Crash Bandicoot is a video game franchise formerly developed by Naughty Dog and published by Universal Interactive Studios for the Sony PlayStation. Later on when the games were moved to other publishers it would become available on multiple platforms. Once upon a time Crash Bandicoot was basically the PlayStation’s equivalent of Mario and Sonic.
Today we look at the game where our lovable Bandicoot crash into the scene. In case you haven’t figured it out already you play as Crash Bandicoot, an evolved Eastern Barred Bandicoot created by the evil Doctor Neo Cortex who planned to use him as his General for world conquest. Crash was dubbed a failure and escaped the laboratory leaving Cortex to fall back on his companion, Tawna, and our hero must embark on a quest to rescue her (the things we do for women).
In each level you collect Wumpa Fruit. Collect 100 and you earn an extra life. You can find some on the ground, but they’re usually in crates that Crash can open. Some crates contain an extra life and a witch doctor mask called Aku Aku (he always sounds like he’s in the middle of a really complicated tongue twister when you summon him) who protects Crash. Collect three and you become invincible temporarily, laying waste to your enemies and collecting items by simply approaching them. Some levels contains three crates with a picture of Tawna. Finding all three will bring you to a bonus stage.
There are over 30 levels in the game overall, some reoccurring themes, not just in the game itself but the franchise as a whole. The earliest example of this comes in levels 4, 5 and 8. Level 4 introduces the Boulder Chase stages, and of course they add some crates on the road you’re running down. Like you’re really going to try for them with impending death behind you. Level 5 is a water world level which will make a return in the sequel and level 9, Hog Wild, is where you ride on an animal for the remainder of the level.
I think the most annoying part about this game is saving data. Instead of just being able to save in-between stages you can only save if you complete the bonus levels. The problem with this is they aren’t in every stage and should you overlook them, or fail, you won’t be able to save period. Naughty Dog did rectify this problem in future titles and there are various passwords you can input for this so I guess it all worked out in the end.
Another thing, which is rather small in itself, is that the intro does not start when you begin the game. Instead, it runs when you leave the main menu screen on for too long so a lot of people probably missed the intro their first time playing this and not know what’s going on. Granted, that was always the case in video games back in the 80s, especially platformers, but for 1996? Even the game’s rival platform Super Mario 64 had the opening intro at the start so it's a small inconvenience for some. Not to mention it’s just plain weird to have it only cone on during the main title screen.
Crash Bandicoot doesn’t offer anything revolutionary for platformers of its time, but I don’t think that what the game was going for. All this game is trying to be is a fun platformer and it excels at that perfectly. So, if you’re a fan of platformer games I recommend Crash Bandicoot for your gaming pleasure.