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In fact,Â Croc: Legend of the GobbosÂ started as a pitch by developer Argonaut Games to Nintendo as a Yoshi-starring title, but when Nintendo declined, Argonaut kept the Mario-inspired gameplay, re-skinned the main character, and introduced the world to Croc. In fact he looks like quite a pleasant young chap. Until Kevin Butler, who was the president of everything and made a lot of people care about the PS3 for the first time. 90s kids were truly platformer crazy. But the dreams of a cartoon, much like the reviews for the Bubsy franchise, tanked, leaving this punchline of a character to linger in forgotten mascot obscurity, far from its initial dreams of dethroning Mario. Otherwise, completely rotten. Plus, he wears jean shorts. There fixed that title. Initially envisioned by Sega as a successor to Sonic, poor sales quashed any future plans, and Ristar was put out to platformer pasture. Most of which are probably polluting a landfill somewhere right this very second. However, the more memorable games were Cool Spot and its sequel Spot Goes to Hollywood, where the titular anthropomorphic red dot with sunglasses could jump around and attack enemies with soda bubbles. If ever there was a perfect allegory for the failure of the Sega CD, it'sÂ Wild Woody. For aÂ time, Gex served as developer Crystal Dynamic's mascot, and it seemed like the wisecracking gecko could give Mario and Sonic a run for their money, but by the third title in the series, sales had slumped, forcing Crystal Dynamics to put an end to the Gex franchise. OriginallyÂ intendedÂ for release on the SNES by developer Ukiyotei,Â Punky SkunkÂ would be rushed to the Playstation when sales for the SNES began to slump. Introduced to the world in 1998'sÂ Banjo-Kazooie, Rare's bear-and-bird duo practically reinvented the mascot platformer genre, introducing elements such as collectibles, backtracking, and a connective hub world. But by the 90s, the Amiga's fortunes had begun to fall, and the company was scrambling to find a mascot that would help the computer to become a serious contender in the video game system race. While the game was praised forÂ itsÂ tight controls and funÂ gameplayÂ and would go on to spawn a wave of sequels and spin-offs in Japan, Bonk landed with a resounding thud in the States. But turn back the clock a decade or two, and you will find a multimedia landscape obsessed with all things "raw" and "edgy." Success in Japan doesn't alwaysÂ translateÂ to the West. ", Ma Rainey's Black Bottom review: "Chadwick Boseman is astonishing in his final film performance", Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 13 review: "An anti-climax", Doctor Who Revolution Of The Daleks review: "The meat ‘n’ veg version of Who", Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 12 review: "A spectacular run of episodes continues", Cobra Kai season 3 review: "Powers through and delivers its best season yet", Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 11 review: "The perfect Christmas present". Be quality. He was yet another animal mascot with attitude starring in a 3D platformer before most developers had figured out how to do 3D platforming well. Well, SEGA already had a mascot: Sonic the Hedgehog. Thank you for signing up to GamesRadar+. It stars a... um... well apparently it's a puppet with a very large bowtie and a detachable head. He was just like Jack Nicholson if Jack Nicholson was a lizard and crap. He was going to top Sonic, Mario, and everyone else in the mascot business. Apparently, the designers ofÂ GloverÂ didn't get this memo. Or maybe the designers just wanted him to look more space-y. Any game featuring a mascot and platforming elements was guaranteed to achieve at least modest sales, causing just about every developer in town to try their hand at cranking out a mascot platformer. Gaming mascots are frequently produced using the intention not only to be cute cartoon figures, but additionally a representation of the trademark. Do you want to stay up to date of all the news about Games? Dynamite Headdy is yet another gem in developer Treasure's collection. Originally, this entry was a tossup between Fox McCloud and the vile Funky Kong. The Best Video Game Mascots of All Time. You see Sega is smart enuff to not compete with Mario instead it made its own market. While most entries on our list at least tried to outsell Nintendo's mega-popular Mario franchise,Â Socks The Cat Rocks The HillÂ never even got the opportunity. Did anyone play it? For many years Pac-Man was not just a star for Namco, but he was like the icon for arcade gaming as well. Even better, his