Sold out in stores instantly. The most weeks at number 1 of any PS4 exclusive. Surpassing all of Activision’s expectations. It’s safe to say the biggest surprise of the year would be the Crash Bandicoot resurgence. The old Sony mascot’s made quite the triumphant return and has had everyone scratching their heads as to why.
I’ve been putting a few hours into the N Sane Trilogy these past couple of weeks and I have to say being a sales success is earned. Not just a quick cash grab, a lot of love and attention has gone into the collection. And it’s a little disheartening to see the more miserable of the gaming community bemoaning the sales figures and almost going as far as to say this game represents the death of originality. A hilarious overreaction, as Crash almost feels like an anomaly. HD Collections have been happening for years, none maybe as successful as this admittedly, but nevertheless, re-releasing old games isn’t new has never meant newer games never get made.
Will this success see a rapid rise in developers cashing in on nostalgia? Absolutely, but not all of these will equal massive sales. There’s already talks of another old Sony platformer coming back, that being Spyro. Now back in the day I was always a Nintendo guy, so never really followed much of the Sony hype train, but even back then I still heard about Crash Bandicoot quite a lot. Spyro not so much. I always heard it grouped in with the other Mario 64-a-like platform games such as Croc and Gex. So it makes me wonder if that’ll meet the same success.
Crash Bandicoot seems to have not just returned at an opportune time but also to cater to a market of people that have since abandoned video games. I know a number of people, myself included, who bought this game purely because we had family members who fell out of love with gaming and Crash was a key memory from their childhood they wanted to relive. It’s a gateway back and I don’t think anything outside of Nintendo or Sega’s wealthy portfolio would be able to have the same effect.
Anyway, going back to the N Sane Collection, it has to be said that it’s so nice to have a challenging mascot platformer again. I was a big fan of the Retro Studio’s incarnations of Donkey Kong Country because they were challenging. Never feeling unfair, whenever you mess up it was your fault, and Crash is the same. It’s something that I bemoan about the current 3D Mario games. A lot of the later Mario’s I ended up with extra lives well into the double figures with the challenge from them coming from finding all the hidden coins as opposed to reaching the end of the level.
At the time of writing we are heading into another week with Crash Bandicoot at the top of the charts so the nostalgia train is showing no sign of crashing (see what I did there?). How long this can last is anyone’s guess, but when we reach the end of the year it would not be a shock to see Crash top of the best-selling games of the year lists.