Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Bandicoot Is Back

After a 10-year hiatus Crash Bandicoot returns on Friday as the first three games in the series have been remastered in a compilation known as the N. Sane Trilogy from Activision and Vicarious Visions. The first Crash Bandicoot game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony in 1996 for the original PlayStation. Until I started writing this I did not realize that there was at least one Crash game released every single year from 1996 through 2007 for a total of 18 games. That's a lot of Crash Bandicoot! Not every game is of the platform variety as some are spin-offs, including kart racers and a party game, and only four of the games are developed by Naughty Dog.

When Crash Bandicoot was created Naughty Dog was under contract to Universal Interactive so although the character was the face of the PlayStation and Sony published the first five Crash games, it was Universal Interactive that owned the character at that time, not Sony. Vivendi later acquired Universal Interactive's parent company in 2000 and then in 2007 merged with Activision to form Activision Blizzard, and thus Activision now owns Crash Bandicoot. While there hasn't been a Crash Bandicoot game released in 10 years, (Spoiler?) 2016's Uncharted 4 does feature a level of the original game. At this point I don't know if that's a spoiler but I won't go into any details about it, and it's obviously not a key plot point to Uncharted.

For magazine scans I've got four items. First up is an interview about Crash Bandicoot with Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin from a Next Generation magazine article about many popular game characters titled "A Question of Character." After that is a preview of the original game from a 1996 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Next Generation #46
Electronic Gaming Monthly #83

The only reviews I've got are both for Crash Bandicoot: Warped, the third game in the series. Next Generation and PSM said basically the same things about the game but one rated the game three stars and the other scored it a 4.5, both on a five point scale. In some issues of Next Generation you can find a list of past reviews that state the score and issue the review appeared in; if you're interested in scores I can tell you they rated the original three stars and the sequel four stars. Also, I didn't want to crop off the image of Crash in PSM so you'll find a Brave Fencer Musashi review as well.

Next Generation #49
PSM Issue 16, Vol. 2

(6/30) Slight update as I just remembered Crash did have another appearance not too long ago. He appeared in the Skylanders Imaginators: Crash Bandicoot Edition for PlayStation 3 and 4 last October.

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