I was Wrong About Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot is a game that I never saw myself playing until a year ago. Much like the Mario vs. Sonic argument, there was a similar argument for Playstation gamers: Spyro vs. Crash. Growing up with Spyro, I always saw Crash as an inferior game. When I turned 16, I got into a Youtuber known as Caddicarus. He grew up with a lot of the Playstation games I played, so I related to most of his videos. The one thing that always intrigued me were his Crash Bandicoot videos. He had so much passion for the franchise that is actually made me want to get the games myself. So that’s what I did. I went out (my family got it for me for Christmas) and got the N’sane Trilogy which includes Crash Bandicoot 1-3. I’ve only managed to to get through the first one, which is the topic of this review. 

To starts with the story, it’s nothing too deep. You play as Crash, a bandicoot who has been used for testing by the nefarious Dr. Neo Cortex. He plans to test on another female bandicoot before disposing of Crash from his massive tower. As Crash lands on the Wumpa Islands, he realizes that it’s his job to save the day. Its generic, to be sure, but also simple and easy to digest.

The controls smoothly and satisfyingly. There are only two things you can do other than run, which are jump and spin attack. Seeing as this is a platformer, that’s really all you need. Crash’s jumps are satisfying the use, with the length of you holding the button affecting the jump height. Sometimes the spin attack is weird and won’t register a hit which will result in possibly losing a life. Some of the physics act strangely, too. For example, there are turtles that you bounce on, and pressing the jump button while bouncing can give you a lot of extra height. For some reason, I ran into times where I still didn’t reach gaps on multiple occasions. I have also noticed issues in boar riding stages. These stages work as auto runners where the only thing you can do is jump and move from side to side. The boar moves too slowly for what you have to do and some of these of levels are just not fun in general. 

In terms on level design, they are fairly creative and fun to navigate when the controls work. Even though there are levels that I hate with every fiber of my being, I can’t help but think “That was a cool looking stage” or “That level actually required me to think which is awesome”. Some of my favorites are the boulder levels or the the lab levels. The boulder levels work like the beginning of Indiana Jones. You are chased by a boulder and have to run away. I love these stages for whatever reason. Their setup is challenging and punishing if you don’t pay attention. The lab stages are spectacles to look at. They have something going on most of the time. With vents, steam, and tesla coils which can be very dangerous. 

The games collectables are also satisfying to collect. There are multiple different collectables such as wumpa fruit, boxes, and gems. Wumpa fruit operate like coins in Mario where collecting 100 issues you an extra life. Boxes are the deciding factor in whether or not you get a gem at the end of a stage and the amount of boxes varies per stage. The gems are just ways of saying that you got every box in the stage. There are also colored gems which are needed to get boxes in earlier stages. I like the idea of backtracking in this game since the levels are so fun to navigate. My only issue is that in order to get a colored gem you not only need to get all the boxes on its respective stage but you also can’t die in the process. This is not an easy feat and has required me to go through levels up to over 15 times to try and go through without dying.

The music is a mixed bag. Some of the music is really well fitting for the atmosphere of whatever stage your on, with the most memorable songs mostly being the first stage. Some of the later stages have forgettable music and the music itself just ends up sounding like background noise. 

I’m glad I played Crash Bandicoot instead of basing my opinion off of some fanbase feud from over 10 years ago. It’s an amazing game and I wish I played the original instead of just the remaster. The levels are creative, it controls pretty well, and I might even like it more than Spyro (don’t quote me on that). If I were to rate it I’d give it an 8 out of 10. If the controls were refined a little more and stages made more fair, I’d give it a higher score.