The Total Recall DUD OF THE MONTH
BANDICOOT: The Wrath of Cortex (Universal
Studios/Traveler Tales, 2001)
Unlike my brother, I have never been a big fan of the
Crash Bandicoot games. The reason for this is that I have been playing video
games now for over 20 years and the Crash games in my opinion have always
lack serious originality in the game play department and the storylines have
been weak at best. The platform Crash games play like a second rate Donkey
Kong Country, Crash Team Racing was a decent Mario Kart clone but still a
clone nonetheless, and Crash Bash was a forgettable Mario Party-like game.
Sure the simple and effective play mechanics of jumping and spinning have
worked well for the Crash games over the years but I was expecting a bit more
from this PS2 game. Sadly that didn't happen because there are LOADS of problems
in PS2's first Crash game here.
The main problem with the PS2 Crash game is the horribly super long loading
screens before every stage. The load times begin every time Crash enters a
stage and it's nearly a 2 minute wait ............. 2 of the longest minutes
of your life and you are forced to sit through this before you see any real
action. Another huge problem with the new Crash is the virtually recycled
storyline from the past games. I could care less if Cortex finally eliminated
Crash so that he can finish taking over the world. Another thing I hate about
the story is the new super Bandicoot rival of Crash, man, this jacked up Tiny
want to be is so genetic that it just adds to the poor quality of this game.
It's not all too bad though because the game still controls fine just like
before. Like in the last Crash action games controlling Crash is a breeze
because the game starts out easy as you only have to worry about jumping and
spinning plus the flying and driving type stages are easy to learn too. As
you move on in the game Crash can learn more moves to keep players interested
(if they're still playing after waiting through the load times). Anybody can
play this and that's has been the series strongest point and it's still one
of the few games out there that kind of plays like the classic Donkey Kong
Country games for the now dead Super Nintendo system, some of the
greatest games back then.
A great looking PSOne game?
Crash 4's graphics are good but far from excellent. Like the older 3D Crash
games, everything is on a fixed (excluding some nice looking but some small
3D stages) and nothing screams WOW here. The underwater levels were the only
worlds that caught my eye although the foregrounds can get in the way at times
there. The game looks like a Playstation game but in high resolution and the
PS2 deserves better!
I HATE THE SOUND! Again Crash doesn't talk here and if anybody needs a voice
in a game it's Crash! Crash has no personality whatsoever especially compared
to other mascots like Sonic, Mario, Plok, Klonoa, Pac Man, Bonk, the
chick from Ridge Racer, Awesome Possum, Donkey Kong, and more. "Crash
is so BORING!" The sound effects are bouncy and corky but they are nothing
new. The music fits the game's sounds effects.......... in other words its
Bottomline: Safe but routine.
If you're looking for a greatly improved sequel in this popular action jump
'n spin series than you're going to be waiting a little while longer because
Crash on the PS2 is a lot like the older Crash Platformers from the original
PSone despite the advance power of the PS2. That's not really a bad thing
though because it still plays very well and the game has a nice balance of
different stages so it won't be too easy to get bored but you'll still find
nothing new here as well, folks! If you're a hardcore Crash fans or you're
somebody looking for something simple than this maybe for you but be careful
of the many flaws here. "You've been warned!"