Looking back to a retro-game for the current generation of 16 year olds who are now learning about 9/11 as a historic event. PlayStation launched and was in need at the time for a mascot. While Nintendo had Mario, Sony went with Crash Bandicoot.
The story begins with Dr. Cortex and his partner attempting to create super animals to exact world domination. However, when they started experimenting on Crash. Something goes wrong and Crash falls out of a window, somehow teleporting to a beach, three islands away. Meanwhile, Dr. Cortex decides Crash is a lost cause and starts experimenting on Crash’s girlfriend.
Today’s prime objective is to traverse the island levels and save your girlfriend. Meanwhile defeating Dr. Cortex as well. By the way, the only reason you would even know what the premises to the game is is if you read the booklet inside, or watched the intro video. Which doesn’t kick off the game when you select “New Game.” However, like most plat form games, the story really doesn’t mean a damn thing.
Crash Bandicoot is a direct video game in concept. Each level starts at point A, and you traverse the level to point B. This in 90% of the game takes away the “exploration” of the game you would expect in a 3D game. However, given the rendering, it does work to its advantage. Levels will be in 2D camera angles as well. Which harkens to a nostalgic game pace i.e. Donkey Kong Country. As Crash Bandicoot, there’s really only two moves in your arsenal, jumping and spinning. While controls are on the directional pad vise the joy sticks. This makes controlling Crash Bandicoot extremely touchy. Meanwhile with your jump and spin attack you’ll use these to attack enemy’s and endless amounts of crates through the levels. Some crates have fruit in them, which is today’s Mario Coin. Some have extra lives, and others have nothing inside. The other two options to crates are a Witch Doctor who’ll loom around you and assist with protection. If you happen to have no Witch Doctor floating near by you, then the game becomes a ‘one hit, kill.’ The other happens to be TNT boxes which explode seconds after jumping on them.
The level designs are varied to the best of it’s ability. There’s a lot of jumping from one platform to another before it disappears. A lot of traps, and enemy’s to bounce on to get a higher jump. But aside from this are a few gems. Firstly, an Indiana Jones level of running away from a rolling boulder. Another iconic level is riding a boar at top speed through obstacle courses. Both of these variances are fun and any fan gets why games today emulate what Crash pulled off in the 90’s. The variety of themed levels consist of jungles, fortresses, rivers, temples, sketchy as fuck wooden bridges however these themes repeat with included obstacles. Weather it’s a platform which disappears and reappears, timed fire torches, rolling stone wheels, etc.
The bosses are crap-tastic if anything but challenging. Tedious, if anything. The first boss Papu Papu spins his tribal staff around. Name of the game is to jump onto him till he passes out. Others include setting off TNT boxes, and Dr. Cortex while his fortress is lit on fire. I guess in consideration, the boss fights could have been a lot more worst.
First world complaints roll in after level three. Firstly as I stated before, Crash Bandicoot is really difficult to control on the directional pad. Any youtube video will make it look easy till you are actually playing. Mainly because it’s very difficult to gage the extremes of Crash Bandicoots mobility as well as his jumps.
Another first world problem is the ridiculous 100% completion tasks per level. Mostly it’s all about breaking those crates. Overall, the game hands out extra lives like hot cakes. Meanwhile, the gems themselves is a far and few between issue.
My last complaint as a first world problem is the SAVE issue. To save your game you have to collect Bonus Tokens in a level. Then you have to pray to the Play Station Gods you don’t fuck it away with falling in a ditch because you have to travers this Bonus Level. Get a few extra lives and then you’ll be able to save. I suppose the up take is the fact you’ll acquire “codes” from the game which assist in the shenanigans. However, there’s no reason for this. Firstly, to think saving a game is a developers obstacle to achieve is bull because prior games pulled it off without nicking the games flow. Auto-save wasn’t even a thing yet. However, the point here is the ‘option’ isn’t even an ‘option’ without du-diligence to remember to get your password, then save.
All things aside, Crash Bandicoot is a fun game. An instant classic and a lap dog to have. If you want to easily kill hours of your life away while drinking a beer and eating pizza. This is your camp game with the guys. The game isn’t great, but it is nostalgic and timeless. Which is the legacy of the game. More so than a whole bunch of the games I’ve reviewed before.