Platforming games are ICONIC.
They are such a great first step into the world of gaming. They are simple to control and, for the most part, very easy to understand.
One of my favorite games is Super Mario 64. I believe it was one of the first games I have ever played but I do not have the confidence in locking in that answer.
What I do remember is playing Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex on my PlayStation 2 back in the day. I loved Crash Bandicoot, not as much as Mario, but enough where I would love to be apart of his platforming adventures.
When the rumors were true of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy being remastered, I (like many) were ecstatic that I can play these amazing games again in FUR-K. After beating those, the question lingered: Would there ever be another brand new Crash Bandicoot game?
Yes there will be! Over the summer it was announced that Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was being released in October and I was sold from the start. I didn’t need to know anything more, I already knew I was hyped for this game and would play it and beat it as fast as I can.
Now that Crash 4 is out, into the world, and beaten by me. I figured I’d give a few thoughts on the game itself.
Crash 4 is about the multiverse and saving it from Neo Cortex and Nefarious Tropy. Along the way you will run into some familiar faces like Dingodile and even Crash’s previous flame Tawna. You need to save the multiverse and to do that, you need to acquire 4 different masks that give you different powers.
The best thing about platformers is that the controls are pretty much the same. If you haven’t picked up a Crash game in years, you will feel right at home as if you never stopped playing. The controls are exactly the same, only with the additional controls for the different masks that you come into contact with.
It is pretty hard to mess up the very simple formula for a platformer. Sometimes games have different gimmicks that are cute but add nothing to the game. The masks in this game are definitely not gimmicks. They add variety and difficulty to each level you play through.
There are four different masks that you will try out. I don’t remember the names but I do remember the powers. One mask will give you the power to invert Crash, so you will be able to walk on the ceiling and then quickly switch to walking on the ground. Another mask can slow down time. The third mask makes you spin and gives you extra jumping power. The final mask can make certain elements of the level appear and disappear.
Most of the time you will have one mask for parts of the level. Towards the end of the game, the difficulty level gets cranked up a bit and you will have parts of the level where you switch between the different masks.
Speaking of difficulty, this game can get really hard. Like most games, there will be a section where you can get through the level fairly quickly with very few deaths. Then there will be levels where you die, A LOT. One of the final levels of the game. I died close around 150 times. I walked away from the game several times because of how frustrating it was. Funny thing about this is that I never get frustrated when playing games but I’ll admit that this game had me heated a good amount of the time.
Thankfully, this game has two different game modes. There is the classic mode that is similar to the classic Crash games. Then there is a Modern Mode where the game doesn’t end after a certain amount of deaths. You simply have your death tally in the corner of the screen and if the game senses you are having trouble with a level, they will add extra checkpoints along the way so you don’t have to repeat the same part of the level multiple times.
Another thing that is amazing about this game is the amount of content. The story itself isn’t that long. I beat it in probably 8ish hours. Once you complete the game, there is so much more stuff to do. You have time trials, you can 100% it if you have the temperament. There are also side levels where you play as Tawna or Dingodile and you can ended up in your timeline and. There aren’t many of those levels but considering you have it for those two characters as well as Neo Cortex, there is a lot of gameplay for you to enjoy.
One thing that I will lightly talk about is the level variety. Each level has an incredible theme but there is one level that I loved more than most. It is a Mardi Gras themed level. There are horns playing, you jump on drums to get past enemies. You jump into a trumpet to launch you to another section of the level. I really loved this theming and never seen anything like this style in a game before.
The boss fights are SUPER FUN as well. While they were easier than some of the levels in the game, I had the most fun when playing through the boss battles. The first boss stands out because you have to jump over music waves as if you are on the strings of a Guitar Hero song. hen I was first playing that level, I was very impressed and instantly knew this game was going to be amazing.
At the end of the day, we were gifted with a brand new Crash Bandicoot game that was WAY BETTER than I expected it to be. Playing this felt like going home. The feeling was there. It felt so natural to play as Crash again in a brand new story. The addition of the masks gave the gameplay some freshness along with a mix of classic Crash style levels where he would run away from something, jump on an animal to speed through a level, or hopping on a jet ski to avoid bombs in the water. This game delivered on that authentic Crash experience while adding in elements that didn’t shake up what people loved about this franchise.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is…
SERIOUSLY! If you love Crash and platformers in general, this is the perfect game to play. While it does get difficult at times, there is no better feeling than dying and knowing exactly what to do in order to get past the part you are stuck at. Definitely go pick this game up. You won’t retreat it.