this was the first PS1 game box art I ever saw and was also my introduction to the speculative world of 3D gaming. up until this point I’d only played a few games on my game boy and some sega megadrive games, and i found everything about this bewildering.
when i was a kid i interpreted crash bandicoots design as being a devil for some reason, and i also thought he looked really horny. i didn’t really have a fully formed understanding of why people had sex because i was 8, but his facial expression and the fact that he’s shirtless just made him look like a pervert and a fiend to me. sonic was totally naked but if he only wore trousers and nothing else the lack of the rest of his clothes would be more apparent. i also remember the advertisements at the time saying you could cheat in this game (it might have been crash team racing actually) and i was really worried by how unwholesome the whole thing seemed.
my first ever video game was pokemon yellow, a game which opens up with you in your bedroom, and you’re able to go downstairs and talk to your mum, which is something i could do in real life too, but this presented an entirely new and unfamiliar experience that thoughroughly haunted me.
everything else about this box art was frightening to me because so many things are happening. tiny tiger at the back especially, who not knowing anything about him, i just assumed he was some kind of orange orc or ogre with a tank for a lower body, the position of his cannon only furthering the very rowdy atmosphere i was imaging this series to contain. cortex being knocked away by coco riding a polar bear, an event that seemed to have nothing to do with the tank vs pogo stick action taking centre stage here, made my young mind really overwhelmed by just the thought of 3d gaming, which took me about a year to actually get over.
at some point i played a crash team racing demo disk at a friends house, and i was very hesitant because of my very negative image of the series, but i ended up really enjoying it, and eventually got my own PS1 so i could play the full game and the rest of the crash bandicoot games, i had a weird fixation on the character “dingodile” for a few years which i don’t have any real explanation for.