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Reviews Comments: By the numbers, derivative garbage. Crash Bandicoot game review by Maxx Crowley

So, Crash is back and boy oh boy...who cares? For those of you who don\'t know, Crash Bandicoot basically ended up being Sony\'s answer to Mario and Sonic, for all that was worth. But there was a problem. What was that problem? Well there is the fact that there is barely an original idea to be found.

Crash collects Whumpa Fruit. Why? Well because Mario collects coins and Sonic collects rings.

Crash searches for Gems. Why? Well because Sonic had the Chaos emeralds.

In Crash 1, Crash was trying to rescue his Girlfriend (Mario) from a mad scientist (Sonic)

Crash himself is a pure stock character. He\'s good, he\'s really dumb, and he\'s \"Agile\" At first tell, Crash was reported to be Insane, but I suppose that\'s a little hard to render in a kid friendly way...so they just went with Stupid.

About the only thing Crash has that was all to himself was the decision to focus on collecting crap. Things like the aforementioned Gems. What are these Gems? I dunno. Are they powerful? I...guess? They don\'t do anything other than make platforms. There is no \"Super\" Crash to the best of my knowledge.

Well how do you get them? Well you smash all the crates in a level. Why crates? And what is their connection to magical gems? No fucking clue.

Crash Bandicoot was technically functional...just like the dozens and dozens of other mascot platformers in the wake of Sonic\'s success against Mario, and just like them, he as empty and by the numbers as he could be. When you\'re just trying to go through the level, I suppose he isn\'t bad, again, boring and derivative, but not bad. But then comes the gimmick. Find crates, smash crates. Smash all the crates without dying, find the hidden bonus room with hidden crates to smash so you can get the \"box gem.\"

It\'s garbage. Pure, Derivative garbage.

Comments

  • marcellX
  • 1st Sep 17
Try harder with your trolling next time.
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 1st Sep 17
Yes, because someone\'s opinion is clearly trolling. What? Are you going to honestly try and say that Crash didn\'t just steal from what the other guys were doing solely to do it?
  • YasminPerry
  • 1st Sep 17
I don't think most of the things you mentioned are derivative of Mario & Sonic. If anything, those are scenes a faire intrinsic to the platformer genre.
  • Cools-The-Calm
  • 2nd Sep 17
I genuinely don\'t know what kind of depth you\'re trying to seek out from a nineties platforming mascot. You call the gameplay \"not bad\", and then go on to call the game itself garbage.
  • marcellX
  • 2nd Sep 17
@Maxx_Crowley You're saying that saving a girlfriend (the plot of half the fairy tales), fighting a mad scientist (Megaman 4 was out by the time the first Sonic game came out) and collecting something (Mario wasn't event the first to use specifically coins) was copied from Mario and or Sonic. Those things are way too generic and cliche. Is it unoriginal? yes, is it a direct copy of Mario/Sonic? hardly. You might as well had said Crash has a good guy and a bad guy, Mario and Sonic have a good guy and a villain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssnw2GA657s Platformers were like pornos, the plots were lazy and unimportant.
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 3rd Sep 17
Yasmin Perry: Had Crash come out during the whole Mascot phase during the 16 bit era, I might have going with that. But as he came out at the very tail end, I can\'t. Those were my thoughts back in \'96 and that\'s how I look at it now.

Cools-The-Calm: Mario set the standard, Sonic brought in high speed and a bonus super form. Crash? Crash didn\'t do a damn thing but copy what was going on at the moment, and I truly only did so BECAUSE that\'s what the others were doing. By not bad I meant that the gameplay is, on a technical level, perfectly functional. Not a lot of glitches and crap hitboxes and such. Sorry it wasn\'t more clear, but I get tired of having to edit and edit and edit because of the word limits.

marcellX: Not JUST fighting a mad scientist, but fighting one that goes out of his way to use animals as his main experimentation base. Yeah, sorry. I just can\'t see Cortex as anything but an Eggman rip off. Actually, Crash rips from Sonic a lot more then he does Mario.
  • Psi001
  • 3rd Sep 17
While I agree Crash wasn\'t as particularly revolutionary like Mario or Sonic, I still think it at least had it\'s own style and sense of quality to make it fun. Traditional Crash levels aren\'t interchangeable with 3D Mario or Spyro or whatever.

