Retronauts, we’ve entered in to September as of today, and holy smokes, where has the time gone?! I’m not just talking about how fleeting the summer was; I’m talking about where have the last 20 years gone?! Next week, on September 9th, we celebrate a very special birthday with a very special marsupial. A klutzy game mascot who has been hibernating until recently, making the world wonder if he’d ever grace their PlayStation screens again. You know who I’m talking about: our old friend Crash Bandicoot!
Crash was Sony PlayStation’s answer to Sega’s Sonic and Nintendo’s Mario. In a 90’s world of platforming games, Sony PlayStation was looking for someone to fight back against the two juggernauts. That’s where developers Naughty Dog stepped in and began concept work on Crash Bandicoot in 1994. From his inception as “Willy the Wombat,” to eventually becoming the Crash we know and love today, development for his debut game was as meticulous as it comes. (Fun fact: they changed his name to Crash when they implemented hitting boxes into the game during beta testing).
The self-titled release for the PlayStation was a huge success, and is considered one of the few Western-developed games that have found equal success in Japan, where it’s usually vice-versa. It was praised on its graphics, despite it’s polygonal textures and characters, as well as its wit and animation. And although it wasn’t anything super special, its different perspective play-style allowed Crash Bandicoot to be considered a new addition to the platforming formula.
Crash was such a huge hit, that it launched 2 direct sequels (Cortex Strikes Back and Warped), as well as its own Mario Kart-esque game titled “Crash Team Racing.” But the limelight doesn’t last forever in some cases. Although he’s had few minor spinoffs here and there, spanning from the Game Boy Advance to the Nintendo DS, Crash hasn’t had a full-blown console revival.
That is, until 2016!
At this years E3 conference, Crash Bandicoot fans were relieved to know that not only was Crash going to be available in series “Skylanders: Imaginators” series, but that his first, second, and third games were going to be remade in HD and released on the PlayStation 4 with the help of publisher Activision.
Crash has a very special place in the heart of 90’s kids around the world, for his wacky ways and memorable, fun games. And we can only hope that PlayStation does right by the marsupial that saved them in the war against the mascots. We can’t wait until Crash Bandicoot comes back, and are wishing him a very Happy Birthday this month.
Have a favorite Crash memory? Share with us, and until next week, happy Throwback Thursday!