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YMMV / Crash Bandicoot

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  • Badass Decay:
    • Crunch is a justified example. He makes his entrance in Wrath of Cortex as a gruff, musclebound and defiant Evil Counterpart to Crash who can change into powerful elemental forms. After being broken out of Cortex's mind control and forsaking his powers, Crunch spends the rest of the series attempting to atone for his past villainy by being a positive role model to children. However, his fashion of doing so by way of inserting bits of advice into his own dialogue (e.g. "Eat your greens!" and "Mow the lawn when your parents ask you!") more often than not comes off as awkward and haphazard.
    • Coco. Her intelligence made her more The Hero than Crash in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back due to stopping Crash from basically handing all the crystals over to Cortex and growing into a full blown Action Girl in Warped and The Wrath of Cortex. Later games dissolved her role mostly into a bratty Damsel in Distress almost as dimwitted as Crunch. Reversed a fair bit in Mind Over Mutant where she ascends to a fully playable character of the same level as Crash (albeit only after rescuing her again).
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    • Tiny Tiger. Tiny started out as an angry, roaring monster who talked in Hulk Speak. As time went on, they started showing off his stupidity more for comical moments, such as in Crash Nitro Kart. And then in Crash of the Titans, he somehow transformed into a Bengal Tiger from a Tasmanian Tiger, got his intelligence upped, and began acting like a campy Mike Tyson knock-off who idolizes Crash, and only attacks him because he's hired to do so.
    • And, of course, Cortex. He goes from creating an army that would destroy the world, to being sacked by Uka Uka and replaced by his own niece. He regained a bit of his reputation in Mind Over Mutant, where he took revenge on them both and claimed the role of Big Bad once again, but still maintains a much more demented disposition throughout it all.
  • Broken Base: It is generally accepted that Wrath of Cortex was better once the loading times were made more manageable in re-releases. Whether or not it was a good Crash game, good in comparison to the later series, or it just plain wasn't a good game at all is up to debate.
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  • Contested Sequel: Pretty much every post-Naughty Dog Crash game is this at best, for reasons that vary from game to game. Usually, Wrath of Cortex and the GBA entries are criticized for being way too similar to the Naughty Dog games, while the Radical-era titles are bashed for the exact opposite reason. All games have their defenders, though.
  • Critical Dissonance: Given their poor fan reception, it may be a surprise to hear that Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant were given generally positive reviews from critics, and that the games won industry awards for their writing.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Bats showed up in later levels of the original Crash Bandicoot game in one of those really tricky, walls coming-in-and-out and floor-disappearing at random moments, side-scrolling levels. Fortunately, these enemies were pretty much limited to the game's Scrappy Levels.
    • Sludges in Crash of the Titans. They are fast, do tons of damage, and do a near-impossible to avoid counterattack nearly every time you hit them, and they usually come in groups.
      • Battlers are also a pain in the behind, as they constantly block, come in large groups, and have a very powerful special attack which they love to spam.
    • TKs in Crash: Mind Over Mutant. They have ranged attacks which are impossible to avoid, an annoying melee attack that they are invincible while using and has a large area of effect, and can throw you off your titan.
  • Die for Our Ship: The moment Pasadena made a cutesy comment at Crash in Crash Tag Team Racing, all hellfire was unleashed in the fandom. Tawna finally reappearing the following game after (officially stated to have a fondness for Pinstripe) didn't help.
  • Dork Age: Most fans will say the games had one. When exactly it started is a source of debate, with some saying it started the moment the series continued without Naughty Dog with Crash Bash, but some others saying it started with the multi-console transition delivering rehashes such as The Wrath of Cortex, and others saying it started with Radical Entertainment's retool or anytime in between. Either way, a lot of fans will agree that the end of Naughty Dog's development run and the franchise being pawned off to multiple other developers was at least a starting pivot for said Dork Age occurring, whenever it truly occurred.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: N. Brio's often treated as a hero due to his helping Crash save the world in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, with some expressing confusion as to why he's considered evil in later games like Crash Bash and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. However, most tend to miss that it was very much an Enemy Mine situation done out of convenience and spite for Cortex constantly stealing his credit, all the enemies in the game were actually sent by Brio himself to take the crystals from Crash, and he's gone right back to genuinely opposing Crash in other appearances like Crash Twinsanity and Crash: Mind Over Mutant.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dingodile is considerably popular thanks to his intro, design, accent, and being one of the few of Cortex's mooks who's not (as much of) an idiot.
