The Retro Corner – Crash Bandicoot

Hello everyone and welcome to The Retro Corner where I will take a look at games from the past generations (Which now include PS2). For my first ever Retro Corner article, I decided to start with possibly one of my favorite video games of all time and one of the first games from the critically acclaimed developer; Naughty Dog. It could only be Crash Bandicoot.

Crash Bandicoot follows failed experiment Crash as he must traverse tropical islands full of Jungles and Deadly animals to save his girlfriend, Tawna from the evil scientist Dr. Neo Cortex. Along the way, Crash will come face to face with many allies & other failed experiments of Cortex including an Indian Tribal Leader, A Scarface like Rat, A Kangaroo obsessed with Explosives & A Mad Scientist who may have read too many Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Stories as a child to name a few.


This game really put Naughty Dog on the map when it first appeared on PlayStation’s all across the world in 1996 and redefined the platformer genre for a generation. In ways of development of this first title, Andy Gavin & Jason Rubin were doing loads of research into the numerous arcade games around at the time and noticed that iconic genres were already making their way into 3D rendering including the racing, shooter & fighting genres. With this Gavin & Rubin decided to go with the character-based action-platformer genre. Thinking of what the genre would be like in full 3D rendering thinking because the player would be forced to see the character’s rear; They jokingly codenamed the game as “Sonic’s ass game”. When trying to come up with the console to make the game on, they chose Sony’s PS1 due to the console’s “Sexy” nature and the fact that the console didn’t have a competing mascot. Then came the design of the actual character in which Gavin & Rubin decided they wanted to go in the same direction as Sega & Warner Bros. in creating an animal character that was “Cute, Real & Nobody really knew about.” which left them with the Wombat, the Potoroo & the Bandicoot. Ultimately, their first character design was “Willie the Wombat” however this was changed to Crash Bandicoot as the developers thought that Willie the Wombat sounded “too Dorky” and there was a non video game property with that name. Cortex was thought up after Gavin & Rubin came up with the idea that the villain should be “an evil scientist with a huge head” who was “all about his attitude & Minions” & with Rubin becoming extremely fond of classic cartoon “Pinky & the Brain“, Rubin thought his personality should be that of a more “Malevolent Brain” with his minions looking like the Weasel characters from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

The gameplay was simple but challenging at the same time. In the game, Players would have to maneuver Crash through numerous levels across the islands  in which you would have to break all of the boxes in each level to earn a gem. Probably one of the most iconic moments of this game involve you riding a wild bore through a level trying to avoid numerous obstacles including Spikes & Pitfalls. This game also introduced players to what would become some of gamings most iconic characters from heroes; Crash & Ancient Mask; Aku Aku to Bosses including Dr. Neo Cortex, Ripper Roo, Papu Papu & Pinstripe Potoroo. This game in my personal opinion is also the hardest game in the entire series as it didn’t have a save point like the other games but rather you had to complete the challenging bonus rounds in order to save your progress.


All in all, Crash Bandicoot is still one of gamings greatest accomplishments to this very day and is still one of those titles you could continuously play over and over again. This game is the one that started it all for Naughty Dog who recently made The Last of Us & are currently working on an Untitled Uncharted game for the PlayStation 4. This is the title that showed the unexpecting gamers of the 90’s what was to come in the gaming industry. Considering Crash hasn’t had a home console title since 2008, Rumors are circulating that Sony may have bought him back in order to surprise gamers with an announcement sometime this year. Here’s hoping we see the Orange Marsupial make a return on our PS4’s very soon.


So what did you think? Have you played Crash Bandicoot? Do you like Naughty Dog? What was the first PS1 game you played? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews aswell as next weeks installment of The Retro Corner in which we will be taking a look at the first adventure for female gaming icon; Lara Croft with the original Tomb Raider. Until next week guys, This is The Retro Corner.

Article by Matthew McNamee

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