Why did I play this?Why did I play this?

Posted on Jul 5th 2014 at 02:21:56 PM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under playstation, crash bandicoot, naughty dog, playstation, ps1, platforming

Many remember Crash Bandicoot being an unofficial Playstation mascot after his release until the launch of the Playstation 2. The first trilogy of his games are fondly remembered as early 3D platformers done right. The series was created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin of Naughty Dog, who went on to develop it for Universal Interactive Studios. Sony Computer Entertainment joined for publishing and marketing after the game's E3 showing in 1996, making these early games exclusive to the Playstation. One of the reasons why Crash was chosen as an international mascot by Sony was due to its success. At the time it released Crash Bandicoot became the most successful Western developed game in Japan, mix that with the overwhelming sales in the Western markets and Sony had a killer app on its hands.

What about the game helped it become such a success though? Crash was instilled with tight art and design philosophies. While it can be said to be a 3D platformer it is not a full roaming 3D platformer like its peers at the time Super Mario 64 and Croc. Those games and many other games using the 3D perspective up to this day would suffer from camera issues. Crash avoided this by having linear paths to follow, while also mixing up the gameplay with areas based on 2D platformers, with side scrolling action. This helped keep the game from having a crippling camera that could quite literally be your lifeline. How many of us remember making leaps of faith because the camera sucked? Crash avoids this by keeping the path straight and keeping the camera in front of, behind, or beside our bandicoot hero.

The controls in this game feel a bit stiff. The game controls quite well overall, but there is a bit of a pause in starting the running, as well as jumping control. Just holding the button down while you're jumping feels fine, but having to make precise, short jumps can be rather annoying at times. There are a few levels which are almost sadistically designed to exploit this issue with the controls. Most of the levels are quite tight, and there is variety between the themes and worlds on top of the perspective. The game is anything but boring and predictible for your first playthrough. Boss battles are easy. They are spread throughout the worlds though, so the big boss fight is not always at the end of a land.

The music fits the game quite well. Crash is set in a chain of Pacific islands, so the Tiki styled theme is quite strong with it. The music and the levels fit in with this design quite well. The final world is mostly machine based though, and that has to do with Dr. Neo Cortex and him being a mad scientist and all that jazz.

Its quite easy to see why Crash would be the sensation it was, and why the once wombat, now bandicoot became the face of a system. Naughty Dog would develop two more Crash platformers, and a racing game, before moving onto another series for the Playstation 2, Jak. These three early Crash games are still considered the best in the series, and after playing the first one now and with nostalgic memories of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, I do remember why this is believed. These games are not too expensive, and are quite common. This first game can sell in the $20-30 range, but 2 and Warped can be bought in the $10-15 range and have that extra polish. I found all three of them at a thrift store run for $4 each, so deals can still be had for them with local hunting.

Bane of my existence.

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My comment is gonna go on a bit of a tangent, so go right ahead and scroll to the next comment if you want.

Anyhoo, I submitted the box-front image you see above this year, during the submission contest. Now I'd like to know how, in the ten years RF Gen has been up and running, that there had never been any image uploads of this game before? As iconic and best-selling as it is, to not have pics of the original Crash Bandicoot on this site for so long borders on the impossible. I mean, really, how the hell was that overlooked for an entire decade?!

On another note: as you can see, the cover of my game manual is in pretty crappy condition. But I figured I'd scan and submit it anyway, 'cuz I was so desperate to win that I became a total point whore without an ounce of shame or remorse. But fear not: I'm on the hunt for a replacement copy in better condition. And as soon as I find one, I'll scan and submit it. Pinky swear!

All right, enough of my nonsense; back to discussion about the game itself. Thank you for your attention.
@Zagnorch: You dirty point whore. I would have uploaded a better picture, but I own the Greatest Hits release of the first game at the moment.
@SirPsycho: That's right, I'm a dirty, filthy, no-good point whore, and I need to be punished for it--


...whoah, will you look at the time. *COUGH* I gotta get up early tomorrow morning for work.

Catch you later. MUCH later.

But before I go, I hafta admit that I've been playing more of the later Crash games than I have the early ones. Gotta change that... right after my EXTREMELY well-deserved punishment.

@Zagnorch: I really feel that your blog comments are, overall, of a much higher quality than your forum  posts, Zag.  Here all you have is your profile pic and your wit to express yourself with.  Good stuff.

I think Crash Bandicoot really hit for me where Sonic did not.  Not that Crash is any better than Sonic, but back in the day I just didn't get Sonic at all, but I ended up buying and playing through all of the Crash games.
I had no idea these games were selling above sports title prices. Once again, I prove to be behind the curve when it comes to pricing and the market.

Crash is one of my earliest memories with the PlayStation along with Jet Moto and Mega Man Legends. These Crash games along with CTR were the first games I can remember where I was able to blast through them at a younger age, (10-12), but still found some difficultly in the collectibles, hidden paths, and other such experiences that gave me my first taste of replay value in gaming.

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