Crash Bandicoot Review

Posted: September 22, 2013 in Game reviews

Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

Back when ‘Nintendo’ was ruling the video game industry, a lot of companies were trying to compete with them. One of them that managed to do pretty successfully was ‘Sony’ who created the ‘Playstation’ console which came out in 1994 which was also around the time that the ‘Nintendo 64’ came out. In order to compete with ‘Nintendo’s franchises such as ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘The Legend of Zelda’, the ‘Playstation’ also had to have its own set of game franchises. Today we are going to look at the very first game of one of the classic franchises that made the ‘Playstation’ popular. This is my review of ‘Crash Bandicoot’.

crash cover

‘Crash Bandicoot’ was developed by ‘Naughty Dog’ who went on to make the ‘Jak and Daxter’ series and was released for the ‘Playstation’ in 1996. I was first introduced to the games when I was living in Hong Kong as a child and I saw my friend’s older brother playing the classic trilogy on his ‘Playstation.’ It was actually the first time I was introduced to the Dualshock vibration feature that the ‘Playstation’ controller had. Like ‘Metroid’ this is the first time I have actually beaten the game for myself. I have owned and played the game for a while but…well I’ll give my final thoughts at the end. Will this classic ‘Playstation’ gem still hold up to the modern age? Let’s find out.

Story

Like ‘Metroid’ we only get one story element if we live the starting menu running. A cutscene will play showing that on the Wumpa Islands that are close to Australia, a mad scientist named Doctor Neo Cortex and his henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio (Doctor N. Brio, get it?) are doing experiments on the local animals to create an army of genetically enhanced animals so they can take over the world. Unfortunately one of their experiments with a bandicoot has gone array which made the bandicoot good not evil. As a result, Doctor Cortex chases Crash out of his castle window which causes Crash to plummet into the ocean while Doctor Cortex prepares his experiment for his next subject, a female bandicoot named Tawna. Crash washes up on shore and from there it’s up to you to get Crash to Cortex’s fortress, stop his plans and save Tawna.

crash story

Gameplay

‘Crash Bandicoot’ is a 3D hallway platforming game. You control Crash with the D-Pad (this was back when Playstation games had players use the D-Pad instead of the analogue stick for 3D games), jump with the X button and use the spin attack with either the square button or the circle button. The triangle button brings up the game’s HUD. The start button pauses the game. The HUD shows you how many lives you have as well as how many Wumpa fruit (which looks more like apples) that you have collected. Like most platforming games if you collect one-hundred Wumpa fruit you get an extra life.

Crash-Bandicoot gameplay 1

The objective of the game is very simple. All you have to do get Crash to the end of the level avoiding all of the enemies and hazards that cross your path. If you get hit by any of the hazards, Crash dies from each of them in a unique cartoony fashion which honestly I found hilarious when I first played the game. The enemies can be killed either by spinning into them or jumping on them.

crash gameplay 3

Along the way you will find crates which can contain Wumpa fruit, an extra life, a witch doctor mask named Aku Aku which lets you take an extra hit and makes you invincible temporarily when you get three of them or a ticket to a bonus stage where you can break more boxes or get more extra lifes. There are even TNT crates that explode if you hit them. Jumping on them will set off a timer that will make it explode after three seconds. Now in order to get 100% complete status for this game, you have to break every single crate in the level and reach the end of the level without dying and starting at a checkpoint crate. If you manage to do this, you get a gem which if you collect all of them gets you the good ending of the game. Some levels can even give you a key which takes you to a secret level. I think that the conditions that the game gives you to get these rewards are ridiculous. There isn’t even a counter which tells you how many crates there are in the stage as well as how many you have broken. I feel that challenge in a video game should be fair without being too difficult to accomplish. However this type of challenge would tire even the most dedicated player I think. (And before you all say anything, no I have not done this myself and I never will. I’m fine with just getting the normal ending. It’s not like it’s any different.)

crash ending

Each stage has their own unique challenges for you to conquer. Most levels are just your ordinary hallways, but other levels can be 2D climbing stages, river stages, misty bridge stages, dark cave stages, stages where you are chased by a giant boulder and a hog-riding stage. Personally I don’t like the hog riding stage. The control in this stage feels a bit stiff and you are constantly moving forward. This is especially annoying when you going for all of the boxes in the stage as there is no way to get it back when you pass it and hit a checkpoint. However there is only one stage of its type in the whole game so I’m sort of thankful. The stages progressively get harder and harder which I like but some levels can be pretty ridiculous to complete because of their designs. When I first played the bridge stages I had some trouble beating them because of ice platforms and breaking platforms. However the stage I died in the most is Slippery Climb. I hate this stage because there are rotating platforms that are confusing to navigate and there are very few checkpoints in the stage so I end up at the beginning of the stage most of the time. I know that it is near the end of the game but seriously.

crash gameplay 2

The bosses in this game are pretty simple. There are six of them and you encounter each of them after about five stages. Each of them have pretty simple strategies but some of them can be annoying to hit. For example, for Ripper Roo’s fight you have to get a TNT box to explode near him while he moves in a set pattern. However it can be hard to time it just right so that he does get hit. That’s the only boss I have any real problem with though. The other bosses are ok.

crash boss

Graphics

The graphics for this game are ok. Some of the character models are pretty nicely structured but some of them contain quite stiff animations especially Crash’s model. The environments are lush and nice to look at so I can’t complain.

Music

As for the music, it’s kind of hard to describe. I don’t find it bad but I don’t find any of it memorable. If you ask me to hum the first stage’s music I couldn’t be able to do that. But that’s probably because I haven’t played the game many times to really appreciate it.

Control

The control is pretty good for the most part but it can be unpredictable at times. There are times during platforming sections where Crash lands on the platform but then slips off of it falling to the bottom of the stage or worse to death. It only happened to me in some levels of the game but still.

Final thoughts

Overall I think that this game has aged well but I do have problems with it. First off I think the game can be very difficult at times mostly because of how some of the levels are structured. Even some of the levels in between the second boss can be challenging to beat. Secondly I find it stupid that you cannot save your game whenever you want. In order to save your progress to continue it another day, you have to get to a bonus room and complete it. But regardless it can be a fun game for those of you looking for challenge. For those of you who want to get into the ‘Crash Bandicoot’ series I would suggest starting with the sequels first.

Final rating: 7/10

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