The reason I play video games is because of Crash Bandicoot. More primarily, Crash Bandicoot 2 is the reason I play video games. It was the first game I have ever played back when I was just 2 years old. Because of that game, I would stand here today a 17 year old gamer, whose love of gaming would leak into his actual life, the friends he would end up making, the games he would end up playing, the skills he would end up wielding, and the passion he would end up expressing on a blog such as this. It doesn’t take long to find out I’m a gamer if you talk to me, and this is the game that started it all.
For those of you unaware, Crash Bandicoot is a series of 3D platformers. Not just any platformer, though. This was one of the first, and one of the first to get it right. The art of games owes a great deal to this series for introducing one of the best examples of the evolution of platforming out there. Many people like to say Super Mario 64 was the definitive influence on 3D platformers, but Crash lent a bigger hand than he is often credited. Crash is also one of the games responsible for the success of the PlayStation 1.
But enough history. The games were just really fun. I’d recommend the PS1 trilogy in a heart-beat. They can make for a great first platformer, too. (I should know).
Crash has been inactive for 6 years now. His latest game, a less compelling sequel to a controversial re-imagining. Since late 2013, rumors have been circulating of a return. Just recently, there was supposed artwork from a cancelled Crash game revealed.
However, I’m not here to add any more to speculation. What I want to do today is discuss what I would personally want for a Crash comeback. As a life-long fan of the series, I have certain standards for this game. Allow me to dream a little bit as I discuss my favorite game series of all-time.
Gameplay: Open but Linear
My two favorite Crash games are Twinsanity and CB2. So, I’d combine elements from both games for this one.
Crash Bandicoot 2 was the series’ first big jump. It introduced so many moves, characters, items, and themes that would become series staples. It’s also the first game to implement the warp room. While the game’s levels were linear, the warp room offered freedom in how you cleared the game.
Crash Twinsanity would probably be the perfect Crash game if it was less buggy. Even then, the game is still great. While it didn’t exactly add too much, it honed all of what made Crash so enjoyable. Cortex also gave a new style of gameplay. It implemented a more open-world gameplay style, similar to the likes of 3D Mario games.
So my idea is to combine the two styles. You can have a game with CB2’s functionality and Twinsanity’s freedom. Think of it like Super Mario 64. You start a level in a warp room with the usual 5 levels. The levels can be free-roaming, but with a clear destination to reach.
This makes for an old-school platformer with a more modern feel.
Artstyle: Just Go Basic
The most controversial thing about Titans and Mind Over Mutant is the dramatic change in artstyle. Before then, Crash has always had a cartoony style. It was universally appealing, colorful, and lighthearted. The last 2 employed an artstyle that, while not bad-looking, was a jarring difference. I see what they were going for with the more cultural look. It was just too alien for its own good.
While I do prefer the more cartoonish style, it’s not really that important to me how the game looks as long as it’s pleasant to the eye. However, in consideration for others, the safest and best way is to just go with the original style.
Characters: As Many As Possible
This goes for both bosses and playable characters. By now, Crash has a healthy array of characters to utilize for a new adventure. I’m not saying put every single character in, but there are certain ones that would be good to see.
If you implement more playable characters in the game, it’ll allow for a more diverse gameplay experience. This has worked for many platformers before, like Super Mario 3D World and Sonic Adventure 2. Even the Crash series has benefited from this with the addition of Coco Bandicoot in Warped and in Wrath of Cortex. Twinsanity also had the addition of Cortex and Nina which worked. I’d implement that same idea here.
The most ideal method would be the option to play as 3 characters: Crash, Coco, and Crunch. That’s right, playable Crunch. Don’t lie telling me that you aren’t intrigued with the idea. As long as Crunch is able to function, he can be interesting.
Another idea is to make all characters optional. In Super Mario 3D World, you had the choice to play a level with any of the 4 characters you want. Having a similar option here would be a good idea and offer replayability.
As for bosses, I would hope for a minimum of 5. That could be 4 bosses fought after the completion of warp rooms and the final battle with Cortex. If you can add on to that, that’s always welcome. I would hope that they’d also add a new boss character.
Vehicles: A good amount
Going on foot as Crash is always a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s even cooler to use a motorcycle, or a dinosaur, or a polar bear. Why run down the mountain when you can use your arch rival as a snowboard?
The Crash games have always been good at mixing it up with new ways of completing levels. Even in CB1 you could ride a donkey to the end of a level.
Just be careful. If you have too many of these, they can overshadow the core platformer. I say they shouldn’t take up more than a third of the game. I believe Warped had a very balanced amount of these levels.
If it were up to me, I’d place at least 1 vehicle from every main Crash game. Polar and the jetpack from Crash 2, the motorcycle and glider from Warped, the mech-suit from Wrath of Cortex, and that awesome donkey from Crash 1 are just some examples. I would even put a level with the Titans/Mutants in there. (Don’t worry, just 1). Maybe I would even have a mini boss battle with Cortex which resemble the wrestling sections from Twinsanity.
Platform: It’s All or Sony
There’s one last area to question. Would this game be multiplatform or exclusive?
Well, that’s Activision’s call. They could place the game anywhere they pleased, but they would realistically aim for multiplatform. As a third-party developer, they’ll most likely go for the option that makes them more money. Exclusive games have a good amount of risk for those who don’t have the desired console.
I wouldn’t mind the game being multiplatform. My hope would be having it for PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U. Somehow I doubt the Wii U version would happen, but it’s a good idea. Plus, if you plan to make a PS3 and 360 version of the game, you might as well make it for Wii U, too.
If by some chance they opt for it being exclusive, there would be no better option than for it to be Sony exclusive. It makes the most sense. Crash is heavily associated with PlayStation, you’d have access to Naughty Dog (creator of the Crash series), and there’s a good install base already on PS4. And with this option, you can also make a PS3 and Vita version to widen the demographic a bit.
It should be noted that no matter where this franchise decides to go, I will follow. A new Crash game is a system seller for me. So, just make it happen, and I’ll buy it.
So, there you have it. These are my ideas for a brand new Crash Bandicoot game. Here’s hoping I’ll see it within my lifetime.
What are your thoughts? Would you play this Crash game, or do you have other ideas for a Crash comeback? And do you think there will be another Crash Bandicoot game in the future? Let me know in the comments, and we can discuss it together.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!