Now that we can officially say Crash Bandicoot the N Sanity trilogy is coming out this year! I figured now was a game time to look at Crash through the years, from his first game in 1996 to present day.
1996 was a magical year for gaming, especially for the PlayStation, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider graced our screens for the first time. Of course my point of interest here is that Crash Bandicoot was also released that year.
When I hear that music hit I just can’t help the smile that forms across my face, I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about, that iconic theme that signals the beginning of a great adventure! Crash Bandicoot was the very first game I played on my PlayStation so he holds a very special place in my heart, Crash is the most nostalgic game possible for me, sure there are other games that could give me that nostalgic effect but he helped to shape my childhood gaming memories, he was on posters on my wall. Better yet he was sat right on my bed to protect me from the nightmares of my childhood.
The platform genre had been utilised for years on Nintendo and Sega, in that respect the Crash Bandicoot game wasn’t anything new, but just because it didn’t help create a genre that doesn’t mean it didn’t help to define a genre. What made this platformer so great was the levels, they were different, it didn’t feel too samey or rather not so repetitive, something that the franchise has managed to maintain over the years. Crash goes from running on the beach to being chased by boulders, riding a hog, travelling through ruins, going down streams and fighting various different bosses. I can still name now some of my favourite levels or maybe they just stand out for sheer annoyance and difficulty, Hog Wild was my favourite but I feel I should give mention to the road to nowhere since that game me the most trouble when I was a kid.
The other characters of Crash Bandicoot weren’t too inferior to Crash, admittedly some of my favourite characters didn’t come into existence till later on but that doesn’t take anything away from Ripper Roo, papu and Dr Neo Cortex. Honestly Cortex is a contender for one of my favourite ever villains, it’s rare that I feel sorry for the bad guy but I have a certain level of sympathy for Cortex, his own creation keeps messing up his plans with the help of a mask, a bit unfair when Cortex didn’t get Uga Uga till Crash Bandicoot Warped but Crash always had Aku Aku. If he’s lucky maybe I’ll give Cortex a little post of his own…
Anyway back to the star of our show, Crash is a fun character, that’s part of why he became an immediate icon for PlayStation. Controlling a Bandicoot that loves wumpa fruit, breaking boxes and spinning into enemies all to save his girlfriend (or simply his female Bandicoot friend) is kind of nuts. Yo Crash you were free buddy you didn’t have to become a huge pain to Cortex did you? You could have taken your Wumpa fruit to any beach you wanted. Thank god he didn’t though, otherwise some of my fondest memories wouldn’t exist.
Even today I could plug in my PSone and crab my copy of Crash Bandicoot and binge through it in a matter of hours, if the trilogy wasn’t being remastered I would still have time for the orange furball, there is a certain charm to these games that I feel games from today fail to capture as well as our lovable Bandicoot, don’t forget this was just the first instalment, there was more unique charm to come in the following games.
Naughty Dog you really did an amazing job, with the first instalment of your legendary trilogy. It was a great introduction for one of the most loved iconic characters of all time and that’s not just for PlayStation.
Next the year is 1997, a certain little polar bear came into existence and Crash became a big brother! Crash Bandicoot 2 Cortex strikes back is next.