    • Crunch Bandicoot is very popular, despite having no major role in the games since The Wrath of Cortex. The only reason he's even in Crash Twinsanity is because the fans begged for him to be put in.
    • Most of the other villains are also incredibly popular, especially Brio, N. Gin and Tropy.
    • Ripper Roo also seems to have quite a following of fans.
  • Even Better Sequel: Pretty much everyone agrees that Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped are much better designed and more enjoyable games than the original game. Some might go so far as to say that Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped is better than Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Certainly, the critics thought so.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Calling the wumpa fruits "apples" or "peaches" is the bane of any Crash fan's existence. Except Japanese ones, as in Japan they are officially called "apples".
  • Fanon: While the mutants introduced in Crash Tag Team Racing (Pasadena, Chick, Stu and Willie Wumpa Cheeks) have no officially-stated origin, the general fan consensus is that Von Clutch, being a Cortex fanboy, somehow managed to obtain plans for Cortex's evolvo-ray and went on to create them to work in his park.
  • First Installment Wins: Regardless of what one thinks of the later games, in the general consciousness, the original Naughty Dog games are the most well known and well loved games in the series. The remakes only contributed to this even further.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: It isn't too uncommon to see Coco paired with either N.Gin or Nina.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The original games made by Naughty Dog were actually equally fickle with lore and cast (eg. Coco replacing Tawna without explanation, Uka Uka abruptly introduced as The Man Behind the Man, Tiny going from Brio's cohort to Cortex's most faithful subordinate), though many of these trial and error changes were agreed to help build the mainstay elements of the franchise and otherwise the games maintained a very coherent direction, compared to the later Crash titles traded around multiple developers which suffered from inconsistent handling and in some cases made drastic changes for the supposed sake of it, leaving the franchise in something of an identity crisis.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Spyro the Dragon understandably. There's a friendly rivalry at worst.
  • Game-Breaker: N. Gin in Tag Team Racing has the single most overpowered weapon in the game. It wipes out almost everyone in one or two hits, and is pretty much a guaranteed win if you're doing Rolling Thunder, where it's pretty hard not to go way above the requirement. If you're doing multiplayer and someone else picks him, don't expect to do well.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Crash in Japan. It definitely helps that he was "cutened" for Japan, making them feel more at-home with it. Shockingly, he's actually got a significant amount of requests from Japanese players to be Super Smash Bros. DLC, despite his status as an American-made, Playstation-associated character. He's clearly still got fans over there. Several elements of the games themselves were made to appease Japanese fans. You can thank Japan for the Crash dance and Coco following the second game.
    • Fake Crash is one of the most popular characters in Japan, so much that he was included in the Japanese CTR bonus video and the Japanese version of Crash Bash.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Iron Woobie: Crash is a cheerful little nut considering all he puts up with throughout the series. Where do we begin? Mutated torturously by Cortex and then branded a failure and kicked out, went through hell to rescue Tawna in the first game (who abiding by official bios, coldly dumped him for Pinstripe, ironically one of Cortex's loyal minions shortly after). Led on a wild goose chase by Cortex in the second game, victim to endless revenge schemes afterwards, often with his beloved baby sister as a pawn, and often put in the middle of any conquests by other evil doers in-between. All with a ton of cruel and unusual cartoon slapstick abuse throughout.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Nina Cortex and Dr. N. Gin are quite sympathetic characters, especially in Mind Over Mutant.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: In part due to her being the only recurring female character for a good portion of the series, Coco has been shipped with just about everyone, with several of them being Crack Pairings: Cortex, N. Gin, Tiny, Dingodile, Pinstripe, Crunch, Tawna, Nina and even Crash himself.
  • Memetic Molester: Crash wiggling his eyebrows before mounting other animals in the first two games has been joked to be more than just mischief.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mis-blamed: It is often thought that the mediocre reception of Mind Over Mutant caused Radical to kill the franchise. However, Radical was already working on not one but two Crash games up to 2010. Not long after Radical was bought out by Activision, Activision laid off the entire team behind the upcoming games, cancelling their production.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • Tawna Bandicoot was Crash's Satellite Love Interest and Damsel in Distress in the first game in the series, though it quickly touched a nerve with Universal executives due to her over-sexualised appearance. Naughty Dog became disillusioned with the character after the conflict it caused and complied to Sony of Japan's request to make a replacement female sidekick for Crash. Coco Bandicoot, Crash's little sister, remained a mainstay after the second game and became popular enough to be Promoted to Playable in future titles.
