Tag Archives: Character

Crash Bandicoot Spins Into a Reboot in 2017!

By the mid-90s the home console war revolved around Nintendo and Sony Computer Entertainment.  Sony’s PlayStation may have been released first, but the Nintendo 64 won audiences over with their new games.  Rebooting new title from the Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong series reeled in millions in profits and took Nintendo right to the top of the chart.  Titles such as Donkey Kong 64 and Super Mario 64 played on the nostalgia factor, taking players back to the time when the Super Nintendo was still popular.

Both Sony Computer Entertainment and Nintendo utilized their popular characters as their brand mascot in order to capture their audience’s attention.  Nintendo already has their slew of characters (Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, to name a few!) while Sony PlayStation revolved their brand around Crash Bandicoot.  Crash Bandicoot was the answer to Sony’s lack of any mascot character that would compete with Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario.  He is an orange bandicoot who spins around like a tornado, knocking off any enemies/boxes at his sight.  His main quest is to defeat his antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex before he completes his scheme of world domination.

Crash made his first appearance on the Sony PlayStation with the title Crash Bandicoot in September 9th, 1996.  Players can run, jump, slide, and spin away any enemies that could hinder his journey to defeat Doctor Neo Cortex.  This release followed with the release of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (October 31st, 1997)  and Crash Bandicoot: Warped (November 4th, 1998).  Sony hasn’t made any announcement about other Crash Bandicoot titles lately…until now!

Sony announced that all three Crash Bandicoot titles from the PlayStation will be remastered for the PS4.  The remastered games will become a trilogy pack titled Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.  Vicarious Visions utilized the original level geometry as a guide, but they also rebuilt the gameplay by adding its own ‘lush and zany art, animation, and audio’.  Other than level design, the characters will also be rebuilt through the original designs as well as updated cinematics inspired from the originals.

Three other unique features for the game include:

  • Unified checkpoint & save game system (including manual & auto-saving)
  • Unified menu system
  • Time trials for ALL three games

The rebooted trilogy won’t be released until 2017, so you’ll have to wait until AFTER Christmas to pick up this nostalgic title.  What’s interesting is that it isn’t the first video game to be making a re-mastered comeback.  We’ve seen this trend of releasing old games with the launch of the NES Classic Mini and the Sega Mega Drive (see my former post here!).  This trend of reboot classic titles is being heavily favored by the Millennial audience because these were the games that they grew up with.

It was great to hear about Crash Bandicoot getting a rebooted trilogy series!  I used to love playing the Crash Bandicoot series when I was kid and I look forward to this game’s release.  Now I may always have been Team Nintendo, but I loved playing some titles from Sony and Sega!  Mario and Sonic already got their reboots and now it was Crash’s time to shine for Sony Computer Entertainment.

Remastering Crash Bandicoot will truly increase people’s awareness of Sony’s brand mascot.  This is an easy and cheaper way to bring back awareness of Crash Bandicoot without having to come up with a whole new title for him.  This nostalgia strategy is really increasing video game sales for 2016.  Video game sales haven’t been slumping, but it is providing a boost for the latest consoles.

With that, I am excited for the release of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.  This and other titles make it seem more convenient to purchase a PlayStation 4 soon.  Here’s to Crash spinning into the 2017 with his rebooted adventure!


Showtime Gets Shameless About Mental Health Illness

If I didn’t have a Netflix account, premium cable channels are the next best thing on television for me.  HBO and Showtime produce some amazing shows that provide edgier content for their audience.  The audience consists of males/females between the ages of 18-49, so these channels provide interesting shows for the age group.  Some of the series have unforgettable characters with colorful background stories.  It’s those background stories that make me want to continue watching the series to see what happens to the main characters.

Showtime has introduced me to some amazing characters that drum up a twisted storyline that made me coming back for more.  Some of the intriguing characters included a blood splatter analyst/serial killer at night (Dexter Morgan), a pot-dealing mother in the suburb (Nancy Botwin), a workaholic nurse addicted to pills (Nurse Jackie), and even a woman living with dissociative identity disorder (Tara Gregson).  It’s these main characters that drove the series forward each year.  One character in particular stood out within the Gallagher family on Shameless.

Meet Ian Gallagher, the third oldest sibling of the Gallagher family.  He came out to his family near the end of season 1 and had an on/off relationship with Mickey Milkovich.  Ian enlisted into the army by the end of season 3, only to come back to Chicago working as a dancer at The White Swallow and squatting at an abandoned apartment.  By the end of season 4, a series of erratic behaviors revealed that Ian has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Monica Gallagher has bipolar disorder as well, so Ian inherited the gene from his mother.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is described as having extreme shifts in mood and fluctuations in energy and activity levels.  People who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder will have high positive moods one day and come crashing down into manic episodes the next.  The word ‘manic’ describes times where someone will feel overly excited and confident, which could also cause impulsive/reckless decision-making.  Note that the dramatic high/low episodes don’t follow a set pattern within the brain.

