Flashback Zone – Crash Bandicoot

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 1

To celebrate the upcoming remasters of Crash 1-3, I thought I’d do something a little special and dedicate the next five articles to the first five Crash Bandicoot games. Because quite simply, this beautiful orange guy took up the majority of my gaming as a child. So to start things off, let’s look at the first game in the series; Crash Bandicoot.

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 8

In the original Crash game you play as Crash, duh, and work your way through levels and islands with the ultimate goal of reaching Dr.Cortex and save your best gal. Fun little fact for you, the girlfriend didn’t appear in future games because it was felt that she was too… for lack of a better word, sexy and was not a good character to feature in this type of game. Go Crash! Mario sure as hell can’t claim that Peach is so sexy they had to remove her from his games!

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 6

What’s so fantastic about this game is the sheer variety of levels. From platforming, to Indiana Jones being chased by the boulder styled levels, each level has its own unique touch to it that just makes this game a whole lot of fun.

There is, however, one big, glaring issue with his game; saving. For some reason the designers thought that the best way for you to save your progress was to only be able to do so in the following way:

  1. Collect 3 tokens of your girlfriend from random crates
  2. Go to bonus stage
  3. Complete bonus stage
  4. At the end of the bonus stage head towards your girlfriend until she raises her arm
  5. Now you have permission to save the game

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 4

Seems a little over the top, no? Oh and don’t even think of dying before you reach the girlfriend otherwise you are just gonna have to wait until another level that has a bonus stage… sorry bud.

Despite this big issue, the game is still lots of fun, and the lives are dished out frequently enough for you to usually not be effected too much if you miss a save point. Plus the game gives you passwords after each bonus round that unlocks that part of the game in case you’re ever silly enough to lose all of you lives without saving. Ain’t they just the sweetest. Oh and let’s not forget Aku Aku. Your mask buddy that you can collect up to 3 from crates to let you take extra hits. Oh and when you do collect 3, you become invincible for a short period of time. Can’t complain really.

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 3

One of the best things about this game are the bosses. These guys are all just awesome. Each one has their own unique attacks, attack patterns, and styles. From the first boss, Papu Papu, all the way to Dr.Cortex himself, each boss is memorable and a lot of fun to fight.

On top of that, every boss’ area is designed with them in mind. It’s not just your typical open area where you wait to get behind them and hit them. No, each boss area is shaped to make your life difficult, but not impossible. Papu Papu for example is a circular area, so when he swings his club you are forced to jump to avoid his attack, rather than just hide in a corner and wait.

Flashback Zone - Crash Bandicoot 5

My personal favourite bosses are Ripper Roo (a crazy kangaroo), Pinstripe (a weasel gangster), and Dr.Brio (a Dr.Frankenstein-like scientist). But honestly, it’s hard to choose an absolute favourite, because they are all just fantastic and their respective difficulties match their position in the game perfectly.

Oh and of course there are hidden gems to collect for completing certain hidden tasks on levels. Throw all of these things together and you’ve got yourself one ridiculously fun and challenging game that has, without a shadow of a doubt, earned its place in gaming history. If you have never played Crash Bandicoot before then I highly recommend doing so, and you don’t even need to go through the hassle of getting your hands on a PS1 to do it! Because those beautiful remasters are on their way and I would definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy!


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