing call, Chad Concelmo's post about his love over Super Metroid made me want to express what I feel about this game with more than just a comment in his post, after all, I love this game.
Crash Bandicoot 2 may not be the very first video game that I ever played but it certainly is the one I recall spending more time on it and playing it more times than any other game I have played so far (even Portal, that I finished more than 6 times). To tell the truth it wasn't until I started writing this that I realized just how much I love this game. Let me try to explain.
You know all that talk about how can you prove your love or if love can even be proved at all? so, one of arguments about how you can prove to prove it is that love can only be proved with time. You can't simply say you love something and just expect it to be true, no. Love is proved by realizing after many years, that something you said you loved once still is something that you can say you love again, after so many years. That's how I feel about this game. After so many years, after so many other games, I still can say the same words I said when I was eight: I loveCrash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
The soundtrack is great! While picking the things that I love about Crash 2, I realized that even tough I haven't played the game in a long time I still listen to some musics from the soundtrack, with some of them even being part of my iTunes list of the 25 most played songs.
Crash 2 soundtrack may not be as classic as Zelda's or polished as Shadow of the Colossus OST, but it really nailed the overall "mood" of the levels and the game itself. Listen to the tracks from levels like "Sewer Or Later" or "Turtle Woods", they are perfect examples of just how much the soundtrack blends perfectly with the level overall artdesign.
The guys behind the soundtrack, the Mutato Muzika, really nailed just everything this game was about. The silly mascot thing with crazy bosses and main themes for each character and level, everything that a game needed in the 90's.
Baby polar bears, motor-surf-boards and JET PACKS! Even tough levels with alternative gameplay options was quite standard already at that time, I still love Crash 2 aproach to it. The polar bear stages were the ones I liked more due to it's fast nature and the difficult involved (for a 8 year old kid), I hated those moving metal bars and those freaking jumping orcas, but I also loved it so much. The surfing stages weren't as fast but that doesn't stoped me from hating every single mine and nitro box on those rivers and wishing so much for the 3 masks super mode so I could just turbo my way into those bastards...but the best of all were the Jet Pack stages, I mean, just look at it, the way it starts, the music, the crazy things floating and the worst of all, the floating electric minions...I love this game...
The deaths (?!) I'm a huge fan o idle animations, is during those moments that you can glimpse part of the characters persona without much, no cutscenes, long dialogues, nothing...just the characters doing something while he's waiting for your to move. Is because of my appreciation for idle animations that I ended up loving so much the death animations in the game, the silly deaths and the kojes with it all contributed to me be less pissed that I just jumped in a nitro box, or did a turbo rush with surfboard in one of those mines or... you get it. Naughty Dog really put some love in those animations and made me laugh when I was supposed to be giving up on jumping over those pits.
The Silly Bosses Ripper Roo, The Komodo Brothers, Tiny Tiger, Dr N. Gin, Dr Neo Cortex... ok, I know they aren't silly enough to be in the Hideo Kojima level of silly names for bosses or challenging as any of the Koopa kids, but I still love those guys and their silly beings. Jumping humanoid tigers on steroids, jumping nitro library blue kangoorus, twin throwing swords komodo dragons, pseudo megazord scientist with a missile in his head and giant head flying mad-scientist.... oooh I love those guys...
I love this game, I really love it. Thank you Naughty Dog, thank you for making my favorite gaming of all time. Crash Bandicoot 2 is GOTY every year in my heart.