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Crash Bandicoot: Warped (PlayStation) artwork

Crash Bandicoot: Warped (PlayStation) review

"From the very start of this classic series, we all knew that it was going to be one that would rule above many others. Crash Bandicoot was released in 1996, and it was a good game. Many fell in love with the orange marsupial, and he became a mascot and the game became a Greatest Hit. A year or two after that, Crash Bandicoot 2 was released, and it was highly superior to its predecessor. It also became a Greatest Hit, but there were a lot of people thinking Crash Bandicoot: Warped would be a bad ..."

From the very start of this classic series, we all knew that it was going to be one that would rule above many others. Crash Bandicoot was released in 1996, and it was a good game. Many fell in love with the orange marsupial, and he became a mascot and the game became a Greatest Hit. A year or two after that, Crash Bandicoot 2 was released, and it was highly superior to its predecessor. It also became a Greatest Hit, but there were a lot of people thinking Crash Bandicoot: Warped would be a bad game. That was before a masterpiece called this game came out. One of my favorite games, and surely the best in the whole Crash Bandicoot series, I give to you... Crash Bandicoot: Warped!

The classic old story that we know and love is back from the previous two games, but it has now been expanded and taken a big step up. From the last defeat of Dr. Cortex, the remains of his ship fall to the ground, onto a ruin. There's a huge explosion, and a force of evil comes out of the ruin and laughs ''Free at last!'' Then we learn that Cortex actually has someone whom he reports to, the most dark, evil thing in the whole world: Aku Aku's brother Uka Uka. Uka Uka talks to Dr. Cortex and growls to him about his failure to collect the Crystals and Gems. Now an old friend of Dr. Cortex's: N. Tropy, is building a time machine known as the Time Twister to go back in time and get them so they can rule the world.

Aku Aku, the mask of good hears Uka Uka's laugh and then he immediately knows that Uka Uka has been released and that evil has come. He explains to Crash and Coco Bandicoot that a long time ago, he locked his evil brother Uka Uka away to protect the world from his malice. But now he is free. And he is even worse now than he was before he had been locked away. Crash and Coco have to use the Time Twister to go back in time and collect the crystals and then stop Dr. Cortex and Uka Uka before it is too late. This sends us on an extremely fun and enjoyable journey.

Gameplay has been changed a little bit from the previous Crash Bandicoot titles. Just like Crash Bandicoot 2, there's a huge area composed of five warp rooms (and a secret one). In each of the five warp rooms, there are five levels. After all five levels have been beaten and the Crystal for each of them has been collected, you must beat a boss. After that boss is beaten, you can go to the next warp room. And just like before, you get a Gem by breaking every single box in the level. That's just about all it has in common.

There's a new addition to the levels now. You can go in the levels after they've been collected and go for a Relic, where you must race to the end of the level and get time boxes to stop the clock. There are three kinds of relics: Sapphire, Gold, and Platinum, each growing in difficulty. There's another addition after beating the bosses as well. After they are beaten, Crash is given a new powerup, like the Super Belly Flop and the Speed Shoes, in which are for the Relic challenges. So don't think the game is basically the same!

Also, there's more stuff to control in this game. For example, we can finally play as Crash's little sister Coco! There's a tiger and a T. Rex to ride, a jetski, a plane, and tons of other great things! The levels are pure fun to play, some of the best fun I've had in a very long while. There are 25 levels you must go through in the game (not including boss levels), 5 hidden warp room levels, and 2 secret levels. All of them provide a lasting amount of fun and tons of stuff to do.

I think I've also forgotten the controls. They're definitely decent enough for me, although they have a lot of difference from the old controls. It's just the D-Pad to move, X to jump, L1 to use your Fruit Bazooka, R2 to use the Speed Shoes (once you have them), [] to spin, O to crouch and crawl, X while using [] several times to do the collectible Death Tornado Spin, and more in which it would take forever to name for other vehicles. Crash also moves quite fast enough for my pleasure, so overall I have no problem with the control at all.

