Review by Psycho Penguin

"I do not see why everyone loves this game so much!"

The Crash Bandicoot series has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. I have liked almost all of the games featured in the series, except for one. I loved part two, and I also loved part three. However, there is one game in the series in which I just did not enjoy that much? That game is none other than the original Crash Bandicoot. Released in 1996 or so by Naughty Dog for the Sony Playstation, it was supposed to be a revolutionary game that would make the main character, Crash Bandicoot, a mascot for the Sony Playstation. Therefore, I expected to like the game.

However, I just did not like playing the game much, at all. It had a lot of things going for it, like the same awesome factors that made the second and third games in the series so much fun to play, but at the end of the day, it just was not as fun or as enjoyable as I would have liked, or expected. The game did have its good points, of course. The graphics are pretty good, and the stage designs have all of the good qualities of the later games in the series. I especially like the platform stages and bonus areas of the game. However, it just does not have the same feeling as the other games, why that is, I do not know.

The story line to the game is outdated, cliched, and quite frankly, boring in every aspects of the word. It is, you guessed it, a ''save the damsel in distress'' type story line. How long is it going to take for video game companies to figure out that people like me plan old hate story lines like this. This is the basic ist of the story line. Dr. Cortex and his little friend are in a laboratory, and they have found a potion that is able to destroy the human race. But they need to test it on someone (why? I do not know), so they kidnap, you guessed it, Crash's girlfriend. Now he has to save her. Yipee, I am just so excited by that prospect.

The graphics in the game are pretty good, but they are certainly nothing totally amazing. The thing I liked most about the graphics is the fact that eveything is so descriptive and colorful, especially the backgrounds. The tropical scenery of the backgrounds was really a sight to behold, as everything looked simply awesome. You could make out individual details on the trees and stuff, which definitely reeks of awesomeness. The parrots flying around, everything just looked top notch, to say the absolute least.

The character and enemy designs, as opposed to the backgrounds, could have, and should have, been a lot better, thogh. The thing I like least about them is the fact that they do not seem that smooth, at all. What do I mean by this? Well, look at Crash. His hair sticks up all over the place, and there appears to be a lot of jagged edges, it just does not look like Naughty Dog wanted to spend a lot of time working on the character designs. Same goes with the enemy designs, despite the fact that there is a nice variety of them, none of them look very visually appealing in my eyes. Maybe it is just me, though.

The music in the game, in a word, blows big chunks. Okay, so maybe that was three words. But I really disliked the music in the game, as I felt a lot of it had nothing to do with the actual feeling of the game itself. I was expecting to hear quality music with stage themes that fit the feeling of the stages, like the music in Crash 3: Warped! But I was disappointed to hear a soundtrack that just does not cut it. The music was simply horrific, and I think that Naughty Dog should have taken a sledge hammer to the soundtrack of this game and just started over. I know they could have done better too, because the music in Crash 3: Warped!, as I have already mentioned, and especially Crash Bandicoot 2, the sequel to this game, is pretty impressive.

The sound effects in the game are okay but there is nothing revolutionary to hear. The sound effects sound exactly like you would expect them to. The sound effects were more blended in than the music. I didn’t notice any prominent sound effects for Crash at all, except when he dies or something. The areas do make sound effects though. For example the waterfalls, you definitely hear a ‘swishhhhh’ of the water falling, and for rivers you hear their sound. Like I said, all of the expected sound effects are here, but I would have liked to hear a little bit more sound effects come from the Crashter himself.

The control in the game is actually pretty impressive. It is easy enough to control Crash around through the stages, as that annoying slide problem that plagued the sequel is not featured in this game. It is easy enough to do everything in this game, from that move Crash does where he jumps up then lands via belly flop. Making corners fats is easy as well, it is responsive and easy enough to do sharp turns really quickly. Whenever you are trying to make a corner fast or do some other fast movement, Crash is always well reactive, and easy to control.

The game itself proves to be nothing more than another average platformer, which is definitely disappointing for people like me that expected an incredible game like Crash 2 or 3. The biggest problem with this game is it just is not as fun to play as the other games in the series. I do not know why that is, because the game does have a lot in common with the other games in the series. After examining this problem very closely, I have come up with a solution (I think) as to why I did not enjoy this game as much as I enjoyed the other games in the series.

I think the main reason this proves to be the case is not because of what Crash has, instead it is because of what it doesn't have. It does not have a lot of the fun things that the other two games did. For instance, crystals and gems are not here. Instead, you just have to go through the stage and that is about it. You do not have to worry about going back through the stage in order to get certain things, which ultimately proves to be the game's biggest downfall. It is not about what it has, because it has the same fun stages, it is about what it does not have.

The fact that the stages do not feature crystals and gems any more may seem like it leads to a downfall in replay value, and that is definitely the case with this game. Quite frankly, the game is not as addicting as the others in the series, mainly because it does not lead to a lot of replay value. One of the things about the other games was that you often wanted to go back through previously played stages in order to get some stuff you missed. But you do not need to do that, which means you will not want to go back through previously played stages in this game.

There is not a whole lot I can really say about the challenge and difficulty level of this game. It is the perfect challenge, think of it like you would think of the young bear's porridge in that damn fairy tale everyone loves so much (Goldilocks, I think it is). Some of the bosses will provide a decent challenge, as you have to figure out how to defeat them without dying, it can sometimes prove to be pretty tough. I also felt that the stages could have been a bit tougher in some areas. Regardless, the challenge level of the game was perfect.

Overall, I just did not like this game as much as I would have expected. It does have its good points, but is ultimately dragged down by what it does not have, and that is a solid story line, and great game play. The thing I disliked most about the game, and the factor that led me not to enjoy this game as much as I should have more than likely, is the fact that it does not have crystals and gems in the stages like the other games do. If you can get over that fact, you will have a somewhat enjoyable time with the game. And that is a Ladies Man guarantee!

Trent Green
-The graphics in the game are solid.
-The sound effects are pretty good.
-The stage designs are pretty fun.
-The challenge level is perfect.

Trent Dilfer
-I hated the music in the game.
-The character and enemy designs could have been a little better.
-The fact that there are no crystals and gems lead to disappointing replay value.
-The story line in the game is cliched and boring.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line - 1.8/10
Graphics - 8.1/10
Music - 1.1/10
Sound Effects - 7.3/10
Control - 9.4/10
Game Play - 5.2/10
Replay Value - Below Average
Challenge - Perfect
Is this game worth a purchase? - Not really.
Overall - 5.1/10

The Last Line
It could have been a classic in my eyes, as it is in many other people's eyes, but it is lacking too much stuff to really be that good in my eyes. Regardless, is it still a pretty solid game in its own right.

And that's a Ladies Man guarantee!

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 11/22/00, Updated 07/16/01

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