Hey everyone it’s Paul here again from Quinforce. Today I am taking you on my “Crash Course”, exploring why I believe Crash Bandicoot is an awesome franchise but also where I think it has failed to deliver on it’s full potential.
Crash was Playstation’s mascot during the 90’s and, if you owned a Playstation One, there’s no doubt you would have probably have bought one of the Crash Bandicoot games somewhere down the line. Originally the idea behind Crash was to be “Willy the Wombat” and had the nickname “Sonic’s ass game” – This was because you would only see the back of him. They changed it because the game was deemed too simple and easy so they added boxes. The notion of breaking the boxing with an action gave them the idea to change the name of the protagonist to Crash. Why they made him a Bandicoot though, I have no idea.
The original Crash Bandicoot was one was my personal favourites, this was mainly because of the amount of levels. In a nutshell, the main goal of the game was to break boxes and make your way through the levels. Another concept I liked in this game was the bonus stage, where the camera would change to side view. Another clever change of perspective came if you were running away from a boulder. The developers would put the camera in front of you looking back to track the boulder as it loomed closer, this also meant you did not know what was coming in front of you (This also appears in Uncharted 4, which was made by the same developers). As for a move set all Crash could do was just jump and spin. Not very exciting on paper but, as proved with Sonic the Hedgehog, you don’t need a varied move set to make a good game or a good hero.
Every good hero needs a good villain and the main antagonist in the Crash series was Dr. Neo Cortex. It was actually Cortex who made Crash, crazy right? Cortex is a mad scientist who mutates animals to be his soldiers, but when he made Crash he deemed him unworthy and threw him out of his castle. Like most evil villains, Cortex wants world domination so it’s your job as Crash to make sure this does not happen. My second favourite villain worth a mention in the Crash games is Ripper Roo. Dude’s just bat shit crazy.
Crash Bandicoot 2 introduced us to Crash’s sister – “Coco Bandicoot” – who was a teenager and could actually talk, unlike Crash. It’s gameplay was essentially the same but had a few new features and also equipped Crash with a couple more moves like the body slam. The second installment in the franchise was just as successful as the first and proved that Crash was a force to be reckoned with!
Naughty Dog was given 10 and half months to make the third Crash Bandicoot game and they graced us with Warped where you played as Crash and Coco. This game was more different as a lot of the gameplay you were in a vehicle, or on your pet as you made your way through the levels. This would be for me one of the last Crash Bandicoot games I would enjoy. It would also be the last Proper Crash Bandicoot game Naughty Dog would be involved in.
In the wake of Crash’s success, and possibly aided by the ongoing PlayStation vs. Nintendo war, out popped Crash Team Racing. A true contender for the behemoth Mario Kart series where you could play as different characters, race in different Crash themed places against bosses and of course use weapons to blow your opponents off the track. Putting myself out there – This was better than Mario Kart. Yeah, I said it. Although I am bised as I have always been more Playstation than Nintendo. But hey, it’s my blog! I am determined to re-buy this game in all its Playstation One glory and challenge my fellow Quinforce compadres.
Crash Bash came out after Crash Team Racing to try and battle Mario Party – after such a success with Crash Team Racing, why wouldn’t they? The only issue being that the game was pretty rubbish. It’s barely even worth talking about, so let’s move on to when Crash Bandicoot made the leap to PlayStation 2 with The Wrath of Cortex. I do not think this is a bad game, I think that Universal Interactive Studios didn’t do a bad job of following Naughty Dog’s blueprint. That being said, a lot of the levels were just too similar to the originals and somehow for me it just didn’t feel like a true Crash Bandicoot game. Sadly, it was on this game that I lost love for my favourite Bandicoot and franchise.
Crash Bandicoot continued to make games after the Wrath of Cortex and changed Developers numerous times. Profits and sales just kept going down, even after two more attempts at racing games (Nitro Kart was one of the worst “fun racing games” ever). Mobile games failed the Bandicoot as well. It seemed like Crash could not catch a break when we hit the naughties. It was a nice touch when Naughty Dog decided to put the boulder chase into Unchartered 4 and it’s cool to see Crash joining the other PlayStation mascot Spyro in the Skylanders games. My personal hope is that after the launch of the remastered versions of Crash they realise the error of their ways. The powers that be pull together and bring back Crash Bandicoot and make another go at. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely buy it and I am sure there are other Crash fans that would love a new game too.