Hello, and welcome to this first BUTTBUDDZ (trademark) retrospective. We will look at one of my favorite games (me, as in Nobaddy), Crash Bandicoot. Through this retrospective I’ll write a bit about all the crash games that matter, which is 1-3, CTR and maybe Wrath of Cortex (which is shit) and Twinsanity (which is at least 30 times less shit than WoC, but not as good as the Naughty Dog games)
In this first written piece I will look at the first game. I’ve replayed the first world of Crash Bandicoot to jog my memory, but I’ve played through this game many times as a child, and as a teenager and at least once as an adult.
Crash Bandicoot is a 3D platformer released in 1996 in which you play as Crash Bandicoot, who must stop the evil Dr. Neo Cortex because he’s a mean villain.
The game has an intro cutscene which isn’t very important, so we will start with the first level. You start out on a beach and then you go into the jungle where you will find many exciting challenges. One of the most apparent strengths of Crash Bandicoot is the beautiful visuals. One of the best found in a 3D playstation game, the game portrays lush jungles, mystic ruins and disturbing factory locales with ease, and together with is sequels are easily some of the best looking video games of the 90s. The art holds up today, and makes the games so much enjoyable as you’re always excited for what the next level is going to look like. Might I say the game is eye candy?
The gameplay in Crash Bandicoot is alright. You can jump and you can run and do a spin attack and not much more. The level design is very similar to the 2D platformers of the early 90s, but turned around into a 3D perspective. The game is a linear, tunnelvision platformer, almost kinda similar to the boost sonic games, but also half the levels are sidescrolling stages. The gameplay and level design in Crash 1 isn’t as strong as in it’s sequels, even though the game has a much more mysterious feel to it compared to it’s streamlined sequels. One of my favorite stages in the series is the bridge level where you jump across a broken bridge. It’s mysterious, almost haunted and it has great atmosphere. I think actually Crash 1 has the best mood in the series. What adds to this almost as much as the lush graphics and simple but effective soundtrack is the secrets.
Crash 1s secrets are the most secret in the series, and are kinda arbitrary and poorly designed. You can unlock secrets by collecting colored gems, which unlocks hidden paths, but for many stages you can’t get the gems unless you’ve acquired a color gem which adds to a very confusing experience. To get a gem you have to break all the crates, but the issue is that you can’t die on a stage. This makes it very hard to get gems on the later stages, a bit too hard maybe and unfair, since you can’t collect the gems in the earlier stages because they have crates on hidden paths that only unlock after you get a colored gem from a later stage! But when you do this, you do get some exciting secrets. A great childhood memory of mine is when I finally got a colored gem and went back to a previous stage. Suddenly there was a gem platform which lead me to an exciting, hidden path. Crash 2 and 3 have secrets too, which are better designed to boot but I will never forget the memory of finding that secret in crash 1.
Also the game controls much worse than the later games, there’s no analogue control and the spin attack has this weird thing where you kinda slide forwards while you use it which can cause you to die sometimes if you spin near a hole just right.
All in all Crash Bandicoot is a great game which is very fun, and while it’s sequels improve on it, it’s still a great game on it’s own and worth playing.