I actually thought the same about Cortex the first time I heard his name with DOCTOR on the beginning, but I think the Crash cast actually became more fleshed out earlier than the Sonic ones did (that took a while to transition properly to 3D). Ironically these days the likes of Eggman and Tails feel like they\'re trying to copy Cortex and Coco by being Denser and Wackier.
  • Cools-The-Calm
  • 3rd Sep 17
Character limit isn\'t an excuse when most of the review is spent on the concept rather than the game itself—IE, level design, difficulty, length, etc.. I don\'t even consider myself a Crash fan by any stretch (my greatest exposure to it was a little bit of some Android port), but this whole review feels to me like a hangup on something insignificant to the enjoyment of the experience at large. Sonic didn\'t popularize the concept of mad scientists who experiment on animals, and although it does probably owe to the abundance of mascots with attitude in the nineties, Crash is distinct enough design-wise to at least be considered his own recognizable entity rather than a shameless ripoff. The way Crash\'s levels are setup don\'t even much resemble the other platformers of the era; the closest comparison I can draw is a 3D version of Donkey Kong Country, with both having an emphasis on collectibles and general difficulty.
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 3rd Sep 17
Cools-The-Calm: and yet it\'s the very concept that galls me. The game itself is your basic boring platformer. It added nothing, tried nothing, played as safe as it could, and in my opinion (and that\'s what reviews are) only did what the popular franchises did because they did it. So yes, I consider it derivative garbage. You don\'t have to agree.

  • marcellX
  • 3rd Sep 17
  • Bastard1
  • 3rd Sep 17
Someone never made it past Road to Nowhere or The High Road looks like.

It's OK. We know your irrational hatred is really directed at your own perceived failings as a gamer. But you don't exactly have a trope page of yourself to review, do you? Besides, if it did exist and you engaged in such an action it would have to be deleted for conflict-of-interest.

I mean, it's the only logical conclusion to draw.
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 3rd Sep 17
Bastard 1: Thanks, I needed a good laugh. Sorry having a poor opinion of something you obviously like apparently touches such a raw nerve. But hey, thanks for reading.
  • MrMallard
  • 4th Sep 17
  • Cool Spot collects spots
  • Rayman collects Lums
  • Bubsy, at least in his 3D game, collects isotopes
  • the Jak and Daxter series has precursor orbs, power cells and skull gems
  • Spyro collects Gems
  • Klonoa collects green gems and puzzle pieces

Collecting stuff, for the hell of it or for getting a new life, is inherent to a lot of platforming games. All of these, sans Naughty Dog's later Jak and Daxter series, came out before or around the same time as Crash Bandicoot and took from the same inspirations that Crash did. And why do collecting all the boxes in a level give you a gem? You can just as easily ask why collecting 50 rings in Sonic opens up a flashy portal to a secret stage, or why the red coins in Super Mario 64 make a star appear when you collect them all. Why do you have to break open eggs in Klonoa so you can collect the game's puzzle pieces, and/or where did the eggs even come from? It's game logic. It's the rules of the game.

Story considerations? As mentioned, Mega Man already had the "defeat the Mad Scientist" plot years before Sonic did - it's a stock Saturday morning cartoon trope, and it spills into all sorts of kid-friendly media (at least from the 80's and 90's). And Damsel In Distress is a trope for a reason - many games before and after Crash use the trope, as you can see from the "Video Games" tab on that page.

There's a few ways you could have expressed your displeasure with Crash Bandicoot. The gems in the original games were hard as balls to collect, to the point that you could make a case for Fake Difficulty. The Crash 1 remaster seems to have some input lag IMO, and some collision detection bugs. You could argue that putting Crash on rails and putting the camera behind him is no different from other 2D games, just from a different perspective - thus being unoriginal and unnecessarily lauded. Whatever - there are tons of different ways to argue that Crash isn't so hot. But you make a bunch of points that ring true for a great deal of other platformers, which makes me think that while your main gripe is with Crash Bandicoot, you're not particularly fond of platformers in general. That, or you're only really into Mario and/or Sonic.

I do think your review is a troll review - its existence primarily seems to be to stir up people who like the game, as taken from your hyperbolic, objective-sounding statements. But this is me taking your claims seriously and offering a genuine rebuke. I'd like to know what you think of other platformers. There's nothing wrong with disliking Crash, I like the original games but I'm not so hot on the remaster - I can understand the fanbase being massive, annoying and hyperbolic for a product that is kinda ehh, or a bit dated, or at least for something that you don't particularly like. I just think the way you've gone about it is a bit simplistic and face-value at best, and comes across as more of a provocation than anything at worst.

EDIT: I guess I should have addressed the bottom paragraph of the review, where you mention Crash's supposed mediocrity as being "just like the dozens and dozens of other mascot platformers in the wake of Sonic's success against Mario, and just like them, he as empty and by the numbers as he could be". Which will likely draw fire against my examples of Cool Spot and Bubsy if nothing else. Still, get back to me if you feel like it.
  • Elmo3000
  • 4th Sep 17
Part of me wants to play Devil\'s Advocate because I recently played the first and second Crash Bandicoot games on PS 1, and while they\'re okay, there isn\'t really anything about them that jumps out at me as interesting or original, but this review is a little bit... really really angry?

