The first three Crash games shifted around 18 million copies between them and are some of the best-selling PSOne games in the world ever. Crash was such a big hit he became an unofficial mascot for Sony's console. Even more significant is the nod to Crash in the form of Dash Dingo, a parody video game that appeared in an episode of The Simpsons. And you don't get a nod from The Simpsons unless you're some kind of cultural icon big willy.
Above: Crash Bandicoot as he appears in that game no one really cares about
Crash started his decline into obscurity around about the time Naughty Dog (them again) gave up on development duties to concentrate on Jak & Daxter (them again). The games kept on coming, but they never managed to generate anything like the same kind of affection from paying punters. The last couple of Crash adventures - Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant - have been all but anonymous.
Can it be big again?
It feels like Crash has definitely had his 15 minutes. But there are whispers that he's on the verge of another comeback. So perhaps a renewed love for anthropomorphic protagonists is just around the corner...? If not, though, the mad-eyed bandicoot will remain nothing more than a fond memory and a lovable, furry relic from gaming's past. Whose games we're not interested in playing anymore.
Never mind the two completely shitty sequels and the not-so-shitty-but-still-not-awesome fourth game (Driver: Parallel Lines) the first Driver was definitely a standout moment for the PSOne that rightly sold a few million copies. It introduced us to the concept of open-worlds (albeit experienced from the inside of an automobile) two whole years before GTA III appeared. It's car chases were stupidly fun and, well, it's car chases were stupidly fun. It didn't need to do anything else to be amazing.
Above: Yes. This is Driver 3. Yes. It was a wreck
But then the overly ambitious sequels happened and Driver gained a reputation for being something of a stinker. Gamers stopped caring. 2006's Parallel Lines went someway to repairing the damage, but - while certainly no car crash - it was still painfully mediocre when compared to the likes of GTA: San Andreas.
Can it be big again?
Our heart says YES. But our brain says NO. A new game is in the works, but after three previous attempts to recreate the success of the first game have all failed with varying degrees of misery, we're beginning to suspect that the trailblazing original was the best that the series had to offer. Still, we'll be keeping our pinkies crossed and hoping for the best.
Holy crap. It's been 13 years since GoldenEye and we're still waiting for a Bond game that comes anywhere close to being that good again. Every subsequent 007 adventure since Rare's classic has arrived with a frenzy of over-hype, but each one - all eight of them - have been an anti-climax, leading to the Bond franchise becoming synonymous with disappointment.
Above: Quantum of Solace had big explosions, but still wasn't very good
We had high hopes for Treyarch's Quantum of Solace, which was meant to reintroduce the virtual Bond back to greatness, but even that turned out to be just another by-the-numbers exercise in pedestrian gaming. After so many let-downs, it's no wonder that everyone bar the most avid fans of the agent now treat the arrival of a new Bond game with all the gratitude of being served a Martini made with horse piss.
Can it be big again?
The Bond games will always be considered as 'big' releases, but that's more down to the hype and hot air that inevitably goes with them. If the icy indifference that gamers feel toward them is ever going to thaw, it'll take some major miracle. And probably a publisher on-board with the desire to make a genuinely good game, as opposed to an easy money movie tie-in.
January 8, 2010
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