Review by Psycho Penguin

"Some think it's better than the original. Some think it's too much of the same. I'm with the first group."

I didn't really like the original Crash Bandicoot too much. I do not know why this is the case, because quite frankly I have enjoyed all of the other games in the Crash Bandicoot series, especially part three, which still remains as one of my all time favorite video games. So, I was kind of boggled as to why I didn't really like the original Crash Bandicoot game that much. I even went as far as to play the game again this morning just to see if I would enjoy it more now that I have played the other games in the series.

Sadly, it turned out that I did not like the game that much. I enjoyed playing it, but it just did not have the feeling that the sequel had. Crash Bandicoot 2 is one of my favorite games on the Play Station, mainly because it is so much fun to play. I really enjoyed playing this game, despite the fact that it does have a few flaws. Yes, I did find a few flaws in this game, and it is not a perfect game. Whoever holds that against this game should be shot and killed :), because there is no such thing as a ''perfect game'' when it comes to video gaming.

The thing I liked most about Crash Bandicoot 2 was the fact that the variety of stages was simply top notch. This was never meant to be an adult game, as the graphics and stages are very childish and colorful. For instance, one of the stages in the game has you riding a rhino, while other stages have you running away from a huge polar bear while doing stuff like slipping through oil slicks and trying to jump over puddles of lava. It is this variety of stages that truly makes this game as fantastic as it is.

This is not the only thing I liked about the game, but it is the thing I liked most. Needless to say, there is a lot to love about this game. The graphics are awesome, the control is solid, and the actual game play is sweet as it gets. I really liked playing this game, a lot more than I expected to enjoy it. I did not really expect to enjoy playing this game too much, based primarily on the fact that I did not enjoy the original too much, but it turns out that I enjoyed playing this game a lot more than I enjoyed playing the original.

One of the things I hated most about the original Crash Bandicoot was the horrible story line that was ''featured'' in the game. Needless to say, it was one of the worst story lines ever in a video game, and I think my kid sister could have thought up of a better story line than that. So, it is obvious that it would take nothing short of a miracle for the story line in this game to be worse. And it wasn't worse, it was actually improved over the original big time! I am glad to report this because I hated the original story line and was glad to see a new story line featured for this game.

The basic story line is this: Dr. Cortex is back, and this time he has created an evil machine which can destroy Crash very easily. However, he is missing a very important part of the machine. To complete the machine, he needs to gain some crystals. The way he gets them is quite possibly the most moronic thing I have ever seen a video game character do. Crash actually believes Cortex when Cortex says he needs the crystals to save the world, so you, as Crash, are basically helping the enemy destroy you by collecting crystals. If that is not a soap opera story line, then I don't know what is. I really liked the story line, because it opened up a lot of room for plot twists and surprises.

The graphics in the game are definitely top notch. I really liked most of the graphics in the game, as everything looked great. I liked everything in the game, ranging from the backgrounds to the stage designs to the character and enemy designs. This is one of the better looking games on the Sony Play Station, and part three of the series looks a lot better than this! So you can just imagine how good the graphics in Crash 3: Warped! really are.

Let me first talk about the character and enemy designs in the game. I really liked the character designs in the game, although they were not up to par with the ones featured in the sequel to this game. I liked the look of Crash a lot, and I especially liked the way he animated, especially after doing stuff like the Crash Dance. The enemy designs in the game are solid, but they are certainly not revolutionary. I especially liked the boss designs in the game, as they were well detailed and very well varied.

The backgrounds and stage designs in the game are also top notch. There are a few types of levels in the game. First, there are the water levels. I really liked the design of these water stages because some of them have you do platform jumping, while others have you riding around in a ski-doo, Wave Race style. I liked the ski doo levels a lot because the water looked great and there was barely any loss in frame rate, even when you were travelling at the high speeds, which is what I normally did in those stages.

Next, there are the forest levels. I really liked these stages, as there was lush forest scenery on the left hand and right hand sides, and in the middle was the stage itself, usually with a dirt-like platform to run across, with lots of platform jumping involved. Then there are the cave and under ground levels, which basically take place, you guessed it, under ground. Finally, there are the ice and snow levels of the game, which are enveloped with snow and ice, and they have a very Arctic look to them.

The music in the game is awesome, and I really liked most of the music featured in the game. Some would say that the music featured in this game sounds a lot like the music featured in the original game. And while I wouldn't totally disagree with them on that point, I still do not see what the big deal of sharing similar music is. The music in the game is pretty good, and I especially like how the music fit the feeling of the stages. The music I liked most was the music that played when you ran across the polar bear stages, avoiding the polar bears, it really had a fast-paced sound to it that sounded simply awesome. It really got your heart pace going, and overall I really liked the music in the game.

