The 90s console race was an exciting time, and many of the big companies chose to lead the way with their choice of mascot. Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic the Hedgehog, and PlayStation had Crash, Spyro, and Rayman. However, when Xbox launched with the gun-toting Master Chief as the face of the next generation, cuddly platform mascots were quickly phased out for something more adult.
However, nostalgia is a powerful tool. Many of the 90s gaming mascots have made a return in the form of a revival and the results have been extremely successful. These games have captured the hearts of a new generation of kids while still appealing to those who originally played their games back in the day. There are a few big names that are yet to see some next-gen love, though, so here are the retro gaming mascots that are ripe for a revival.
The story of the original Croc game is a sad one. Most platform games in the early 90s were 2D side scrollers because the technology couldn’t cope with anything else. However, the release of the ps1 proved that games could function in a 3D space, and thus began the race for each console mascot to be the first to make the jump into the third dimension.
It seemed that Fox Interactive was going to take this title when they announced that Croc: The Legend of the Gobbos was going to be released in early 1996. Unfortunately, several production delays pushed back this release, which allowed Nintendo to release Super Mario on the N64 in the summer of 1996. This title perfectly captured the feeling of a classic Mario game and was met with acclaim by new and old fans alike.
When Croc was finally released in 1997, it lacked the polish of the first 3D Mario game and therefore fell out of favour with fans. Croc isn’t a bad game, though, and there is a lot of potential for the little green mascot. Perhaps a bit more attention to detail this time around could give Croc a chance in the new era.
Parappa The Rapper
Parappa the Rapper is a unique video game mascot given that his game falls outside of the platforming genre. This hip-hop dog featured in several games from Sony Computer Entertainment and even had his own T.V show. The draw for fans was that this was a rhythm-based dance game, a feature that was rare at the time. So, where did he go?
The first Parappa the Rapper game hit shelves in 1996 to much acclaim. This first title was vibrant a cartoonish, much like the most popular online slot games at Play Live Casino. Sadly, more production issues delayed the second game, and it severely lacked the polish of the original. Sales were down and we haven’t seen much of Parappa the Rapper since.
That brings us to today. The gaming landscape is so varied now that a rhythm-based game like this would definitely find an audience somewhere. Developers could stick to the 2D art style to cut down on costs and reintroduce Parappa the Rapper to a whole new generation of fans. There are more gamers that remember the first successful game than the sequel dud, after all.
Ty The Tasmanian Tiger
Many gamers of the 90s will remember how competitive the console market was back in the day. While Master Chief became the initial mascot of the Xbox upon release, Microsoft was not taking any chances as the new kid on the block. They needed a vibrant, animal-based mascot to compete with the likes of Crash and Sonic and they found it in Ty, the Tasmanian Tiger.
This platformer made perfect use of the Xbox’s processing power, allowing for a more exploratory experience than other platformers at the time. Ty could glide around large outback expanses with his boomerangs at the player’s leisure; however, these more-open levels created a problem. The world’s felt empty, and Ty quickly shuffled out of popularity without much effort to keep him in the public consciousness. Each sequel sold fewer copies than the last, and the license to the character drifted into unknown hands. However, it seems that not everyone forgot about the Aussie action star.
In 2019, a group of fans banded together to create a fan-made legacy sequel to the Ty franchise. This passion caught the attention of Nintendo, and a Nintendo Switch port of the original game was quickly put into development. With new eyes now on the marsupial legend, it may be the perfect opportunity for developers to give Ty the Tasmanian Tiger the revival he deserves.
These three mascots all fell short of public acclaim back in the day, but there is no shame in trying twice. Perhaps a new generation may find something to love about these console mascots, but we will need a revival to find out.