05 Nov, 2004

Crash Twinsanity Review

Xbox Review | Crash is back again.... Third time lucky for his next generation appearances?
Crash Bandicoot became somewhat of a unofficial mascot for the Playstation when the first Crash Bandicoot title came out for the PSOne in 1996. Since then we’ve seen Crash star in two kart games and four platform games which have been developed by two different developers. Therefore, it is fair to say that the Crash Bandicoot franchise is becoming a little stale and repetitive. So, when it was announced that another Crash Bandicoot title was in development we couldn’t help but feel a little dubious. The previous two Crash titles have been average and simply cannot match the greatness that Naughty Dog provided in their Crash Bandicoot titles.

Obviously not deterred by the franchise’s fading image Traveller’s Tales have decided to have one more go at the Crash Bandicoot series. This time Crash and Cortex are forced to co-operate, apparently Wicked Twins have invaded Crash’s home and they are planning to enslave Crash and his friends. Basically the story isn’t fully revealed until near the end of the game and we don’t want to ruin it. However, the story is essentially an excuse to team Crash up with Cortex. A new character is also involved in the game, Nina, Cortex’s niece, she is a welcome addition and adds a bit of variety to the game.

There is no shortage of representation for platformers this year with Sly 2, Jak III and Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal all being released within weeks of each other. With all three titles looking like they are going to be genuine contenders for Game of the Year the pressure is on Crash Twinsanity to even create a dent in the popularity of these titles. Aside from the new characters and twisted linking up of Cortex and Crash their isn’t really anything new which has been added to the title. All of the familiar characters from the Crash universe do appear and Traveller’s Tales have also made the game into a more comedic game, without taking themselves to seriously.

See the fantastic character modelling? Yeah us neither.

See the fantastic character modelling? Yeah us neither.
Crash Twinsanity begins with a tutorial level which looks extremely familiar. Players follow Cortex who is dressed up as Crash’s sister Coco through the level, it acts as a tutorial for first time players and also introduces some of the new ways of completing a level, such as destroying TNT to knock over a tree to clear a path. Those of you hoping to go off the path will be disappointed as the entire level is surrounded by invisible walls. The levels are nowhere near as restrictive as previous Crash outings but the restrictions are still apparent. All of Crash’s trademark moves return including the body slam and the now famous spin attack. After learning all the moves entailed with controlling Crash a boss battle ensues. This is an interesting choice as the player is just beginning learn the moves, let alone be ready to take on Cortex immediately.

From the outset it is easy to tell that the developer has tried to do a few things different in Crash Twinsanity. Unfortunately, we’re not completely convinced that they did enough things differently. Sometimes levels are interrupted by some really great distractions such as when Crash and Cortex “accidently” team up. These moments are great but unfortunately their doesn’t seem to be enough of them. Crash Twinsanity helps to pay homage to it’s previous roots with cameos from Oxide, Dingodile, Tiny and more. We are glad that the storylines revolving Oxide weren’t completely forgotten about and it is good to see that he at least makes a cameo appearance.

Crash Twinsanity is also a bit harder than its predecessors. Those looking to complete the game 100% will find it a little harder because of the difficulty, some of the levels are so difficult that they just become a nuisance and extremely frustrating, we questions how may players will get through the entire game without giving up, the comic relief provided through the levels does help to calm the player though. Speaking of which, the comedy in the game is some of the best we’ve heard for a long time. There are some genuinely humorous comments made which can sometimes be hit and miss affairs, but generally they are spot on.


The level variation is also certainly a lot higher than we are used to in most Crash Bandicoot titles. Players will travel through a lot of different areas which all have a very familiar “Crash” feel.

There are a few unlockables included which help to extend the lifespan of Crash Twinsanity. A bonus promotional video of Spyro: Hero’s Tail is included on the disk and there are unlockables for collecting each of the gems. We would love for a demo to have been included of Spyro their may well be one, but if there is we are yet to see it. To get 100% there are also gems and crystals to collect through every level. If the gamer has the tolerance and completes the difficult levels there is a bit to keep them entertained for a decent amount of time.

The visuals in Crash Twinsanity look extremely outdated and the title has only been out for a week. The beach and all the levels look like PSOne graphics, the colours and environments are definitely more vibrant but are not at the standard of the kinds of graphics we are seeing in other platforming titles. At times, even the character models of Crash himself look poor, more attention should have been paid to the graphics.

As mentioned earlier, the voice acting is surprisingly good. The humour in Crash Twinsanity goes a long way to keeping the game fresh, It’s just a shame that the game feels so familiar from the very beginning…

Does this look familiar? We thought so.

Does this look familiar? We thought so.
It is easy to tell that the developers really tried in Crash Twinsanity to create a good Crash Bandicoot game and more importantly a good platforming game. The odds were completely against them with three really fantastic platformers also due for release this year. Even if we hadn’t seen these other titles Crash Twinsanity would still only be an average game. The game still doesn’t look like a next-generation titles, which is quite terrible considering how long the next-generation platforms have been out.

Fans of Crash Bandicoot won’t be surprised by anything overly new in this game. Sure the character combination of Crash and Cortex is different and the humour makes for a welcome change, but aside from that the game is still very familiar and hasn’t even evolved nearly as much as it should have. After three Crash Bandicoot “next generation” outings in three years maybe it’s time for Crash to retire to N.Sanity beach before he sends us all N.Sane?
The Score
Three titles in three years and not one of them a classic for Crash Bandicoot. When is enough going to be enough?
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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Crash Nitro Kart Review
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    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
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  Vivendi Universal
  Traveller's Tales

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