Remember back in 1996 when times were simpler, Summer was longer, and soda tasted better? We do, and part of this allure of an old decade is thanks to one of the best games ever released on the original PlayStation: Crash Bandicoot.
Every gamer worth their salt either played Crash Bandicoot or wanted desperately to get their hands on a PS (or PSone) so they could own a copy. For a lot of gamers, it was one of their first entries into the incredibly challenging platformer genre. Taking control of Crash and progressing through levels that made you want to rage quit was a rite of passage.
Part of the appeal of Crash Bandicoot was the struggle in trying to perfect a level. Collecting every single crate without losing a life and being rewarded with a Gem was one of the most rewarding moments for a gamer. You had to know where the TNT boxes were, how you could progress through a level without taking damage, where to collect the power-ups – you ended up calculating your approach!
Then in 1997, Naughty Dog struck gold once more with Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. This title took what they learnt in the first game, and added so much more. They tightened up the controls, improved the graphics, and made it easier to get into, but harder to perfect.
It’s so rare for a sequel to live up to its predecessor, but Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back managed to do the impossible. Even the story of Crash Bandicoot 2 was awesome – trying to help your old nemesis save the world (even though we now know his true intentions).
Proving that good things come in threes, Naughty Dog released a third Crash Bandicoot title called, Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Somehow, the legends over at Naughty Dog managed to take their game that was chock-full of Australian creatures, and continue the tradition of making it even better.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped was yet another step up in quality, even going so far as to outsell the other two titles in Japan. This third title in the series was really starting to push the limits of the old PlayStation 1, and showed gamers what they should expect developers to deliver.
Not only were the visuals sharp and detailed, the music was unforgettable. As you were blazing through a level, nothing got your heart racing faster than the sick drumbeats after becoming invincible. For a lot of gamers, this was arguably the pinnacle of the Crash Bandicoot series, a franchise which continued to improve year after year.
And now, in 2017, gamers who yearned for the old days have gotten their hands on one of the most surprising games of this year: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, a collection of the first three Crash Bandicoot titles, wonderfully remastered for PlayStation 4.
This collection of Crash games gives those who played it before a chance to relive it (without the now-janky old graphics) and those who missed out, a chance to play it for the first time. We’re beyond amped to be able to dive back into Crash’s shoes and go spinning through a myriad of zany levels on a nostalgia trip.
But, what does this mean for Naughty Dog and the future of Crash? With the recent success of Yooka-Laylee, could we be seeing a resurgence of the old-school platformer? Activision published Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy while Vicarious Visions (the team working with Bungie on Destiny 2) is responsible for the development, so the duo – collectively – have a lot of experience and stake in large titles. We don’t want to get your hopes up (or our own hopes up!), but this certainly seems like the perfect time to bring back one of our favourite video game mascots. All we can do now is to try and collect all those gems again while we wait for an announcement!