One of the things the Crash Bandicoot series will never be known for is outstanding sound effects, and this game is a prime example of that. While there is certainly nothing wrong with the sound effects in the game, there is nothing featured here that is particuraly memorable, and there is certainly nothing featured here in terms of sound effects that you just have to hear. There is some voice acting featured, but that voice acting takes place only in cut scenes, when Neo Cortex is talking to Crash. His voice acting is pretty good but it could have been a little bit better. The sound effects during the stages are there, nothing totally memorable but everything is solid nevertheless.

The control in the game is solid, as everything in the game is easy to do. One of the most complicated things to do, it seems, is to do the move where Crash jumps in the air, stops, and then does a belly flop straight from the air onto the ground. It may seem complicated and difficult to do, but it really isn't. All you have to do is jump up in the air, then press the Circle button quick while Crash is at the top of his jump, and he will stop then do the belly flomp. The control is really solid, much better than I expected.

One of the things I did not like too much about the original Crash Bandicoot was how linear it was. You never really got a total sense of freedom, as you were always stuck in one path. However, the sequel tries to change that by introducing a whole new stage system which really makes the game seem much more non-linear. It is not the most revolutionary system of all time, as other games have done it even better and more effeicently, but overall I was really impressed by how non linear the game really was.

There are six main areas in the game, and each area has three stages. To unlock the next area, you must first defeat all five stages, and then beat the boss. Once you complete all five stages of an area, you cannot go back to any of the five stages until you have defeated the boss. You can go back to any stage you have completed provided you do not have any bosses to fight currently. You have a choice of what order you wish to complete the stages in to a certain extent, as there are five stages per area, and you can tackle the five stages in any order that you want.

Why would you want to go back to stages you have already completed? In this game you have different objective than in the first one as well. In this game, you are looking for certain crystals, as the story line indicates. Each level has one long pink crystal in it, and you must get that crystal and complete the stage without dying after getting the crystal in order to complete the stage. If you complete the stage without getting the crystal, Crash will shake his head when you get outside of the stage and you will have to go back to get the crystal.

There are other elements featured in the game, as well, that will make you want to go back to complete the stage. You can also collect certain boxes, eveyr box you get goes towards your counter. But there is also a gem to find in a level. In order to get this special gem, you have to smash every single box in a level. This is no easy task, as some of the boxes are extremely difficult to find, and may require you to figure out a certain puzzle first before you are able to smash them. If you smash every box in the stage, you get a special gem at the end of the stage. If you get every box in the game, and every special crystal, then you will unlock the special second ending.

This will lead to an increase in replay value right off the bat, because you will want to keep on playing the game until you get the second ending. And it will keep you coming back for more. There are in fact five warp rooms in the game, which means that there are twenty-five levels altogether, excluding the boss stages and secret levels! There is just so much to do in the levels, that you can spend literally hours just trying to find the hidden gems. And then there are the crystals, and the warp rooms. Add to that the fact that this game is so much fun to play, and you have an incredible game with awesome replay value just waiting to happen! And that is exactly what Crash Bandicoot 2 is, an incredible game with awesome replay value.

The only problem with the game is that the difficulty level gets very high after the first warp room, and the game gets increasingly frustrating as the levels go on. Crash Bandicoot 2 will take many hours and a high amount of patience in order to complete properly, so if you're finding every other game is just too easy, then Crash Bandicoot 2 could very well be the game for you. The game was pretty challenging, and it definitely will take you a while to complete. I definitely feel as if this is more challenging than the original Crash Bandicoot, that is for sure.

Overall, this is one of my all time favorite Sony Play Station game, and it is a virtual must own if you have a Play Station console. The game is so much fun to play, and has great replay value. Certain elements of the game are not as good as I would have expected, like the challenge level being a lot higher than I expected, but that is not to take away from how good this game really is. If you can get over the fact that the game at heart is a lot like the original, then you will truly enjoy this game. And that is a Ladies Man guarantee!

Triple H
-The variety of stages in the game was truly awesome.
-I really liked the graphics in this game.
-The music and sound effects in the game are above average.
-I really liked the non-linear feel of the game.
-The game is just so much fun to play!
-It is very addicting, because of all of the secrets.

The Rock
-The story line is good, but a little too weird for my tastes.
-This is a pretty challenging game.
-There could have been more of the polar bear chasing stages.
-The sound effects could have been a little bit better.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line - 7.8/10
Graphics - 9.1/10
Music - 9.3/10
Sound Effects - 9.2/10
Control - 9.1/10
Game Play - 9.2/10
Replay Value - Way Above Average
Challenge - Above Average
Is this game worth a purchase? - Definitely.
Overall - 9.3/10

The Last Line
This is truly a great game from the people at Naughty Dog. The game may seem a little bit too much like the original Crash Bandicoot, but this game is simply too addicting and too fun for me to dislike it that much!

And that's a Ladies Man guarantee!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/17/00, Updated 07/16/01

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