Like many retro games, we have fond memories of playing Crash Bandicoot. After 20 years of the game’s release, we look forward to the game being remastered for PS4 in 2017.
The platformer game, with amusing and quirky characters, such as Doctor Neo Cortex and Crash himself, made the game really enjoyable and was fun to play. The colourful and superior graphics made the game really eye catching. This worked well with Crash traversing sequentially through differing environments and worlds. The cartoon like appearance was an aesthetically cool art style, linking the video game world with a style similar to television.
The game was also very challenging, so gamers who wanted a difficult game to beat, finally had something to really concentrate on. It relied on razor sharp timing and incredible precision, which was refreshing and different.
The game play was always solid and struck a great and varied balance to keep players returning to the game.
However, as nostalgia for the game is now so high, many of us remember the game with rose tinted glasses. There were a number of frustrating things in the game. As time’s gone on, we may have forgotten these things and if you have, here is a reminder of those things that may have made you want to throw your controller out of the window!
1. The Save System
Saving progress after the end of a level is a good idea right? Of course, every platform game does it, however in the original Crash Bandicoot game, it worked a little differently.
To save the game, you had to either collect 3 character tokens that would send you to a bonus round which you had to complete; or break every single crate in a level, without losing a life, in order to collect a gem. Completing either one would allow you to obtain a password, or enable the game to be saved on a memory card.
If neither of the save actions were completed and players ran out of lives or turned off the game, all progress was lost. Booo!
2. Dodgy Collision Detection
This is where players think to themselves -- I should be far away enough from that TNT to live.. *BANG* dead”, “oh I’ll just give this enemy enough room to get past *BAM*, dead”!
With Crash being hurt by objects and destroys crates by accident without seemingly being near them, the collision detection was another one of those frustrations that players had to gain intuition for, especially where the invisible bubble ended.
We thought we’d sussed it all out – sometimes it turned out we were wrong!
This was never an exact science; it was simply down to practice, practice, practice!
Players had to have split second, impeccable timing and even then, it was all luck based, as some jumps felt nearly impossible! This was frustrating, come on, we did not fall down that hole and we totally made that jump! The ground suddenly became transparent and we had to start all over again.
Pressing the D pad or the thumb stick during a jump often pushed Crash too far from his intended spot, leading to yet another death.
4. Dying in a Bonus Level
Congratulations, you’ve collected all the tokens to make it to the bonus level!
But, for whatever reason within the bonus level, you died. Not only have you lost the chance to save the game, to add insult to injury, the game makes you sit and watch as all of the wumpa fruit you have collected is emptied from the gauge as if to say “this is what you could have won.”
These levels are meant to be treats!
5. Level Design
For the most part, many of the levels were fairly straight forward; but then that one level comes along that makes you want to crush your controller into tiny little pieces.
One level that comes to mind is Slippery Climb, the level that involved moving platforms. Each platform moved in one of four directions that would disappear into the walls and would sometimes require you to jump on a moving enemy to reach the next platform. This required pinpoint accuracy, something not helped by the sometimes over generous jumping system.
6. The Camera
Hello? What’s over there? Oh right, yes, I can’t see you, the camera won’t move in that direction! Much of the camera’s point of view was over the shoulder of characters and could not be moved.
This restricted the ability to see a number of items, as they were slightly obscured by the camera angle and therefore they were often overlooked. It was almost like playing the game with blinkers!
Like every platform game, at some point there is a boss battle. These bosses start easy and then become progressively more difficult.
Battles in Crash Bandicoot were conducted in a small, possibly too small arena. Couple this with the inability to move the camera, Crash’s not so perfect jumping and collision detection; these added an extra layer of frustration to dealing with said bosses. Possibly more frustrating than they needed to be.
And adding to that frustration, players needed to learn the boss patterns too! Which again, took away lives as you practiced and perfected the patterns.
So yes, Crash Bandicoot was an amazing game, with a great deal of fun to be had.
We loved playing it, but oh boy, there were some pretty annoying things in the game that really did make us throw our controllers down in frustration. I’d forgotten just how infuriating some of these things really were.
Let us know in the comments below what things you loved about Crash Bandicoot and equally the things that frustrated you.