Review by scarlet_puppy

"Boy, bandicoots throw really bad parties!"

Up until the release of this game, Naughty Dog had produced three successful adventure games and one racing game for the Crash Bandicoot series. But then something unexpected happened: they let another company use the Crash Bandicoot franchise. I seriously do not understand why this game is so popular. Is it because of Crash Bandicoot, or the idea of him being in a party game, or something else?

Story: 5/10
Put simply, Aku Aku and Uka Uka have their allies fight each other to see who is better: good or evil. However, because of Aku Aku's limited supply of helpers, he forces Uka Uka to give him Tiny and Dingodile. Why they are getting them to fight each other via a bunch of games, I am not sure of.

Graphics: 7/10
Although I wish I could bash this game fully, I must admit the graphics in this game are pretty good. All of the character models are well designed, and the game runs with a steady framerate, with very little slowdown. The backgrounds leave a little to be desired, but overall the game looks quite nice.

Sound: 6/10
The sound in this game is a mixed bag. The music is well composed, and most of the tunes have a catchy melody to them. The sound effects are not so good, however. Things sometimes don't sound like they should, or they don't make any sound when they should. The worst sound effects come from the polar bears, which make the most horrible noises I have ever heard. The voice acting is mostly just the announcer, who speaks in an extremely deep and monotone voice, with no emotion at all.

Gameplay: 3/10
This is where things go wrong. This is essentially the same as Mario Party, in that it is a bunch of games that you can play on your own or with friends. To start with, there are four games, but once you have finished the adventure mode (more on this later), you have seven. Yes, only seven. Not a lot is it? Each game has four variations, but these variations have a negligible effect on the actual gameplay, meaning although this game claims to have quite a few games, in reality there are only seven.

In adventure mode, you must go through each warp room, winning all the challenges. However, the problem is that you must win every game three times. This is tedious and very boring. But what is even more annoying is that you must also unlock gems and crystals to complete later warp rooms, and the challenges for them are sometimes so difficult you might break the controller with frustration. Ultimately, I never completed it because I stopped trying due to the annoyance of it all.

As I have said, there are seven minigames. The best of them, using the term loosely, is Crate Crush. In this game, you must throw crates and dynamite at people, as well as attacking them, to whittle their health down to nothing. After a while, the repetitiveness of it sinks in, but initially this game is good fun.

The next best game is Pogo Pandemonium. In this game, you must cover as many squares as you can, and then smash a box to score. Meanwhile, your opponents will try to stop you. This game is probably quite fun in multiplayer (I haven't tried it), but in single player the game is kind of dull due to the stupid A.I.

From then, the games are much worse. In Polar Push, you and your enemies are on top of polar bears, and you must try and push each other off the edge. Last man standing wins. The concept of this game is nice, but the problem is that regardless of how skilled or unskilled you are, the winner is determined almost entirely by the luck of the items. A lightning bolt almost guarantees victory, while a weight means that one person will die. It's a shame, really, since this could have been such a good game.

The next game is Ballistix. This is probably the worst game of all. There is one person on each side of the screen, and you must deflect balls into each others goals. What makes the game so horrible is that there may be a dozen balls coming towards you at once and if you make a single mistake, then you have essentially lost already! Also, your team mates always gang up on you. The fact that you have no control over where the ball goes doesn't help matters, either.

The next is Tank Wars. You have to shoot each other in tanks (gasp) and lay mines to defeat each other. This game gets very complicated very quickly, because you must move your turret and the tank separately, meaning that it is easy to get confused and end up losing due to forgetting whether you should be turning the tank or turning just the turret.

After that it's Crash Dash, where you have to race around a tiny circular track for ten laps. Not only is the overall concept rubbish, but the control of this game is so horrible it can make turning corners a nightmare. Chalk down another bad game.

The final one is Medieval Mayhem. I've only played one of them, due to the monotony and tediousness of unlocking them, and in the one I played, you have to pop your own colour balloons. The thing is that your opponent always gets all of the items, which ultimately determine how the game goes. So the final game turns out to be not so good either.

So that's two games out of seven that are worth playing. That is pretty poor, I must say. Put simply, this game is about as fun as extra English homework, and this game is not worth your time.

Replay Value: 3/10
You will probably give up adventure mode in frustration, and only two of the remaining games are worth playing more than once. In simple terms, this party most likely won't last you the night.

Pros:
Good graphics.
Nice music.
A couple of the minigames are alright…

Cons:
… the others are poor.
Only seven minigames?!
Variations aren't all that varied.
Terrible sound effects.
Monotonous announcer voice.
Shut up, you damn polar bears!
Tedious adventure mode.
Not fun in any way.

Buy, rent or avoid: Definitely avoid. I don't see why people like this game when it has so many problems. I wouldn't recommend buying this game even if you see it for less than $5, because even then it isn't worth it.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/24/08

Game Release: Crash Bash (EU, 12/01/00)


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