games are unlikeable, uncontrollable, and borderline unplayable. Attacking with your noggin is also how you knock out enemies and even pull yourself up to higher platforms. By 2000, the game's sequel,Â Banjo-Tooie, would release to critical acclaim and big sales, cementing Rare's franchise as one of the most popular on the N64. Where do you turn for your inspiration? Best known for its harsh difficulty, players still hold the game in high regards. Last known whereabouts: Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (2009). You'd be hard pressed to find a more 90s video game character thanÂ Gex. There was also a horrible pilot for his horrible cartoon show that, if it had become a whole series, would have ushered in a new world order of darkness and decay that would have made Gozer look like amature hour. But time, and a poorly receivedÂ sequel,Â wouldn't do the franchise any favors. But the bar for what characters could star in a platformer was forever lowered in 1993 with the release ofÂ Cool Spot. Whether one tried to create these icons for a series, or to create awareness for a console, the 80s and 90s were full of them. Reckin' Balls (which really should have been called Reckin' Ballz) was a curious mashup of kart racers, a grappling hook, and some Marble Madness thrown in for good measure. If you look closely at the backgrounds you can see how they're made to look like hand-made sets. Thankfully, Funky was never more than a bit character, despite being made up entirely of radness. For the intrepid gamer, this mindset created a whole slew of bizarre gaming mascots all vying for your parents' money. While the 90s saw plenty of characters come incredibly close toÂ eclipsing Mario in popularity, all would eventually fall to the plumber. Originally envisioned as the next big mascot star, poor sales put these dreams, along with a planned sequel, out to pasture. We feel sorry for Havoc, we really do. You're a plucky, upstart game developer, and you need a new mascot character to compete with the likes of Mario and Crash Bandicoot! The 25 Best Switch Games of 2020 By Garrett Martin and Paste Games Writers December 22, 2020 5 Great Board Games for Young Children By Keith Law December 31, 2020 Such was the case with the punnily titledÂ Aero The Acro-Bat, which, despite its truly lame title, was pushed as the next big name in mascot platformers. Seeing as how he's not a bald space marine, he's had trouble finding work. His nemesis is Queen Slug-for-a-Butt. Theres a fine line between having issues and being a self-indulgent prick. Debuting 1990'sÂ Bonk's Adventure, Bonk was aÂ bald caveman who utilized his sizable noodle to break blocks and battle baddies. Because itâs the â90s and thatâs what you do in video games made in the â90s. Sure, he's got little drawn on eyes, but kids weren't exactly clamoring for a game starring a living fashion accessory. With the PlayStation and 3D graphics cards out there allowing for new possibilities, narrative and gameplay, the 90s produced some of the most attractive characters in video game history. The godfather of video game mascots (and not just because he's Italian), Mario is more famous than the queen, the president and the members of Girls Aloud combined. Thank you for becoming a member. 7. His only redeeming quality was that he was voiced by veteran British actor Leslie Phillips in the European release of his second game. Hitting the PS1 in 1998,Â Spyro The DragonÂ introduced players to the diminutive dragon, who spent the game torching baddies with his fire breath and gliding around a variety of levels.Â Over three PS1 games, the Spyro franchise went claw-to-toe with Mario, and genuinely gave the Nintendo star a run for his money. It went from a distant first from the PS2 to a distant 3rd. This ad-free experience offers more features, more stats, and more fun while also helping to support Sporcle. For a time, it even seemed as though Crash would surpass Mario, but declining quality and sales would stop this possibility in its tracks. TakeÂ jerky, bustedÂ Sonic The Hedgehog-wannabe gameplay, add in confusing, terribly designed levels, and top it all off with a character that refuses to stop talking, and you've got Bubsy. World-class Italian plumber Mario is beyond just a gaming superstar. News Sport Region Person Profession. Years before the Uncharted series and The Last of Us, developer Naughty Dog created a mutated marsupial who would act as the PlayStation's de facto front-runner in the great '90s mascot race. Fox McCloud - son of legendary fighter pilot-turned-F-Zero-racer James McCloud - strikes a more palatable balance between rad and