Ah, looks like I've found nothing but things to praise so far. There is one little flaw to be found where it comes to the challenge. The first two Crash Bandicoots were long-lasting challenges and gave even the most experienced elites some hard times. Crash Bandicoot Warped is extremely easy. It doesn't go as far as being as easy as Crash Team Racing, but it's not too far above that. While the Platinum Relics in the game are pretty big challenges, they're totally optional, so they don't really add to the challenge very much. Heck, even the gems in the game are easy to collect! There is no challenge, folks.

Graphically, this is undoubtedly the best in the series, easily outmatching the previous two, in which had pretty good graphics in themselves. I'll start with the character and boss designs. Crash Bandicoot looks more solid and greater than ever. Coco looks very nice in those cute little clothes of hers, and Aku Aku looks really good himself. Uka Uka has two bones on his sides and is totally black with orange eyes and red covering part of him, looking simply perfect. All of the bosses look very real, from Dingodile to Cortex.

The enemy designs are also really good, blowing the first two games out the window. From those goats found in the first level to the lions in the fight with Tiny and all the other birds, snakes, crocodiles, frogs, and all the other enemies simply look perfectly realistic. There are a lot of enemies in the game too, to add to the power of the graphics.

Then we come to the best part of the graphics: the area designs. We all remember how fantastic Crash Bandicoot 2's forest and snow designs were. This game tends to focus more upon water, tombs, and other great-looking things. The water effects and even the water itself are really good, and all of those tombs are dark and look great. All of the other area designs to be found in the game like the desert and electric stages are splendid. The graphics may even be the strongest point of the game.

Musically and sound-wise, this is the legend of the Crash Bandicoot series. I'll start off with the music. There are quite a bunch of songs in this game. A few particular good ones go to the song that plays in the jetski levels. It's a nice song that fits the feeling of going on a boat or something in a nice body of water. The tomb themes sound very Egyptian, and probably are. They're all good old songs that make you think of entering a dark area. And there's the song that plays against Dr. Cortex. I cannot describe the quality of this song. It's basically his classic theme improved in a nice way.

Sound has been improved a great deal since the first two games. The voices should come to mind first here. Crash Bandicoot himself still never talks in this game, and his sister Coco doesn't talk either. Aku Aku does though and he has a very good voice, perfectly suiting him. The evil mask Uka Uka has a dark and deep voice, and since he's the most evil thing ever, his is almost perfect. Cortex has the same, good old voice that we've come to love. All of the voices in the game are terrific. I did have a problem with Tiny's though. His is so deep that I could hardly make out one word he was saying! Besides that, it's just fine.

But of course, the voices are not all that the sound has to offer. The sound Crash makes when he spins has been improved since Crash Bandicoot 2 and his Death Tornado Spin (which is basically a combination of spins), sounds great. All the other sounds like Crash's feet when he walks on the floor or on water, and all of the enemy sounds like snakes slithering and the Triceratops roaring sound just very realistic, just like they should. There's no problem with the sound in this game.

Fortunately, Crash Bandicoot: Warped ties the graphical power and the replay value with the strongest points of the game. After Cortex is defeated you will most likely just want to start a new game and begin playing through the levels again. There is tons of stuff to find in this game like the Gems and Relics, and the legendary Developers' Times to try to attempt. These could take a lifetime! Trust me, you will never grow tired of Crash Bandicoot Warped. I can guarantee that.

Let's see here... the graphics were definitely the best in the series. They looked very realistic and all of them were very clear and looked very nice. The music and sound have taken a big step up. All of the music fits the stage very well and the voices, sounds, and everything else of that sort is great. There is no problem with the control at all, and the gameplay itself is full of new additions and tons of stuff to do. This makes the replay value quite high. The biggest flaw is that the game doesn't really have any challenge. If you can overlook that fact, then I'd recommend this game to fans of this genre and anyone who doesn't mind games that don't have lots of challenge in them!

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Community review by gbness (April 24, 2004)

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