Review by Psycho Penguin

"Sony proved the naysayers wrong.. the 3rd game in the series is the best!"

Introduction

The Crash Bandicoot series has always been one of my favorite series, ever since I first played part TWO. Yes, there was a time where I did not like the series and was biased against the series, but that is a long story. Quite frankly, I never really figured out why I didn't like the series in a first place.

For those of you new to the Crash Bandicoot series, it is a platformer series in the reins of the Super Mario Brothers series, with a new twist: the series combines both 3D and 2D graphics to make a wonderfully unique and fun game. Besides the basic ''jump on top of the enemies'' gameplay found in a lot of the platformers out there, there are a lot of cool innovations in the series, like getting a ride from an elephant and barreling down a highway, or flying in an airplane, collecting boxes.

And of all the Crash Bandicoot games in the series (3, if you don't count CTR: Crash Team Racing) part 3 is my favorite, although part 2 comes a close second. Read on for the reasons why.

Graphics (9.2/10)

Like I have already mentioned, the developers of the game did a great job in combining 3D and 2D graphics. What do I mean by this? Well most of the game has the camera directed behind you, with Crash looking ahead. This leads to a 3D look. But when you enter something like a secret stage, the camera shifts to a 2D angle, with a rotating 3D background. It looks very cool, trust me ^_^

Character designs in the game are decent, although there are really only a couple of main characters in the game. The two main characters in the game are Crash Bandicoot (duh) and his sister, Coco. They are designed a lot like one another, they are the basic design of a bandicoot (orange with orange and black ears and a black stomach). Overall, the character designs in the game are not that bad.

Enemy designs in the game are pretty good as well. There are a lot of different enemies in the game, and they all look wonderfully designed. For instance, there are enemies like a jumping alligator (or crocodile) that looks very realistic, then suddendly you are attacked by a realistic looking bird. Therefore, all the enemies look very realistic, and overall the enemy designs in the game are great.

Overall, the graphics in Crash 3: Warped! are great, and look much better than the first two games in the series, which really didn't look that bad at all themselves. Everything in the game looks realistic, from the water effects to the various backgrounds of the game. The graphics really push the Playstation to the edge in terms of graphical detail. Great job, Naughty Dog!

Music/Sound (8.4/10)

The music and sound effects in the Crash Bandicoot series have always been great, but Crash 3: Warped! takes the prize for the best music and sound effects in the series. I didn't think that the music and sound effects could be improved greatly from the previous games in the series, but Naughty Dog proved me wrong once again!

Music in the game is fantastic, and there is a variety of great tunes, from the classic music early on in the game to the cool boss tunes. The music has a nice beat to it, and I noticed that the music featured in almost every stage fit the feeling of the stage perfectly. For instance, the music in the futuristic stages had a hip 22nd century beat to it, while in the water stages there was a calm and more subdued tune. Overall, the music in the game is fantastic.

Sound effect wise, the sound effects in the game are great as well. There is a variety of sound effects, from the sound of Crash spinning through several enemies to the sound of a boss getting bonked in the head with a hammer. They all sound great, and really push the Playstation (a system known for quality music and sound effects) to its limit. Overall, the sound effects in the game are great.

Overall, the music and sound effects in the game are simply great. The music has a nice variety to it, and each stage has music that fits the feeling of the stage very nicely. The sound effects in the game are top notch, as well. Great job, Naughty Dog!

Gameplay and Control (9.7/10)

Ahh, the most important part of a video game, and Crash 3: Warped! fails to disappoint. For those of you new to the series, the Crash Bandicoot series is a lot like the Super Mario series, only it is 3D instead of 2D (well, for the most part). There are also a lot of new and innovative ideas featured, ranging from the unique stage system to the boss strategies.

The stage system in Crash 3: Warped! is very interesting, to say the least. You start off in a room with 6 different paths. Only one path is open to you from the beginning, so you are forced to go to that path. Walk down it and 5 buttons pop up. These are the first 5 stages of the game. Like the Mega Man series, there is no particular order to doing these stages, so you can complete them in any order that you wish. However, there is really no big deal, there are no special advantages to completing the stages in a certain order.

In each stage, you have to collect a purple crystal. Collect it in the stage, and you have officially completed the stage. You can not officially complete a stage without collecting the purple crystal. There are other things you can collect in the stages too, including gems. Also, there are boxes in the stage, and collecting all the boxes in a stage lead to a special reward. You are notified at the end of the stage about how many boxes you have collected.

Another cool thing about the game is the fact that it is totally non linear, in the fact that you can always come back to completing a stage at any time. The only time you cannot do this is when you have completed all 5 of the stages in a certain section, then you are forced to kill the boss before being able to go back to those 5 stages. Now you may be wondering, what is the big deal? Well, yuo can open up secrets like this. For instance, opening up something in the 17th stage, and you can go back to the 6th stage and collect a secret item. Cool, eh? I haven't seen that since Blaster Master!

There is a lot of cool things about this game, but I think that the variety of stages in the game is by far the coolest. There are a lot of cool stages in the game, from the airplane stage (kill all the dimly colored airplanes in a few minutes while collecting boxes) to water skiing (by far the 2nd most fun stage in the game) 2nd most fun? Then what's my fave stage? The ones where you are achased by various things, like polar bears or boulders. Those stages are so much fun, and can get quite intense!

Controls in the game are rock solid. Moving around the various stages are easy, either with analog control or with the regular digital control. Precision jumping is tough in the game, but the controls are thankfully forgiving in these certain situations. The only problem I had with these controls are the fact that sometimes it is difficult to move with the digitial control, especially in those ''run away from the thing that chases you'' stages. Otherwise, the control is great.

Overall, Crash 3: Warped! combines platform action with an adventure element (collecting gems and crystals) and the result is a wonderful blend of genres that is perfect for fans of the action/adventure genre. What a great game.

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Other Important Scores
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Replay Value: High


Yes, the game does have high replay value. Mainly because there are a lot of secrets in the game. Like collecting the various crystals, gems, etc. Plus there is the added time trial mode, which is a cool addition. I can see you playing this game for weeks based on the time trial mode alone. Overall, the replay value in the game is great.

Challenge: Low

Ahh, a flaw in such a great game. Ever notice how most of the truly great games are kinda easy? Well this game is no exception. Not only is it easy, it's the easiest game in the series, by far. It really is a shame too, because they could have made the game more difficult. There was only one challenging stage for me, and that was the airplane stage. Otherwise, the challenge was pretty much non existant.


GOOD POINTS
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-What isn't a good point about this game?
-The replay value is wonderful thanks to several different game secrets.
-Wonderful graphics and stage design


BAD POINTS
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-The challenge level is a little on the low side. Hell, there is no challenge in the game.
-Digital control is a bit iffy in certain spots.
-Whew, that was tough. I found two flaws!

Overall (9.7/10)

I love the Crash Bandicoot series, and this is the best of them all. The game combines platform action with an adventure element (collecting gems and crystals) and the result is a wonderful blend of genres that is perfect for fans of the action/adventure genre. What a great game.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/00, Updated 07/16/01


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