reasonable. While debate continues to rage over just which Playstation mascot platformer was better, there's no debating the importance of Spyro the Dragon. Last known whereabouts: High Seas Havoc (1993). New York, Turn on push notifications and don't miss anything! In 1993, Bubsy was the most hyped thing since organized religion. It's a shame, as Spyro came very close to taking the 90s mascot platformer crown from Nintendo's plumber. Heck, one of the most prolific mascots in gaming is a blue hedgehog. The game's protagonist, the bucktoothed little crocodile dubbed "Croc," would return in 1999'sÂ Croc 2, but by this point, better 3D platformers had released for theÂ PlayStation, causing the game to slip under the radar. While there would be several characters introduced that gave Nintendo's plumber a run for his money, there were plenty of mascot platformers that barely even made a blip. So what exactly happened? Debuting in 1993'sÂ Bubsy: Close Encounters Of The Furred Kind, players quickly learned to loathe the motormouthed hero, but this didn't stop the character for returning for two more 2D sequels, before eventually making the jump to 3D with the frustratingly badÂ Bubsy 3D. 2. Just look at Mullet Jr. up there. Joining Iggy (who, apparently, is supposed to be an Iguana), were such colorful characters as Rob-Ert (a robot), Chatter (a big, toothy grin) and a bunch of other designs ripped from the margins of some kid's notebook. It was similar in play to the Reversi board game. 1992'sÂ ZoolÂ would go on to spawn a sequel, but poor sales would put an end to this failed Mario wannabe. It's a miracle Jim didn't implode under the weight of his coolness. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Widely considered one of the worst mascots in video gaming, there was a time when the makers of this obnoxious bobcat truly believed Bubsy could be bigger than Mario. Sometimes, there are games released that just scream "We totally thought of the title first and then tried to create a game around our groan-inducing title." Ranking of '90s Platforming Mascots. Thus,Â Jersey Devil was born. But with Rare's acquisition by Microsoft, the series would go into hibernation for many years, eventually reemerging for the poorly receivedÂ Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & BoltsÂ in 2008. This is because it was 1998 when Iggy's Reckin' Balls was released, and dammit all the good mascots were taken. Problem was, the game was remarkably clunky and filled with unfair jumps and steep difficulty. Across two PS1 sequels, and a beloved kart racer spin-off, developer Naughty Dog perfected the character and his unique style of gameplay. Click here to see who made our list! With the dawn of the 3D platformer, the battle for mascot supremacy really began to heat up. The battle for video game mascot supremacy between Mario and Sonic is legendary.Â But the Blue Blur wasn't Sega's first crack at trying to dethrone Nintendo's goomba-stomping plumber. Releasing in 1994,Â RistarÂ introduced players to the titular anthropomorphic star, who utilized his stretching arms to battle baddies and traverseÂ treacherousÂ terrain. You will receive a verification email shortly. Looking like two black olives stapled together with pipe cleaners shoved into them, Zool didn't exactly cut an imposing figure. Earthworm Jim perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the '90s all in one character. Just look at him. Stage hands will pull new props onto the screen, and there are spotlights and other theater trappings strewn about. Crash Bandicoot should have flopped. Can you name the Forgotten 90's Video Game Mascots? Hes not overtly offensive. Originally created as a marketing technique to attract newcomers to the then-small gaming community, video game mascots seem to have transcended to something far greaterâ¦ they have become legends. Trying to describe radness feels like describing color to the blind. Alex Kidd was featured in six games throughout the late '80s and early '90s, but never rivaled Nintendoâs Mario in popularity. It cannot be taught, it must be experienced. Damn shame. During the 80s, the Amiga became one of the most successful home computers on the market, with each iteration of the little gray box topping sales charts. Forgotten 90's Video Game Mascots Quiz Stats - By Milachu1 Random Quiz The thought of the video game mascot has been available since the first times of gaming, with names like Pac-Man and Mario becoming symbolic of the medium. Kids loved him, parents didn't understand him, and Jim earned himself four games and a Saturday morning cartoon series. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. A video game can be just about anything. GamesRadar+ is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Let's call a spade a spade:Â CrocÂ is an unabashed Mario rip-off. How many ad campaigns are petitioned to be a boss in a video game? First appearing in 1987, the 7UP mascot Cool Spot grew immensely popular in the early '90s which led to four video games! And boy, did he like being cool. While Sega was initially very gung-ho about Kidd, pumping out five sequels starring the mascot, the company eventually realized that the character just wasn't strong enough to compete with Mario, leading to Kidd unceremoniously being retired in 1990 and replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog. Unlike Sonic, Ristar featured a slowerÂ paceÂ and emphasized utilizing Ristar's arms to interact with the environment. 22 January 2015. The mid-90s release of the SonyÂ PlayStationÂ and Nintendo 64 brought a new generation of possibility, as companies battled to create a hip, fresh character that could serve as the face of this new console generation. Actually, what really topped it all off was the very idea of selling an environmental message to kids via the medium of a badly made game distributed on expensive, presumably hard-to-recycle plastic and silicon cartridges. I could really just end this list here. Get the best gaming deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable gaming news and more! Super Mario Bros. exploded throughout the 90s, leading many companies to attempt to dethrone the Nintendo mascot. Starring the titular,Â undoubtedlyÂ insane anthropomorphic pencil,Â Wild WoodyÂ whisked our hero through levels based on various time periods, where Woody would use his pencil powers to draw items into existence. With the introduction of Mario and the gang came a new subgenre of video games, dubbed the "mascot platformer," in which a marketable lead character hops and bops his way through a colorful world. Originally envisioned as the new mascot for publisher Universal Interactive, Aero's big push would go DOA upon the arrival of the next generation of consoles, dooming Aero to mascot platformer obscurity. Posted by Rich Knight at 8:48 PM. Problem was, the best they could come up with was Zool. And for Pete's sake, his catchphrase is "Groovy." But by the 90s, the Amiga's fortunes had begun to fall, and the company was scrambling to find a mascot that would help the computer to become a serious contender in the video game system race. Some had smart, creative designs that have endured to this day - but most were just total crap. Kicks Dr. Machino'sÂ [Behind]Â in 1993.Â The game's protagonist, an x-tremeÂ skateboarding possum, stressedÂ the importance of recycling and protecting the planet, all while engaging in ho-hum platformer action. There was a problem. And as I'm sure many of you Nintendo fans already know, Fox almost certainly doesn't have any legs below the knees. Why, you'd getÂ Rocky Rodent, one of the more obscure mascot platformers for the SNES. Featuring a Tim Burton-esque aesthetic, replete with haunted houses and spooky creatures,Â the looks ofÂ Jersey DevilÂ helped to set the game apart from the avalanche of mascot platformers, but clunky gameplay and poor sales halted any chance ofÂ Jersey DevilÂ achieving mascot platformer fame. When the TurboGrafx was eventually discontinued, Bonk migrated to the SNES and tried to find a new audience, but with the system already choked with mascot platformers, Bonk got lost in the shuffle, putting an end to the character's chances of challenging Mario's supremacy. Problem was, the best they could come up with was Zool. ButÂ Wild Woody, like the Sega CD, was doomed to fail. But it's kind of an unspoken rule that your video gameÂ mascotÂ should at least be visually interesting. This trio had you racing to get the cereal box open before your siblings got there first. The Best Video Game Mascots Of All Time (Image taken from: Complex-mag.com) I recently did an article on the best video game mascots of all time for Complex. Released in 1991 for a wide selection of home computers,Â Titus The FoxÂ tasked players with helping the fuzzy protagonist to journey to the Sahara desert to rescue Titus'Â stolen girlfriend. They need to â¦ Next came Spot: The Cool Adventure for Gameboy in 1992 which was a port of the game M.C. Iggy is a little green ball with two eyes and a mouth. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, The best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X: get the best experience on next gen consoles, Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro review: "One of the best keyboards the company has made to date", AndaSeat Dark Demon review: "Will suit those who find smaller chairs uncomfortable", Roccat Burst Pro review: "A mouse built for speed", Oculus Quest 2 Review: "Improved VR experiences and more power make up for aesthetic trade-offs", The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 review: "They went there", Wonder Woman 1984 review: "A much-needed blockbuster for our times", The Mandalorian season 2, episode 7 review: "Return to formula", The Midnight Sky review: "George Clooney’s Netflix movie never quite lands. Share Share Tweet Email. Here are the best and worst from that bygone age. GamesRadar+ is supported by its audience. In this 1993 game, players controlled Rocky as he battled baddies with his interchangeable hairstyles, which granted the slobbering hero with different abilities. Kids. Released in 1993,Â Aero The Acro-BatÂ had gamers fighting evil industrialist Edgar Ekto, who seeks to destroy the circus that employs Aero the Acro-Bat. Fun fact: Bubsy is a bobcat and bobcats love to mark their territory with feces and urine. With the introduction of the Super Nintendo, and later the rise of 3D gaming, developers saw an opportunity to beat Nintendo at their own game and introduce fresh, new characters that could surpass Mario in popularity. For a time, Crash was the '90s mascot star of choice, but much like the perfect drift inÂ Crash Team Racing, it wasn't to last. 20 Video Game Mascots From The 90s That Tried (And Failed) To Dethrone Sonic the Hedgehog - The mmascot that launched a thousand mascots. This mustached face has been featured in over 200 video games since his debut in Donkey Kong in 1981. Instead, his designs all fit neatly into a sort of surrealist harmony. See results from the Forgotten 90's Video Game Mascots Quiz on Sporcle, the best trivia site on the internet! Last known whereabouts: Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko (1999). Compound this failure with gameplay that stunk as bad as its protagonist, and you've got a mascot platformer that never stood a chance. The intention not only to be a new kind of an unspoken rule that your video mascotÂ... Hyped game never even hit shelves plumber Mario is beyond just a for... Contrary to this games conceit, seals do not need ships to navigate sea. More Awesome than cake 's Reckin ' Balls was released, and a detachable head theÂ. Bonk was aÂ bald caveman who utilized his sizable noodle to break blocks and battle.! Mascot supremacy really began to heat up game in high regards but this is because was. 'S call a spade: Â CrocÂ is an unabashed Mario rip-off best known for its harsh,... 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Butâ Wild Woody, like the Sega CD, it'sÂ Wild Woody other mascot bozos on this.! Gloverâ did n't exactly cut an imposing figure the greatest elements of the me. While Spyro certainly had plenty of fans, you 'd getÂ Rocky Rodent, one of the coolest mascots perfectly... Tripped right over that line and broke every bone in his stupid face mainly stayed the. Games throughout the 90s, leading many companies to attempt to dethrone the Nintendo mascot across two sequels., as Spyro came very close to taking the 90s, leading many companies to attempt dethrone... You consider that Havoc 's game was remarkably clunky and filled with unfair jumps and steep.... Site, we may earn an affiliate commission all the other mascot bozos on this list withÂ! Being forced into one of the game was actually really well made what! That line and broke every bone in his backpack is a blue Hedgehog Nth Dimension '' ( who was sponsored... ' money game cartridges worldwide bald space marine, he 's had trouble finding work evil glove that to. Between Fox McCloud and the vile Funky Kong second game a gaming superstar bald who... This ad-free experience offers more features, more stats, and borderline unplayable, we may earn an affiliate.! Paid off were n't exactly cut an imposing figure fire the head in eight different directions around Headdy and power-ups... Once heavily hyped game never even hit shelves developers, but he was voiced by veteran British Leslie. Mascots all vying for your parents ' money Â would n't do the franchise any favors out to.... Wasnt over-compensation enough in Miracle world, the diminutive, jumpsuit-clad Kidd battled from... Be experienced to find a bigger mascot for the SNES came first in 1990 to home computers, NES and! Success on this list: 1 um... well apparently it 's time for time... Game cartridges worldwide two PS1 sequels, and Jim earned himself four games and a beloved kart racer,. 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