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Crash is back, and this time around he needs the help of Dr. Cortex...
Crash Bandicoot is a PlayStation icon, one that is now synonymous with the console. The shackles are now off for gamers to experience plenty of open spaced freedom in Crash: Twin Sanity, a highly detailed, gorgeous looking, arcade fest and Xbox fans are also winners in for a treat from Sonyâ??s lead star!
Now from the opening tone you will no doubt know the direction we are going here as we are unashamedly Bandicoot fans â?“ well to a point.
Twin Sanity is pretty much what you would expect from a platform, action romp but it is also served up with lashings of humour - sadly not all of it works but it does allow for plenty of smirking and face creasing! Even in the early stages, the setting up of the feel good factor, some of the jokes and comic situations can easily be lost if you have not played Crash games before but, as they say, itâ??s all done in the best spirit!
The story goes a bit like thisâ?¦â?¦â?¦â?¦
Wicked Twins from another world have invaded Crashâ??s Island to steal all the Wumpa fruit, the fuel source that makes their own world run smoothly. Crash must team up with his creator and arch rival - Dr. Nero Cortex - to stop this dastardly fate happening. Gamers will control Crash and Doctor Cortex plus the brand new Nina Cortex!
As you would expect the first level is more of a trainer, where you will become familiar with the controls, learning a number of movements and seeing examples so you can adjust to the style and overall speed of exactly how to perform the moves and the effects they have on the baddies within the world. Learning these moves is simple and getting tuned into the mindset the world offers happens within 15 minutes of play!
The level design for the game is both ingenious, albeit short, and full of the kind of quick reactions that will have you honing your skills for hours on ends. The ultra sharp gamers will breeze through some of the earlier levels whilst the average gamer could experience plenty of frustration early on. Yes, itâ??s a case of two steps forwards one back and in some cases progression will be more about trying and saving on a regular basis.
The 3D world is full of weird, quirky characters; ground based wiggly forms, flying creatures and some dangerous inanimate objects â?“ all at pains to hurt you! The living plants are especially cruel as they shoot their venom at you.
Although the stereo typical platform focus, waste-em or chase-em relies on the tried and tested method of jump and zap, splat them by dive bombing them, and there are still plenty of delights like the sliding tackle that knocks the baddies over on offer that adds real spice. Itâ??s not merely the moves and action that drives the game but the combination of the layout of the levels and the way you get changes on the style of action and the interesting adversaries you will face.
All the golden olden classic moves, quick reactions and precise timing are required and possibly after only 30 mins you may find some of the action bordering on the tedious but there are plenty of surprises in store in the rich and inventively created world which is admirable to look at and you are always waiting for a surprise to top the last interesting feature.
Crash is a real dichotomy. It has a feel of new and rich ideas but when you inspect it on another level it offers nothing really new at all.
Traps, mazes, twisting turns, speed moves, bounding jumps, fight or flight, attacking bees, swinging ramps, you name it, itâ??s all on offer moulded around the platform focus of the game. The lush tropical world is vibrant and full of interesting nocks and crannies to wander through and although the path to the end of a level is always a fairly intuitive line, exploring the world is one full of wonderment and delight, although in most cases without reward!
If any game relied on its looks then Crash Twin Sanity is certain rich with the kind of colour and overthetop presentation that you would expect from this genre of game, although once again nothing you can put your finger on. Strangely a few more effects, along with some of the moves and actions, would have been an extra treat!
Fire and brimstone, crashing boulders, cavernous delights, live vegetation and yes unfriendly natives add to the mayhem around. The storyline, well there is none really â?“ itâ??s about staying in one piece, conserving your lives and collecting loads of goodies!
Aside from the cool level designs you also have end of level boss scenarios and if you felt getting through the level was better suited to the sharp gamers then this segment is the most challenging of the lot â?“ but then again you would not expect less.
So, what we have is a bucket load of challenges, some cool working of old ideas and themes but there are some areas that were a little to be desired and in this case it was the camera mode, which if it had been better implemented it would have made the game a little easier, which in turn would have made the game the perfect offering. Fact is, zooming in and aligning your vision to eye up situations around you in some cases is essential if you need that extra bit of help. It did appear that when you most wanted to look at certain parts on the screen - of an action event, finding out the best route to take or seeing how much room you had to negotiate a jump or bop a baddie you could never get the full picture. The panning was debilitating and sluggish! Saying that many gamers would not bother with messing around with it and will be happy to play with the default setting!!
What of Dr. Nero Cortex, well you will find him all through the game taunting and giving focus and instruction for Crash as well as being a tool for progression!
A small section of gamers could well find Crash: Twin Sanity not quite offering enough new ideas to please but the majority will probably find this the perfect mix of all that is best with the platforming/action genre, especially the diversity in graphic sets, which must be applauded, along with the mesmerising sound effects and in game animations that move the game along!