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My Thoughts on the "Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time" Announcement

Image Credit: Activision, source, cropping done by Bandipedia

Hello, everyone. This is Arca. This post is my reaction to the first new Crash Bandicoot game in over a decade that was announced via livestream a few weeks ago, titled "It's About Time". It will release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 2, 2020 (the same exact day that a new Star Wars game, Squadrons, will be released). I'm assuming that, even though PC and Nintendo Switch releases haven't been confirmed yet, they'll likely be revealed eventually. This is since there's no reason not to put a multiplatform game on PC, and also since the past few Crash remasters were also released by Activision on the Switch with a bit of a delay (or none at all, in the case of the Switch version of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled). Despite the next-generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 from Sony and the Xbox Series X from Microsoft, literally releasing a month or two after this game releases, both consoles are confirmed to have backward compatibility with the previous generation's games to a certain extent. Xbox went all-in with literally giving free upgrades, while PlayStation will be slowly adding patches over time, starting with the most popular games. 

The brand-new Crash platforming game was announced via a livestream for the Summer Game Fest (one of the numerous online E3 replacement events due to the pandemic) hosted by the Game Awards' Geoff Knightley. The announcement happened on June 22, literally just 35 minutes after Mr. Sakurai's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter presentation of Min Min from the game ARMS, which I had also watched live. I didn't watch the entirety of the Crash 4 event live in its entirety since I left shortly after the reveal trailer (which had multiple images leaked online from it beforehand) and a short developer interview. And I have to say, from what we see and know so far, it looks pretty good. 

The announcement ( starts out with a guy in the classic "Crash Bandicoot standing outside the doors of Nintendo HQ with a megaphone threatening Mario" costume, this time with a CDC-approved face mask, shouting outside the door of Geoff Knightley's house about the Crash 4 reveal trailer instead. Then, it segues into the reveal trailer. After that, multiple interviews about this game occur before moving on to other unrelated games in the showcase. 

The first big noticeable difference from the N. Sane Trilogy remaster is the art style. Rather than going for a very realistic, impressive look with subtle details like fur, greenery, and other textures being more realistic, they have gone for a cartoony style. It almost looks like it is made out of clay, or that they're toys, except without as many realistic-looking details. This, in addition to the changing of the designs of Crash and Coco, has generated quite a bit of controversy online even prior to its official reveal due to leaked images. 

Personally, I think the art style looks great. While it is indeed different and I may have hoped for the realistic style going in, there's nothing really wrong with this style either. The designs are slightly different, but still recognizable enough in my opinion (being someone who's only played the two recent Crash remasters on Switch, not very extensively). The world and animations are still bursting with life and color. On a Super Mario Odyssey level? Obviously not. Still more than the average non-Nintendo attempt at a modern 3D platformer? Definitely. 

This trailer ( also shows a playable Neo Cortex, which seems interesting, as well as multiple new mechanics and worlds. Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic about this game. The N. Sane Trilogy remaster was great, and while Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled may have had some annoying microtransactions built into it as well as grinding for cosmetics (luckily not pay-to-win, just with cosmetics), the core game itself was still well-made, as punishingly-difficult for newcomers like me as the original PlayStation 1 game, and fun (as long as you aren't the type to rage quit).  

There was some worry a week ago about whether this game would contain microtransactions outside of the bonus skins you get buying the game digitally on any platform. Luckily, a developer cleared up some concerns by saying that the game will have no microtransactions (source) in a Tweet shown below.

Putting microtransactions in a platforming game would be a sad indicator of where the games industry is in 2020. However, it's glad to know that the developers working for Activision are at least claiming that the game doesn't have them. They might still find a way to sneak them in, but we can all at least hope that they don't cause any further problems. 

A funny detail at the end of the game's reveal trailer that many people, myself included, couldn't help but notice immediately was that a character claims that Crash and Coco defeated Neo Cortex more than just 3 times, which Crash and Coco deny ever happening. In other words, they're trying to erase the non-so-well-received sequels to the original 3rd Crash game out of existence. This is a pretty good meta-joke, but it was also done to further communicate the fact, as the developers have stressed in interviews, that this game is intended as a direct sequel to the 3rd Crash game from 1998, rather than a sequel to the sequels made afterward. You could also call this a prequel to those sequels, but that starts convoluting things, especially if the attitude of those making this game is that the following sequels never existed. 

Anyways, that's about it for this post. What did you guys think of the Crash 4 game announcement? Will you be playing this game, or cautiously waiting for reviews (which is just about always a good idea for any game, ever, in my opinion)? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and maybe we can start an open conversation.

I plan to continue making daily posts all of this summer except for possibly the weekends. Be sure to read my previous post, a delayed celebration of the Fourth of July as well as a retelling of a true story of mine long in the making: My next post will be out tomorrow, and I am planning on making it about my reaction to another recent game reveal, which is EA's Star Wars: Squadrons. On Friday, I may possibly finally finish and publish my reaction post to the PlayStation 5 reveal presentation that I also got to watch online live nearly a month ago, which will contain all of my particularly happy and satisfied thoughts on the subject. 

You could also subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I plan on editing and making an overdue vacation vlog footage video once per week this summer:  

If you enjoyed this post, then considering sharing it with your friends. You could also click that "subscribe" button at the top of my blog's page to get email notifications whenever I make a new post, telling you the title of my newest post right away in your inbox. Now isn't that convenient? Anyway, this is Arca, signing off.  Stay safe, and have a good one.