Like, I think Crash Bandicoot is mediocre at worst and a decent platformer at best, but I don\'t really understand the white hot fury. It\'s harmless. Unless you\'re trying to 100% it, in which case it\'s harmless but infuriating but still harmless.

Save your anger for the Bubsy 3Ds.
  • Awesomekid42
  • 5th Sep 17
You do realize that Mario and Sonic didn't invent the concepts of collecting things, rescuing love interests, or having an evil scientist, right? How would Crash be ripping them off specifically for having those things as well?
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 18th Sep 17
Mr Mallard I\'m not sure what else you want me to say. But first off, I haven\'t played any of those games you\'ve mentioned, so I can\'t express an opinion. However you are correct, I am generally not a fan of platformers. So why did I single out Crash? Because A. I had actually played it (came with my PS 1 back in the day) B. The re-release came out, thus reminding me of it. One of my main contentions with it today, is the same as it was when I first played it. If it had come out in the 16 bit era, I might have just let it slide, but this was the PS 1. There was no excuse for it to be so by the numbers. That\'s how I really feel. That the developers had a check list in hand, and went right down it, even if it was there just for the sake of being there (the gems, crate breaking ect ect.)

Mario might not have invented the things that it did, but it did heavily codify the genre. Sonic followed suit, but it also added to the formula a bit. The high speed style of gameplay (I don\'t remember any game moving as fast as Sonic did back then) the addition of making the \"collect 100 and get a life item\" into a safety hit/life instead of being a one hit wonder or some other power up like Mario\'s mushroom.

But Crash did nothing. Not one single thing new, or unique, or different. It was purely derivative, and from that I name it garbage. I would name any other game that did exactly what it did garbage just as well. I also single it out because somehow, someway, it actually became reasonably popular for reasons that I can\'t fathom. Perhaps I\'m not the best at expressing my thoughts, and I accept that.

You want to think I\'m trolling? Well that\'s fine. I honestly wasn\'t expecting any comments, let alone as many as I got. I do find it funny though, that the review before mine is from a big fan of the series....and not one comment for him.

  • marcellX
  • 18th Sep 17
Sonic took the 7 magical items and super sonic from dragon ball, the nature vs technology and evil scientist vs animal was not new either. The point everyone keeps pointing out is that you have some really odd reasonings. People didn't comment on the other review not because it was positive, but because positive or negative, it didn't add anything new, odd or different. If your review was about commonly accepted flaws of the game like some of us have pointed out, it would probably not had more than 1 or 2 comments either, if at all.

Even now, with things like "there was no excuse for it to be so by the numbers" creating something new is not a given, each and every game is not a revolution of the genre, hell, the great mayority of games are derivative, but first and foremost they're that, games, and the most important thing about games is that they're entertaining. Breath of the wild, Hollow Knight and Sonic Mania (a franchise trying something different, a new IP and a sequel) are all the rave this year (I can name several others) despite none of them actualy creating a new mechanic or idea. If anything, you're cheapening new and original ideas as something so easy that it should be a given.
  • MrMallard
  • 18th Sep 17
Just gonna preface this comment by saying I am incredibly tired right now, so I\'m probably going to repeat myself a lot and the comment is going to be long as balls. It\'s for my own dying brain\'s sake more than anything else, so if it comes across as condescending or holier-than-thou or whatever, I apologise in advance. My intent isn\'t to be a dick, though my repeated self-assurances might come across as hammering the point home more times than it needs to be. Or maybe that\'s not what happening at all, and I\'m making an even bigger jackass of myself by adding this preface. Either way, I\'m sorry for the length of this comment, mostly caused by my waffling on.

@Maxx_Crowley: I just thought the tone of the review was a bit confrontational, like \"Why do you like this? It\'s asinine garbage\", and the examples you\'ve cited are a bit ill-informed. In a sense, acting out against the hype that Crash Bandicoot has been receiving as of late, potentially to bait fans into arguing. That\'s what I meant by \"I believe this is a troll review\", though like I try to do with most opinions I see as potential trolling points, I made my argument as if your review was legitimate. Which it very well was as you\'ve said in your latest comment, discrediting the notion that the review was made to bug other people - so I apologise for framing your intentions in a negative light like that.

Platformers aren\'t your thing, but Crash sticks out as one of the few popular platform games you\'ve played as a negative experience, specifically for its derivative nature and popularity despite that - that\'s cool, and I can respect your dislike for the game/s even if I disagree with your reasoning. The N.Sane Trilogy was hyped beyond belief, and even as a guy who liked the games as a kid, I got sick of the attention too. They are games that you can only play so much of in one sitting, because it becomes very similar in locale and level structure and the gameplay gets a bit monotonous to play through after too long. I\'m a fan, but I like to think I\'m not a fanboy - my defence came from the tone of your review coming across as a bit confrontational, and your main selling point of \"It\'s Been Done\" coming across as severely off the mark. It\'s not the most original game in the world, but I don\'t feel like its Saturday morning cartoon tropes and platforming influences count towards its rougher sides. Though if those aspects are what you don\'t like about the game, that\'s all well and good. Your opinions are perfectly valid as to why you dislike the game - I just feel like they aren\'t objective, universal flaws in the game\'s structure.