    • Also from the first game, Koala Kong existed as Cortex's Dumb Muscle, though by Crash Bandicoot Warped he is supplanted by Tiny Tiger, who became more iconic a member of the Rogues Gallery due to his more developed childlike personality and dogged loyalty to Cortex in later titles making him somewhat likeable.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • In the Radical Entertainment games, Crash's voice is considered this. He went from a Heroic Mime who only said "Whoa!" when he gets hurt, to babbling like a toddler, and it can get extremely grating.
    • Perhaps even worse is Crash's incredibly high-pitched falsetto voice in Crash Nitro Kart, provided by Steve Blum of all people! (Seriously...)
    • For many who bought the early PS2 release of Wrath Of Cortex, the warping sound played during the loading screens would be engraved into their heads.
  • Narm: Most of Wrath Of Cortex's cutscenes, especially the ending. Crunch tries his best to be dark and brooding, but it just doesn't work out in a Crash game. Later titles got the point and made him Denser and Wackier.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The Naughty Dog games are considered the best entries in the series, while the post-Naughty Dog games tend to be loved or hated to various degrees. The two exceptions would be Crash Bash and Twinsanity, though even those have reasons for being so beloved: Crash Bash was the first game not made by Naughty Dog, and is designed to be played by up to four people; Twinsanity was made by a developer who imitated Naughty Dog's games in spirit if not in formula.
  • Popular with Furries: Thanks to its multiple games and high acclaim, Crash Bandicoot is one of the '90s platformers with the biggest fandoms. Unsurprisingly, its fandom has more than its fair share of furries. The bandicoot characters (especially Coco, Tawna, the Trophy Girls/Nitro Squad, and Crunch) in particular attract furries while Crunch, Tiny and Dingodile are popular among furry fans of the Bara Genre.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Though Coco wasn't void of fans early on, she tended to get slammed by critics and fans of the games for her playable appearances, due to her weaker gameplay mechanics and the fact she was probably the least cartoony and expressive of the entire cast, making her considerably less fun to play as than Crash. Starting with Mind Over Mutant, Coco was made a full alternate character from Crash and more effort was put into her animations and personality. It says something that not only did Vicarious Visions push hard to make Coco fully playable for N Sane Trilogy, but the fan base went ecstatic over the announcement.
    • Rilla Roo was rescued once he went the way of Waluigi and Big the Cat and became a meme character the fans liked ironically.
  • The Scrappy: Tiny in the Radical Entertainment games is probably the best example the series has. Instead of being hilarious Dumb Muscle with Undying Loyalty to Cortex and a memorable Tasmanian Tiger design, Tiny was subjected to the heaviest redesign of any character, being a Bengal Tiger instead and losing practically all of his old character traits in favor of being a Mike Tyson patische. He was widely derided for not only not even being the same character, but being very unmemorable in general relative to his old self. Not even the biggest Radical fans will ever defend him, and many tend to use him as one of the first examples of that era's characterization problems.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While Coco herself is a fairly popular character with fans, her playable appearances (which mostly play as a weaker variant of Crash) tend to be rather underwelming. Fixed somewhat in Mind Over Mutant even if you have to activate (and/or deactivate) the game's co-op mode to play as her, and playing the story makes a lot less sense, and averted entirely in N. Sane Trilogy, where she plays every bit as good as Crash does.
    IGN: Coco (is) a less powerful and less enjoyable playable character. Coco pops into specific levels and must be used to pass that area. She's just not fun the way Crash is. Crash is a silly creature to look at. He's almost absurd, which works great with his various animations. Coco isn't really silly at all. The game isn't called Crash and Coco so why must I be forced to play her?
  • Shallow Parody: The cutscenes in Mind Over Mutant are drawn in different art styles, including hand puppets, American comic book style, South Park and Dragon Ball Z. As for why the cutscenes are done in parodies of different art styles aside from Rule of Funny is still up for debate.
