Crash Bandicoot. Naughty Dog (1996) PlayStation

crash-bandicoot case

Remember when Naughty Dog made something other than Uncharted? No, well they did.

On to Crash Bandicoot…

Best Sonic game since Sonic and Knuckles

Crash is pretty much Sonic, lets face it, he is a silly anthropomorphised animal with attitude. Thankfully, Crash Bandicoot isn’t as bad as every Sonic game after the Megadrive. It is easy to pick up, but difficult to master

The difficulty curve does feel all over the place at times, but they do in most platformers (I’m looking at you Donkey Kong Country), so overall it doesn’t feel unfair.

You collect 100 coins rings carrots apples to gain a life, tiki masks for protection, so yeah. It is pretty much your standard platformer in that sense, just not as good as 2d platformers, or any of the ones on the Nintendo 64 (Banjo Kazooie/Mario 64/ Donkey Kong 64).

Story

There is a story, something about your girlfriend being held by Dr Neo Cortex and some form of genetic experimentation, but none of this is mentioned in the game. You wash up on shore at the start, and run across 3 islands, beating off (hur hur) robot animals. Wait, this really is Sonic isn’t it! And eventually save Tawna, your girlfriend…

I like the world map, very DKC.

I like the world map, very DKC.

Level variety

One of the things that dissapointed me in Crash, was the under utilised game styles, for example, there is one Hog Ride level, you sit on a pig, and it runs you through the level. This is the best level, but it only happens once. It suffered from some bugs, but it was the most fun level, and could/should have been repeated.

The Indiana Jones style boulder chase are also pretty fun, but these were few and far between.

Indiana Jones much?

Indiana Jones much?

Other than that, the missions are either run forward, or run sideways.

Another niggle I have is the ability to use branching paths. It is a nice idea having branching paths in a platformer, it encourages exploration, but this is only implemented in a few levels. Only doing it around 3 levels makes it feel odd, and counter intuitive.

I feel as though they could have mixed it up a lot more, but overall, the limited variety does offer a nice change of pace.

Bugs

There are a couple of other issues I have with the game, and I guess I’ll count them as bugs.

  1. On the hog chase level the hit box is seriously off on one spike wall, this only seems to happen if you die after that point, and are repeating that section. But it did cause me to lose about 15 lives.
  2. The camera perspective is somewhat atrocious in places, specifically on Ripper Roo boss level. Also, on the cave levels, there are sqaure moving platforms that look like moving steps, it is a terrible design, and you can’t really tell why you “miss”.
This looks like a step!

This looks like a step!

Endgame?

For the completionists out there, you can 100% the game, to do this, you need to beat each level without dying and finding all the boxes. To be honest, this is tedious. The first 8 or so levels you need to unlock gems from levels 15-25. It is not fun having to go back and redoing earlier levels, because Gem A  allows access to 3 extra boxes on level 2. This would have made more sense the other way round.

There is a nice challenge to this, but the challenge is the wrong way round. You need to gem a lot of very hard levels, before you’re allowed to go and gem the first 10.

Conclusion

Crash is a decent platformer, it has some nice ideas, but never fully explores them, so overall Crash Bandicoot doesn’t really deserve a high score. It falls somewhere between average and OK.

Pros: Some nice ideas

Cons: Uses those ideas once and you’re sat waiting for them to reuse them. Oh loo, an animal in pants.

65%

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5 thoughts on “Crash Bandicoot. Naughty Dog (1996) PlayStation

  1. I loved this game even though I couldn’t quite get to grips with it but I think it had more to do with the leap I was making from Mega Drive to PSX. I don’t think the series has stood the test of time and I think these days more people remember the rip off version in an episode of The Simpsons where Lisa becomes addicted to it

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