You know you're getting on a bit when the games you used to play as a youngster start celebrating various milestone anniversaries - Pokemon, Tomb Raider and Resident Evil have all turned twenty this year, while The Legend of Zelda celebrates it's 30th too. But they're not the only games to be celebrating, as 2016 also marks the 20th anniversary of Playstation 1 classic platformer, Crash Bandicoot, a game that every man and his dog spent way too many days cursing for its sometimes awkward jumps, pixel perfect platforming and dodgy checkpoints. While he may bear no real resemblance to an actual bandicoot, he's still one of gaming's more familiar mascots - and to celebrate his milestone birthday, he'll be following in the footsteps of other gaming greats Bowser and Donkey Kong, by making an appearance in this year's Skylanders title, Skylanders Imaginators.
Made into an honorary 'Sensei' for the new game, Crash will be joining the elite squad of Skylanders characters enlisted to help battle series bad guy Kaos, whose army of Doomlanders are threatening the Skylands as we know it. While the main hook of the game is being able to create your own Skylanders, Crash will be joining the roster of the game's Senseis, who form the majority of the game's collectible characters this year, bringing with them mastery of ancient battle techniques, with each new Sensei unlocking different moves and abilities for your created characters to learn.
Of course, this means the new Crash Bandicoot figure will have all the Bandicoot-y moves and abilities you'd expect from the 90s beast - alongside his signature spin attack, he can summon TNT crates and jump on them to blow them up. Collecting a Bazooka Crate will arm him with a rocket launcher, while wumpa fruit and airborne jetpack attacks make appearances too, littered with references to his past adventures. Likewise, "famed voice actor Jess Harnall reprises his role as Crash", which is news to us because we don't remember the Bandicoot being particularly verbose, at least in his early games.
But more than just a bright orange face, it seems Crash may have a role in the Skylanders Imaginators story too, as a wormhole has opened up in the Skylands revealing the great Aku Aku (that mask thing). His appearance marks the once-in-two-decades Syncronization Celebration, a special time where all of the worlds align perfectly - and he's popped over to invite the Skylanders to the party. Unfortunately, the Skylands are a little tied up with their Kaos problem at the moment, but never one to sky away from danger, the legendary marsupial Crash Bandicoot offers his services in dealing with the Doomraiders problem.
Much like with last year's Nintendo-exclusive figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong, Crash will be a Playstation exclusive, available in the special Skylanders Imaginators Crash Bandicoot pack, which comes with everything from the initial Starter Pack, and, of course, Crash himself - meaning the pack will net you a Crash Bandicoot figure, Golden Queen and King Pen figures, and a Fire Creation Crystal plus a copy of the game. Somewhat unusually, it seems Crash Bandicoot can actually be used across all platforms, not just the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 versions he comes bundled with - unlike Bowser and Donkey Kong in last year's game.
In addition to his Skylanders debut, Crash will be reliving his glory days on the Playstation 4 in a remastered collection of the first three Crash Bandicoot games - Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Little is known about what the collection will involve exactly, such as whether they will be fully-fledged redos a la the recent Ratchet and Clank or simply an upscaled version of the Playstation originals. All we know is that it will be hitting the Playstation 4 sometime next year!
Skylanders Imaginators meanwhile, will be hitting all major consoles this October, on the 14th - but only those who plump for the special Crash Bandicoot Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 Starter Packs will get their paws on the famous marsupial!