Crash Bandicoot Review
The first crash bandicoot doesn’t really give you a story during gameplay. Instead it is found in the software manual of the game (Which can be found by pressing the PS button for the ps3 or the home button on the psp while the game is running). The story as told by the manual is that DR. Cortex is making an army of animal based soldiers. One of his experiments was Crash but Cortex deemed him as “unworthy”. Cortex then kicks him off his main island, however Crash became attached to another bandicoot named Tawna. After being booted off the island Crash works to get back to Cortex to get Tawna back. Like I said during gameplay there isn’t much story until the end but this game is about gameplay, not story.
Crash Bandicoot is a 3D platformer. However unlike most 3D platformer you are not in a 3D world with control of the camera. Naughty Dog made a 2D level design to a 3D world by moving the camera. Instead of moving from left to right like older platformers, you move forward and back. Its a simple change but works very well. Crash can do two things. jump and spin. He uses these techniques to kill enemies or get over obstacles.
The game takes place on 3 islands which contain 25 levels. On every level there are fruits called Wumpa fruits. Collecting 100 of these fruits will give crash a new life. Along side the wumpa fruits there are Aku Aku masks, dubbed just the “Witch Doctor’s Mask” in this game and bonuses. Aku Aku protects crash from danger. Normally a single hit will kill Crash but while having an Aku Aku mask you are safe. The mask will upgrade in appearance if you collect a second one while still holding the first. If you manage to hold 3 at once Crash will then wear the mask granting him invincibility and destroying any crates he touches.
Bonuses are found on certain levels and come in the form of three people, Tawna, Doctor Nitrus Brio or Doctor Neo Cortex. Collecting the 3 pieces of the bonus person in a level unlocks a classic side scrolling stage and it is in this stage where the player can save. This system, is extremely flawed. Because the player can only save in bonus rounds it means there are a limited number of times you can save. You can only complete each bonus round once and being unable to complete a round means you aren’t saving. The game can be done in one sitting, but the ability to save is an essential part of gaming and this was a very poor design choice.
By today standards the game would be considered poor, but for the Playstation days this was cutting edge. It of course looks dated but this won’t affect the score. With upbeat music and nice sound effects Crash Bandicoot brings a island world to life.
The Legacy of the Crash Bandicoot series really comes from the three naughty dog follow ups. However this game lead the ground work for those titles. The gameplay is top notch but the design flaw of the saving system really brings down the game.