Top 5 Forgotten Video Game Mascots
Ah, the ’90s: a decade of cheap gas, cheaper Urkel jokes, and unlikely video game mascots. It seemed like every game developer at the time was trying to emulate Nintendo’s famous plumber. Most of these mascots never took off quite like they’d hoped, and now remain an oddball relic of the time. This is precisely why we’re counting down the top five forgotten video game mascots. So everybody do the Urkel and then read on.
What do you get when you combine Johnny Bravo and Buzz Lightyear? You get Blasto. This intergalactic ladies’ man only starred in one game that was heavily promoted and actually adored by critics. Alas, it sold poorly because it proved too difficult for the average player. Fun and somewhat depressing fact: the game’s titular character was voiced by the late Phil Hartman and was released only two months before his tragic death.
Where to begin with the infamous Bubsy? He was the star of a series of video games developed by Accolade games, with similar platforming elements to Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. The sarcastic little fur ball was awarded “Most Hype For a Character” in a 1993 Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine poll and even got a cartoon pilot that was never picked up. But it’s his 3D instalment, Bubsy 3D: Furbidden Planet (cle-ver), that’s most notorious. It’s widely regarded as one of the worst video games of all time due to horrendous camera angles and terrible level design. Funny enough, Bubsy’s catchphrase is “What can possibly go wrong?”
Keeping the trend of hip ’90s anthropomorphic mascots going, developer Crystal Dynamics had a trilogy of hits starring the suave Gex the Gecko between 1994 and 1999. What made Gex so likeable was his fourth-wall-breaking banter and cheeky pop culture references. Think Deadpool…but a gecko! Despite mostly positive reviews and being the bestselling adventure title for the PlayStation in 1999, Gex 3 would remain the snarky mascot’s swan song. But there may be hope for our slimy friend. Recently, Square Enix announced it would allow game developers to work on some of their old IPs, including the Gecko himself.
2. Earthworm Jim
Who would’ve thought a worm in a robotic body would become such a gaming phenomenon? With two hit games under his belt, a cartoon, and a toy line, this pop culture icon tried to remain relevant for as long as he could but slipped into oblivion shortly after the release of his third and final game, Earthworm Jim 3D for the Nintendo 64 and Window. While an HD port of the original was released in 2009, there have been no recent plans to bring back the character to his former glory.
1. Crash Bandicoot
How the mighty have fallen. You may be thinking to yourself, “Those games were all great,” but while that’s very true, it seems developers have forgotten about Crash and what made his adventures so lovable. Quirky bosses, excellent level design, and catchy music are only some of the reasons the series excelled. At the height of his fame, Crash rivaled the red plumber himself and could easily stand on his own. With recent rumours of a new Crash Bandicoot on the horizon, who knows what the his future holds?