|PS2, GC, Xbox
| The Good
Variety of levels
Good, simple fun
Colorful and visually nice
| The Bad
Hellish loading times
Not a lot of new gameplay
Certain areas are too open to be challenging
Once again, everyone's favorite (or hated) Bandicoot is back.
To be honest, the story is shallow and inconsequential, but
it gives the player a reason why they should work through
numerous levels to the end. Anyone who's played any of the
Crash Bandicoot games will know what they're getting
into from the get-go. This time, though, Naughty Dog isn't
the name behind the code. That honor goes to Traveler's Tales,
who have been given the task to keep the series going, even
if in a predictable way.
Graphically, this game looks good. The bright color palette
and nice level design really stand out. Visual effects are
used well and everything moves with a certain fluidity. The
level design itself is nice, even if a little less than challenging
in certain areas. Rather than having to dodge or jump certain
on-screen troubles, you can just run around them, due to the
overlarge area. This takes a little of the challenge out of
certain areas, but doesn't ruin the overall fun of the game.
In all, the game isn't pushing the hardware to it's limits,
but does manage to look better than previous incarnations.
You wouldn't know that Naughty Dog didn't build this one from
looking at it.
Gameplay-wise, this is basically what you would expect. On
certain levels, there is a change of gameplay, often from
simple platforming to riding in carts or jeeps and back. On
other levels, you have to use Coco, Crash's sister in what
amounts to your basic platforming levels. Because just about
every level is built on a linear path, don't expect a lot
of exploration. While a number of the level gimmicks are reused
from previous games, they are freshened up to a degree. The
introduction of the Gyroball levels are nice and the boss
fight in which you must use the Gyroball is a great change
of pace. Also, once you finish a level, you can go back and
try to complete it again by getting a good time or all of
the "fruit" on the regular path and in hidden areas.
Probably the biggest glaring problem is the extremely long
loading times. And, I'm not talking 10 seconds. I'm talking
25-30 seconds to load a new level. When you first start up
the game, you have to wait while the game loads the intro
screen and then wait again to load for either a new game or
previous save. The waiting really breaks up what could be
a fairly enjoyable experience.
What it really breaks down to is that the game feels like
it's all been done before. Except for a few things, the game
feels like a greatest hits of the Playstation versions in
a prettier PS2 package. If you're looking for something fresh
and new, this might not be it. If you just want more of the
same, check this one out as a rental first.