Commenters have mentioned that some issues you take with Crash are, to a degree, elements or mainstays of platformers. Not necessarily all of them, but a significant chunk of them. But you\'ve mentioned not being particularly hot on platformers. One issue I take with this is that you talk about Crash by the elements you\'ve seen in the two franchises you seem to be most acquainted with, but some of the information is wrong or ignores other significant games that did the traits first - Mega Man in particular, with the Mad Scientist plotting to take over the world years before Sonic made an appearance. The arguments as to why Crash is bad, ripping off those particular games, is flawed because they are elements shared by games before Sonic the Hedgehog, or refined/expanded upon in games that were a part of the NES era in-between Mario titles and possibly pre-dating later games. Elements are shared through the genre, and sometimes the settings and ideas have been done. Funny cartoon animal going through machine world, forest world, water world etc. to defeat the evil industrialist who\'s exploiting nature for his own selfish gains? Cut the funny cartoon animal a little bit, and you have a not entirely inaccurate summation of the plot of Avatar. In this case, to me and I\'d like to say a fair few commenters on this review, the tropes aren\'t as bad to them as they are to you, and they took issue with what sounded like objective, definitive-sounding statements rather than what felt like personal critiques. I dunno. I\'ve spent too long on TV Tropes, and sometimes I feel like my opinions miss the mark or are overly sensitive - I mean a review is inherently a personal opinion. But that\'s what compelled me to write these comments in response.

TL;DR - something about the review came across as a bit confrontational, and I disagree with some of the elements you dislike Crash for, but your opinion is valid and I respect your dislike of Crash Bandicoot. There are legitimate flaws, and the games aren\'t for everyone or entirely deserving of unanimous praise, but a few of your points miss the mark by a wide berth which I feel is why it\'s attracted so many people responding negatively to it.
  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 19th Sep 17
Mr Mallard I\'ll have to apologize for not making myself a little more clear. Still learning how to write up good reviews, especially with Tv Tropes\' weird word limit.

So I\'ll try to point out further. My point isn\'t just that it\'s been done before. More as that it has been done before, AND they didn\'t even try to do a single thing new or different. In the later Crash games, 2 and 3, they did try to do other things as well. Such as Coco\'s jet ski and plane levels, Crash racing on the motorcycle, and such. Sure, none of that was very good or fun in my opinion, but they at least tried.

Crash 1 didn\'t even try to do anything that a platformer was \"supposed to have\"

That is why I chide it and consider it by the numbers trash. I\'ve been trying to make that clear, but either I\'m failing or some people just refuse to get it, and honestly I don\'t know why they care so much and I don\'t feel like arguing because...well it\'s not like it matters.
  • marcellX
  • 19th Sep 17
I\'ve been trying to make that clear, but either I\'m failing or some people just refuse to get it

See, that\'s the confrontational part Mallard was talking about. You for the most part are just repeating the same thing over and over without really addressing the points people are saying. Crash 1, like many other games, is using the polish aproach instead of inovate. It\'s perfectly ok to say that you think it failed at that (polishing), it\'s another to basically say every game that doesn\'t go for inovation is hot garbage by default. And of course, you\'re the one who keeps saying \"you\" don\'t understand why so many others have a different opinion of the game, hence people keep tackling that point.
  • oshbosh
  • 19th Sep 17

  • Maxx_Crowley
  • 19th Sep 17
marcellX Just when I think it\'s over....okay then. \"See, that\'s the confrontational part Mallard was talking about.\" I really don\'t care. \"Crash 1, like many other games, is using the polish aproach instead of inovate.\" HA! \" it\'s another to basically say every game that doesn\'t go for inovation is hot garbage by default\" You\'re right. Every game should be exactly the same with absolutely no changes or deviations whatsoever. You know, there is a difference between innovating an entirely different style of gameplay and simply pointing at another popular game and going \"See that? Do that.\" Mario and Sonic are the exact same kind of game, yet not the EXACT same game. Crash 2 and 3 at least made the effort to do something that was their own.

\"And of course, you\'re the one who keeps saying \"you\" don\'t understand why so many others have a different opinion of the game, hence people keep tackling that point.\" Actually I completely get it. Those people like the game, thus they feel that way.

So at this point I have to ask, what\'s your end game here? I mean you\'re never going to change my mind, and I\'m not even remotely interested in changing yours so...?

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