How The 90s Platformer Could Dominate Gaming All Over Again
Crash and Spyro are leading the charge, but what now?
VCRs, Blockbuster and platform heroes walking the earth are just three things "only 90s kids will remember". Except, maybe not for long.
Don’t expect rewinding your tape of The Lion King to make a return anytime soon, but with the recent state of the gaming market, could platformers soon be back for good?
Technology has improved, shifting towards ultra realistic graphics for sports sims, racers and shooters, but this left the genre in a muddle. Their cartoonish look didn't fit with modern ideals; not when Mortal Kombat had updated splashes of red pixels for gore-tastic shots of entrails being ripped from defeated fighters.
Today, consoles no longer have that need for a Sonic, Crash or Spyro as their system seller. Instead, exclusives come in all shapes and sizes, with the game itself doing the marketing, rather than a cuddly cartoon rodent.
Could a return to the glory days be on the horizon? These things tend to move in cycles, and with N. Sane Trilogy and the soon to be released Spyro: Reignited giving us serious 90s flashbacks, we might just be witnessing the birth of a new dawn.
Firstly, platform games have a nostalgia factor that cannot be ignored. Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy had gamers running to the shops, racing home, waiting for the game to install (now that never used to happen) and reliving their childhood playing through the first three, and still the best three, Crash Bandicoot games.
The pure joy of seeing Crash rendered so perfectly that his fur swayed the gently, and the pure frustration of OH MY EVERLOVING GOD WAS THE HIGH ROAD ALWAYS SO MOTHERFLIPPING HARD?! It was easy to see why so many picked this up. Playing it was like reliving Christmas morning still in your pyjamas, staring up at the TV as your mam warned you you’d get square eyes.
Nostalgia alone is not an instant selling point though. Yes, it worked for Crash and will undoubtedly work for Spyro Reignited, but remember when Nokia rereleased the 3310 recently with Snake installed? Thought not. Because who would be interested in such a downgrade when we have a world of mobile gaming at our fingertips these days?
Citing nostalgia alone does Crash a disservice. The game succeeded because it was bloody good.