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First 30: Monster Train

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Who's Crash Bandicoot?

I've had game after game from the Crash Bandicoot franchise, but... I never paid attention to who he was as a character. I just knew that I was running through a trail dodging obstacles and collecting masks. So I wanted to find out who and what the heck he was.

When it comes to Crash Bandicoot in his earlier days... I saw him as Playstation's Mario or Sonic (after all, the franchise was a PlayStation exclusive). I know there were characters like Spyro, but... that's just how I viewed Crash at the time. Believe it or not, he was bounced around from developer to developer after his early days at Naughty Dog (which doesn't count the 5-year hiatus). By the time of this post, Crash has spun his way through 4 publishers + 9 developers. I think this exposes the risks of the IP while at the same time it reveals that Crash isn't going down without a fight.

This dude has been on Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 4, Playstation Portable, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii, PC, iOS, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Android, and even a platform called... Zeebo.

Anyway, to get a bit more specific about this wacky protagonist, he's actually a type of marsupial.

Crash, is a genetically enhanced bandicoot from a fictional place south of Australia... called the Wumpa Islands. That would make him a native of the land under the land down under. Right? In the fictitious Wumpa Islands, humans and mutant animals co-exist.

Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy

I had no idea what a bandicoot was, and so I did some digging and... found out that they're a small animal resembling a rat mixed with a rabbit mixed with a kangaroo. All don't look this way as there are various species of bandicoot, but I would probably be on a table if I saw one running through the office. The bandicoot is actually more related to a rabbit than a rat... just in case you were wondering.

Crash's story initially revolved around him trying to save the world by foiling the plans of the protagonists' Brio & Cortex + save his girlfriend. Not to take the focus off of Crash, but his girlfriend (Tawna) is also a female bandicoot genetically enhanced by Brio & Cortex. The dastardly duo wanted to destroy Crash because he was deemed a failed experiment.

Crash was able to fight back against Brio & Cortex with the assistance of Aku Aku, which is actually a human spirit reincarnated as a mask. Crash freed Aku Aku after escaping Cortex, and in exchange, he was able to use its magical abilities. Although Aku Aku isn't really brought up as often when the conversation of Crash emerges... I think it plays a crucial role in the Crash Bandicoot franchise.

I know that the wacky protagonist may be seen as a risky investment as far as new installments go, but... I can see Crash coming back via a reboot of the franchise. I know some of you are like "Here he goes against with these freaking reboots" but... (but but but) there is enough story to build upon and improve on. It doesn't have to feel exactly the same, but Aku Aku and the world can be remade into a truly open-world adventure... just like Super Mario. He has game after game with multiple themes on deck, and it would be sweet to see some beautiful reboot of Crash.

That said, I hope you enjoyed this installment of Who's that Protagonist, show some love at the links below, and... game on!

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Tsum Tsum Saturdays: Frozen


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Q&A w/ Vectorlord Dev Team, Nervequake Software!

How did your team come together?
Isaac: Longtime friends who ended up working together. After-hour drinks turned into a serious discussion about starting a game company, and 2 years later, here we are!

Secondly, where did the name "Nervequake" Software come from? That's awesome!

Devon: The name "NerveQuake" or "NQ" for short, came from a very early prototype game I had made. The idea was to be so sonically and visually stimulating that the player's nerves would quake. Years later, it made sense to adopt it as our studio title.

What are the five core values that best represent your studio?

Devon Isaac:

1. Custom Tech - Engine built in house, because that's part of the craft we love.
2. Unique - No clones of existing game ideas. Putting a spin on things even if it's risky.
3. We make games we want to play ourselves - rather than solving for the market.
4. Determined! We're not going anywhere.
5. A thread that connects all games - to be revealed over time.

What is the motivation behind, Vectorlord?

DevonProve to the world that we can build a game. Put ourselves out there with something that represents my shareware gaming roots.

What are two elements about your game that will keep players coming back for more?
Devon Isaac:

1. Mastery - learning how to prepare for the perfect 100% run and executing it on the highest difficulty level.
2. Beating your high-score - can you win without taking a hit? See if you can "break" the high score table.

Can we expect new content updates moving forward?

Devon Isaac: Depends on the level of community interest! We hope to revisit the world of VECTORLORD and already have some plans to update with bits of lore that will tie into our future games.

By the way, would you say that developers should have some sort of experience with gaming prior to joining the industry? If so, why?
Isaac: It's useful to have experience with gaming to some degree prior to entering the industry as there's a lot of ground to tread and a lot of easy mistakes to make. With experience in gaming you'll have a better chance of avoiding the easy pitfalls that others have already discovered.

Silly question, but If you were on an island for a year and could only have 3 meals, what would they be? You can only choose 3 between the team.
Devon + Isaac: NerveQuake only eats the following meals -

1. Steak
2. Sushi
3. Baked Beans

Any words of wisdom for aspiring developers?
Devon - It's going to be really hard to make a game, and you might not succeed at first. If you love it, keep at it - do it for the games.
Isaac - The hardest part of making the game is not the first 90%, it's the last 10%.

Any closing words?

Devon + Isaac: Thanks for the interview! Stay tuned as NerveQuake Software plans to announce some cool stuff this year.

It was a pleasure to interview the indie team behind VectorLord, and I will definitely keep an eye open for the pending cool stuff they're rolling out. You're welcome to do the same! Check out this twin-stick shooter with DOS-era aesthetics on Steam today, and party like it's 199X!

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Dead by Daylight celebrates 4th anniversary with a new chapter featuring an iconic horror license

Dead by Daylight celebrates 4th anniversary with a new chapter featuring an iconic horror license
I could say more, but grab your popcorn and enjoy the reveal!

“We are quite excited to celebrate another amazing year in the history of Dead by Daylight” states Mathieu Côté, Game Director on Dead by Daylight and Product Evangelist for Behaviour Interactive. “The game is always changing, always improving. We've brought you a lot of really cool stuff this year and next year will be even more intense. This last chapter is a very emotional milestone for us and we cannot wait to share it with you..."

Press play and let's celebrate year 4 of Dead by Daylight!

Dead by Daylight boasts more than 20 million players globally across all platforms. The mobile version of the game has reached more than 2 million downloads only a week after launch. Since its release in 2016, the multiplayer game has become a place where all horrors live, having welcomed legends from TV, movies, and video games. The team regularly releases new content in the form of chapters, Archives tomes, and frequent quality of life updates.

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