This weeks #ThrowbackThursday / #FlashbackFriday is one of my favourite PlayStation games from the mid 90s and that my friends is Crash Bandicoot. Originally developed by Naughty Dog (known best for the famous Uncharted series as well as their up-coming release The Last of Us) Crash Bandicoot is a primarily platform game where players control a crazy fox-like dog (or a Bandicoot) called Crash who was created by a mad scientist called Dr. Neo Cortex.
The game revolves around Crash Bandicoot trying to defeat his creator Dr. Neo Cortex and foil his plans for world domination and along the way clean up the mess and rescue his girlfriend Twana. Players must help Crash Bandicoot travel through three islands completing a series of levels which must be completed before continuing to the next. Along the way Crash will come across many enemies trying to make it difficult to progress as well as a series of obstacles, holes, and rivers.
The game had fairy simple controls consisting of just attack and jump. Much like other famous platformers, Crash could jump on enemies to defeat them, or use a spin attack which would send his foes flying off the map. If another enemy happened to be in the way of the flying foe, he would be taken out too. Along the way players would come across a series of boxes, these boxes occasionally contained special bonuses like 10+ Wumpa Fruit, a Witch Doctors mask, or TNT Explosives.
Wumpa Fruit is very much like the coins collected in Mario, once players have collected 100 Wumpa, they would gain another life. Wumpa Fruit is also obtainable throughout the levels in laid out in rows much like you’d find the rings in later Sonic the Hedgehog games. Witch Doctor masks were very much a sought after bonus item. When Crash had one of these on, he survived one attack from an enemy, if Crash collected 3 of these masks, he then becomes invulnerable from enemies and traps for a short moment of time. A little like the Super Star in the Mario series.
Other boxes included the TNT box that exploded after a few seconds after being hit or jumped on, and the arrow box which gave Crash the ability to jump higher / further.
Crash Bandicoot was very well received by the gaming community receiving 8’s and 9’s out of 10 from most gaming publications. Naughty Dog then went on to create a few more games up until 1998; Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped, until Traveller’s Tales took over and continued the series with two more titles; Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash Twinsanity. Nothing will quite beat the first game though.
I was a huge fan of Crash Bandicoot and I often played on it as soon as I came home from school. It was very much a clever mix of games like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog which unlike you’d expect, seemed fresh and exciting. I’ve often considered getting an original PlayStation just to relive this game.