Flashback Thursday – Revenge of the Flashback!

The final entry in this series of Flashback Thursday ends with a crash

So here we are it is the last Thursday in November and tonight is also the midnight launch of PS4 here in the UK. However, we are not here to discuss the new console that shall be the new ruler of my life come midnight, but the old glorious days of games past. While thinking of a game to cover I recalled the Movember charity work that inspired me to write the Flashback Thursday series and by doing so thought about the charity work that Col ‘Mega Punch’ Perry (who you may remember as the writer of the Pokemon article on my blog) is doing. He is walking far and wide just like Ash leaving Pallet town. However, instead of sacking off his friends to go catch wild animals Col is leaving the safety of his house to raise money for the people of Gulu, Uganda and you can read about his endevours here. In honour of this outdoor activity I realised that only one game came to mind. I mean what other game involves you travelling in the wilderness over coming obstacles while you act as crazy as Steve Busecemi’s eyes. If you hadn’t guessed I am referring to the one and only Crash Bandicoot!

For me Crash Bandicoot was one of the best platform games ever made. Sure it’s main rival at the time, Super Mario 64, was amazing and had it’s own iconic character, but did it have a character that clearly escaped an insane asylum and was he more orange than the cast of Jersey Shore? I think not. Comparisons between the two are fairly pointless because apart from the genre the game has a different style to that of the Mario franchise; Crash Bandicoot removes itself from more child like delicate worlds of Mario and puts you into a mysterious unforgiving jungle setting of Wumpa Islands, although both come complete with evil turtles. Remember nothing is more evil than an evil turtle.

As for the story Crash stays with the usual platformer format with you storming through treacherous terrain fighting average bad guys with the occasional boss fight. Eventually you come to the leader of the whole organisation of evil turtles and other bad guys, suspenseful pause here, Dr Cortex! The real shocker here is that Cortex actually created the bandicoot known as Crash and now, with a change of heart, he seeks to destroy his own creation… not the role model father but at least he didn’t do a Vader and cut off his hand for an evil laugh. Like most platform games the story isn’t really the important thing it’s the level of entertainment you get while completing the game. Crash Bandicoot excels at providing this entertainment. The level design is not greatly complex but still keeps every new level interesting by adding new elements such as the boulders that chase you down which is reminiscent of Indiana Jones only with a psycho bandicoot.

The real pain is that unlike Mario you don’t get a health bar, if you get hit that’s it, your dead buddy. There is the small armour upgrade given by the weird floating mask known as Aku-Aku that follows you once you free him from his wooden box, but again one hit to this dude and your on your own. While this gameplay mechanic can be frustrating it does keep you playing over and over until you make that jump or kill that boss giving the game surprising longevity, unless your a beast at playing the game and devoted your life to it.

This game is still worth playing now because you can still create fun moments such as my own best memories like approaching the fruit you find on the levels and using your spin attack to launch it at enemies. I mean what other game can you kill bad guys with fruit in such a fun way. I think the game is great to pick up and play with friends for hours, taking turns while supplied with a crate of beer, wishing they had made another game. Maybe they will but in the mean time we will just have to put on our Aku-Aku mask and go kick the crap out of Dr Cortex again.

Thanks for reading Flashback Thursdays,

Jbam out


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