We can clearly see Ian’s bipolar disorder come out multiple times during season 4 and 5 of Shameless.  One good example happens on episode 6 season 5 titled Crazy Love when Ian takes off with Mickey and Svetlana’s baby.  Ian conjures up a reckless decision to steal the baby and take off down to Florida.  His trip is quickly squashed when he spirals out of control and is caught by the police.  This and the past episode clearly show what bipolar disorder does to people like Ian.  It is not a pretty picture, nor should it ever be taken lightly in the medical field.

What’s interesting to point out is that Ian isn’t the only character created from Showtime.  On Nurse Jackie, Jackie Peyton’s daughter Grace was diagnosed with anxiety on season 1.  The first few seasons showcase Grace’s struggle with anxiety each day.  Nurse Jackie is another series that illustrates the seriousness of mental health issues in the country.

Ian is one of my favorite characters on Shameless.  I thought that Showtime did a great job with constructing what bipolar disorder is and how it affects their friends/family around them.  Mental health illness is a serious issue that affects millions of Americans in the 21st century.  As screwed up as the family is, they all care for Ian with what he goes through each day.  Fiona and Lip remember what Monica was like during her manic episodes, so they know what to expect with Ian’s condition.

Mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and anxiety are not something that will blow over so easily.  Millions of Americans suffer from some sort of mental disorder in their life.  There is no cure found for bipolar disorder, but there is treatment that will help alleviate the symptoms.  It’s great to see networks like Showtime bring to life the challenges people face when dealing with their mental illness/disorder.  Characters like Ian Gallagher and Grace Peyton will help educate audiences about what mental illness looks like in America.


American Horror Story Season Criss-Cross

It has been quite a boisterous season so far in American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare.  We have been dealing with strange sounds, dead pig parts showing up around the house, evil spirits in the forest, and some deranged human-pig monster that is terrorizing Shelby and Matt.  The season is not even half way through and there already has been lots of disturbing sequences that leaves me finding more questions than answers.  Only response to finding out what the main story is about is to keep watching the latest episodes each Wednesday.

While watching each gruesome episode, I stumbled upon some subtle clues that seem to remind me of the former seasons.  For example, this season reveals the history of the house that Matt and Shelby purchased in North Carolina.  Dr. Elias Cunningham, played by Denis O’Hare, discusses the former residents that lived in the house years ago.  Cunningham also mentions that the house’s first occupant in the 17th century was a man named Edward Phillippe Mott.

Now wait just a moment…doesn’t that last name sound familiar?  The Mott family was first revealed in American Horror Story: Freak Show with the introduction of Dandy and Gloria Mott.  So if this reference holds true, then Dandy’s family had something to do with the house near the Roanoke colony!  Gloria DID reveal that the Motts had an inbreeding problem during the very first episode of season 4.  Could Dandy make an appearance this season?  It seems as though this season is really crossing over through references from the past season with these subtle hints.

Here’s where things get REALLY strange:  Revealing Mott’s family wasn’t the only reference from the past season.  The first episode of the sixth season seems too familiar to the first episode of American Horror Story: Murder House – attractive couple buys haunted and mysterious house, only to later regret the decision.  Another criss-cross is the Piggyman creature revealed on American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare.  Piggyman was one of the monsters from episode 6 of American Horror Story: Murder House in which Derek, played by Eric Stonestreet, was terrified of the urban legend surrounding “Piggy Man”.  Is this the SAME Piggyman that is on this season?

Episode 2 of this season makes a reference to American Horror Story: Asylum with the murderous nurses.  Miranda and Bridget were elder-care abusers that went on a killing spree during the 1980s, tagging each person with the first letter that would end up spelling ‘MURDER’ on the wall.  This kind of sadism was seen in the mental institution Briarcliff Manor.  So far each episode has pulled back a reference from the past season.

We are introduced to psychic named Cricket Marlowe in episode 3.  Cricket drums up a powerful spell in order to speak with the spirits around the house.  Interestingly enough, the theme of spells and spirits was predominant in American Horror Story: Coven.  What is even more crazy is that Leslie Jordan, the man who portrays Cricket Marlowe, also plays Quentin Fleming in season 3.  The witchcraft and human sacrifice scenes can trace us back to American Horror Story: Coven.

What do these cross-references mean for this season?  Will there be any references next episode to American Horror Story: Hotel?  Could the Addiction Demon be revealed to have some sort of disturbing history before latching on to Hypodermic Sally?  All we can do is sit and wait for the next season on Wednesday.  Four episodes later and we are left with more questions, specifically about what these cross-references mean this season.

This has been the most mysterious season of American Horror Story so far!  Each episode reveals a small piece of the puzzle that is waiting to be cracked open in the end.  I am intrigued at how the pace is slower than usual this year.  Usually they reveal the main themes and characters in the first episode, but only a few characters were revealed this time.  It’ll be very interesting to watch the latter half of the series to get more background information on the characters (more specifically, figure out what the hell the Piggyman figure is all about!).  Until then, keep watching American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare on Wednesday nights at 10 PM.