As many gamers did in 1998, I too spent many nights glued to my television screen playing Crash Bandicoot: Warped. The quirky humor, zippy platforming, and general awesomeness of Crash and co. entertained players greatly back when PlayStation 1 graphics were considered the pinnacle of video game visuals. Now, some 20-odd years later, those gamers are all grown up, and Crash has come to grace their screens in the form of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.
Through a clever decision made by developer Toys for Bob, the game picks up directly after the events of Crash Bandicoot: Warped (which was the final installment in the Naughty Dog trilogy). Neo Cortex, Uka Uka, and N. Trophy break out of their netherworld prison, with a plan of multiverse domination as their motivation. The story is told with a self-awareness that is humorous at times and downright funny at best. The story is presented and told in such a way as to honor the main titles that came before it, but contains enough identity to distinguish itself as a new one. Though the story would mean little if playing through it was a chore... thankfully, that's not the case here.
The care and respect developer Toys for Bob has for the Crash Bandicoot series can be seen in every aspect of each level. From the overworld screen to the minute details at any given level, Crash Bandicoot has never looked and played this good. The additions to the title, such as rail grinding, wall running, and rope swinging, though all new to the series, feels like a natural addition to the game. Though, some slow and awkward camera following while rail grinding can lead to some frustrating deaths. These actions force players to make split-second decisions, instead of just relying on good old muscle memory to conquer a level.
The care and respect developer Toys for Bob has for the Crash Bandicoot series can be seen in every aspect of each level.
During the campaign, there are opportunities to play flashback levels, which are pure platforming bliss.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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Toys for Bob, Sanzaru Games
2 October 2020
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