CRASH 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.

Now Loading................................................................... Still Loading.....

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 sucks.

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!"



overall rating: 41/100
Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 6/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 3/10
replay: 5/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

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