  • Shipping:
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Owing to both of Crash's love interests being in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, Crash/Tawna and Crash/Pasadena shippers have developed a rivalry regarding which one Crash should end up with.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Sonic the Hedgehog, Looney Tunes and Donkey Kong. The story for Crash Bandicoot was also possibly inspired by Awesome Possum... Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt, since that's also about a marsupial fighting an evil scientist.
  • That One Level:
    • "Sunset Vista" in the original Crash Bandicoot game is so hard that the Japanese versions of the game swapped it and "Slippery Climb" in level order.
    • Not to mention the Dummied Out "Stormy Ascent", which was later restored in N. Sane Trilogy.
    • In the prototype version of the game, Sunset Vista was even longer, bats and those moving blocks that crush you moved more quickly, and there were moving candle/torch platforms that could light up at any moment.
    • And "The Lab". The freaking, gosh-dang Lab. The less said about it, the better.
    • "Fumbling In The Dark", which is basically "Lights Out" if it had the same difficulty as "Sunset Vista." Dozens of pendulums and platforms, various thin platforms you can jump past if you aren't careful, and spiders you have to jump on in order to cross certain gaps. Even "Sunset Vista" was kind enough to give the player no less than five checkpoints; "Fumbling In The Dark" only has three. Even if you know all the traps and tricks to beating the level, chances are you'll die anyway because you jinxed yourself into jumping too soon/too late/too far/not far enough.
    • Most if not all of the tomb levels in Warped are this to some degree. Both Tomb Time and Sphynxinator are somewhat hard, but rather acceptable given your progress: Tomb Time is only a bit harder than the other stages in the second world while Sphynxinator is very hard. However, the real offender is Tomb Wader, that just has to be one of the most difficult levels in the game, even considering the final tomb level, Bug Lite, that is set entirely at night. Simply put, Tomb Wader keeps filling the place with water (and we all know the way Crash deals with it by now) and emptying it back again. That level basically takes the S out of Scrappy Level.
      • Also, to get the crate gem in Tomb Time, you had to backtrack. We all know how fun that is. The same goes for Diggin' It (and possibly Piston it Away) from Crash 2. In fact, most levels that feature backtracking throughout the series can be That One Level.
    • Each of the racing games have theirs:
      • Crash Team Racing has Papu's Pyramid, N. Gin Labs and Hot Air Skyway (although that is made easier with the shortcut).
      • Crash Nitro Kart has Clockwork Wumpa and Hyper Spaceway, with an honorable mention to Thunder Struck.
      • Crash Tag Team Racing has Rings of Uranus, Uranus' Mine, and Craters on Uranus. In fact, all of Astro Land is irritating. Particularly Rings of Uranus, where the time trial crystal almost requires tool-assist.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The general opinion of the Crash games after Crash Team Racing, although the newer games are gradually getting better reviews.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!:
    • Crash Bash and Crash Boom Bang! are considered to be bad Mario Party clones by many.
    • Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex are often seen as watered-down PlayStation 2 versions of Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot: Warped respectively. Ironic for The Wrath Of Cortex, which was originally to be a more innovative free roaming platformer before remaking it in fear of the changes not recieving well.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Crunch Bandicoot seemed all set to be a cool powerhouse for the bandicoots following Wrath Of Cortex. However his appearances in most games after were minor, playable only in racing and party games (and the Atlasphere stages in N Tranced) which play identically for every character. In the Titans games, he exists as little more than a gag character and is pretty easy to forget he even appeared.
    • The series was notorious for utilising several popular characters that never got used outside one or two usually minor appearances. Even within the first game, Tawna and Koala Kong practically disappeared afterwards, never getting real development.
  • Uncanny Valley:
  • Viewer Species Confusion: Quite a few people have called Crash a fox. He's actually a bandicoot, an obscure marsupial.
  • Vindicated by History: While always popular with kids and casual gamers, the hardcore gamer audience wasn't always fond of the series. In the 1990s, many (predominantly teenage and adult) Playstation fans hated Crash Bandicoot, calling it nothing but a kiddie Mario cash-grab that didn't fit the "mature-geared" console. As the core demographic of Crash displaced the older gamers, the series has become Sacred Cows amongst 3D platformers.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The original trilogy had impressive animation considering the relatively low tech.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Mind Over Mutant sadly strayed into this territory, as the humor can basically be described as "Let's make as many pop culture references as we can."

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