Crash Bash Review

For PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Chris George

Rating: Average
   Crash Bash, the newest game in the under-achieving "party game" genre, is
an unexciting and generic game that becomes tiresome very quickly.  If this 
is any indication of what the future holds for Crash Bandicoot now that the 
original creators at Naughty Dog have moved on, Universal Interactive should
shoot Crash and put him out of his misery.
   As one might expect, the single-player mode is far from deep.  Rather 
than taking the traditional board-game approach, the developers at Eurocom 
chose to present Crash Bash as an action game with a stupid plot.  I 
considered this a good idea at first, but I eventually realized that it's 
nothing more than an attempt to cover up how repetitive the game is.  After 
you win all of the mini-games in a particular warp zone, you'll find that 
the "new" mini-games in the next warp zone are just variations on the 
previous games.
   Much like the single-player mode, the four-player Tournament Mode is also
less deep than it initially appears.  The Tournament Mode is essentially 
just one mini-game with four different variations.  On top of this, games in
this mode are much too time-consuming because the game doesn't advance until
one person wins at least three times on each board.
   The only thing that prevents Crash Bash from being completely without 
merit is the Battle Mode.  If you have a Multi-Tap and three friends to play
with, this mode can be very fast-paced, competitive, and sometimes even 
addictive.  As a matter of fact, the Battle Mode is so much better than the 
rest of the game that after I spent some time with it, I had no desire to go
back to the single-player mode.
   Most of the boss levels are surprisingly creative, but the Artificial 
Intelligence in the actual mini-games has a tendency to jump back and forth 
between amazingly easy and nearly impossible.  The majority of the mini-
games are fun for a short amount of time and then permanently boring, with 
the exception of only a few good ones like Ballistix (a four-way variation 
of Pong).  In addition, some of the mini-games have too many power-ups and 
can become confusing as a result.
   While the gameplay is a big step down from previous Crash games, at least 
Eurocom kept the graphics and sound intact.  The graphics do a good job of 
giving the game a light-hearted and cartoonish appearance.  The explosions 
and other flashy effects can be nice at times, but just as often they cause 
slowdown that detracts from the game as a whole.  Meanwhile, the upbeat and 
fast-paced soundtrack does a nice job of complementing the sound effects.
   Eurocom's first (and possibly last) attempt at a Crash Bandicoot game 
isn't horribly bad, it's just not that good either.  Almost all games 
eventually show their age and begin to grow tiresome, but Crash Bash reaches
this point in a remarkably small amount of time.  Crash Bash is worth 
renting as a quick diversion for a group of four, but that's the highest 
recommendation I can give it.

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