Crash Bandicoot: Warped Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Awesome
   Crash Bandicoot: Warped isn't exactly the most revolutionary action
platform game ever released, but it is still a great game and my pick for 
platform game of the year.  Crash's gameplay is still 2D, but I believe 
that this actually helps the game more than it hurts it.  The 2D gameplay 
makes Crash more tight, focused, and just plain fun to play than such 3D 
platformers as Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro the Dragon.  And unlike every 3D 
platform game ever released, you can always see where you're going in Crash
because there's only one direction to go at any given time.
   There are way too many uninspired platform games on the market with 
nothing to separate them from the pack and make them "special."  The thing 
that makes Crash: Warped so special is that like Crash 1 and 2 before it, 
it's just so darn well designed.  Crash: Warped is even better than both 
Crash 1 and 2 in the categories of depth, diversity, and balance.  The 
level designs are clever and offer plenty of variety.  The control responds
instantly and is almost never a problem.  The death animations are cool and
sometimes funny for both Crash and some of the enemies (like a frog kissing
Crash and turning into a prince).  After beating a level once, you can now 
go back in and play the surprisingly fun time trial mode.  The game is 
about the same size as Crash 2 (five worlds, 25 levels), but that's still 
pretty big for a platform game and now a new ability is unlocked after 
every world.  New enemies and gameplay elements are introduced in almost 
every single level in the game.  The loading time has been minimized to the
point that loading screens are no longer necessary; now there are just 
brief FF7-style fade-outs between levels.  Finally, now you get to 
ocasionally play as Crash's sister Coco for variety's sake.
   In addition to the forward-scrolling, side-scrolling, and towards-the-
screen chase levels found in Crash 1 and 2, this game also features such 
cool new gameplay styles as motorcycle racing and underwater levels.  It is
not uncommon for the gameplay style to change between the three standard 
styles several times within a single level, so if you're getting tired of 
one gameplay style, don't worry because it will switch to a new one shortly.
   The graphics aren't much better Crash 2's, but they're still great and 
better than most platform games.  Also, the music is also great, but 
certainly not up to the standards set by such classic platform games as 
Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2.
   One problem that many people will have with Crash: Warped is its high 
difficulty level towards the end of the game.  The game can be very 
maddening and repetitive at times, so it's necessary to have plenty of 
skill and patience.  You need skill to beat the game's challenging levels, 
and if you don't have nearly unlimited patience, you will end up breaking 
every single controller you own (even your N64 controllers if you're like 
me).  The reward for your patience and skill is a deeply enjoyable and 
satisfying game.
   If you only buy one action/platform game this year, you must buy this 
game. As sick and tired I am of platform games in general, Crash Bandicoot:
Warped still gives me sweaty palms and a darn good time.

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Crash Bandicoot 2 Review


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