In the world of gaming, we often think of two iconic characters when it comes to the term ‘Mascot’. Those characters are, Sonic The Hedgehog and Mario. The Big M and Fast S have ruled the roost of their respective companies for the last handful of years, their likenesses plastered on memorabilia and games across those very years. Earning high acclaim, and experiencing some low points. But overall, through faith from their companies and love from us gamers, they are now as recognizable as Mickey Mouse himself.
But what about some of the more…obscure gaming greats? You know the ones! The guys and gals who you’ve played a few games of, and could see a clear love and passion from the developers? Those ones. They aren’t around as much anymore, maybe had a few reboot attempts or just lost steam, but you remember them. You even miss them from time to time! Sometimes they get featured as a cameo or easter eggs in other games, but it does not match the joy that one would have from a new adventure.
But why just sit around and miss these characters? We may not see a new adventure from them anytime soon. But it’s good to remember and talk about what made them all so great! So let’s shine a brief light and talk about some Great Gaming Mascots!
Naughty Dog. The Sony golden boys. Known for churning out countless classic after classic that brought the Playstation to the forefront of the gaming landscape, and still does to this day with hits like The Last of Us or Uncharted.
Before they were the powerhouse studio they are today though, they were just a simple company with a lot of talent that had produced a few solid games. But they made enough to justify being taken under the helm of Universal Interactive for a 3 game contract that would see them receive the funds and resources needed to carry on making quality games and grow that much bigger if they played their cards right.
That they did! The team went on to pull their resources together to make a fantastic game called Crash Bandicoot. The hallmark title for the Playstation that saw it receive universal acclaim for being one of the best platformers ever made. The world loved Crash Bandicoot! So each year seemed to see a new crash game released to the masses.
From Go Karting, Time Travel, and more. Crash was on top of the world and the world fell in love with the Bandicoot! Naughty Dog became the studio known for making Crash titles for the next few years, each one commercially successful and mostly improving on the previously released titles after taking in feedback from the fans.
But like all great studios, variety is needed. Making the same games all the time would get taxing on anyone. The ‘Sonic Team’ at SEGA, while some core members remain, often sees staff either leave or new members introduced. Not due to a dislike of the product, but simply due to needing new material to work with. Naughty Dog was the same.
So they went ahead and sold the rights to Activision and left the Bandicoot in the hands of others. Seeing mixed results and nothing that stood up to the test of time such as the originals. Much like that of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games.
So where are we now with Crash Bandicoot? Much like SEGA have turned back the wheel to give Sonic a more classic adventure with the likes of the Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces. Crash is getting his own return into the modern world with a remake of his first three games on the PS4 known as the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
So it has all come full circle really, we’ve had our time with Crash Bandicoot, missed him for a bit, and now he is making a glorious return for us to welcome him back. But the question remains, will we only enjoy his nostalgia filled return, or is there a place for another adventure for Crash and friends to experience?
What are some of your favourite memories with Crash Bandicoot? Why do you love him?