Y’know, I was optimistic going into this one! As much as I hated the first Crash Bandicoot (and oh BOY did I hate it), I had to admit: it was only the first game in the series! Surely we could only go up from here on out! Surely, the next Crash game would make me understand why so many people are nostalgic for this series!
Nope. I was wrong. Again. In fact, I hate this game even more!
Most everything in this game is about the same as the first. A lot of the enemies and level pallets are completely recycled from the last game. The few new things that are there range from ‘eh’ to ‘yeah, okay’ to ‘FUCK MY FUCKING LIFE WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THESE FUCKING GAMES?!’. In that order.
Damn it… I wanted to like this game so badly! WHY DO YOU MAKE IT SO HARD TO LOVE YOU, CRASH DANDIDOUCHE?!
Plot: BANDICOOTS! IN! SPAAAAAAACE!!
Once again, there really isn’t much to say in regards to the plot. It carries on the tradition of Saturday morning cartoon-style storytelling: barebones, non-complex, and decently enjoyable. Though I don’t think it works as well as the first game did.
Immediately after Crash defeated Cortex in the first game, the evil scientist crashed back down to earth and started working towards his next plan. With the help of his new evil minion, he built a big space-station with the intent of taking over the world! Now, he needs to gather twenty-five crystals to complete his station!
Using some less-than clever-lies (hey, Crash is a less-than-clever boy), Cortex manipulates Crash into gathering them for him. Meanwhile, Crash’s sister Co-Co tries to use her master computer skills to break through to her brother and warn him about the scientist’s plan! Now, it’s up to Crash to gather the crystals and defeat Cortex once again!
It isn’t a bad story, at least not by cartoon standards. It works perfectly well for this game. However, I do feel that it’s a step down from the first game.
In Crash 1, you had a clear goal to push yourself forward. It was established that Crash had a girlfriend, a personal connection, to rescue from Cortex. That gave the player a reason to care! But this game doesn’t have that! Rather than having someone personal to save, now all you have is: save the world.
Again: it still works! But it doesn’t work as well as it did before. Still, it is nice to have a story that doesn’t make me think super hard.
Visuals: Bright, Fun, Repetitive
All of the praises I have sung about the first game’s visuals stay true for this game. It runs at a buttery smooth framerate, every character model is gorgeous and beautifully animated with classic squash-and-stretch animation techniques, and everything is just so bright and colorful that it puts a smile on my face! Plus, the attention to detail that I mentioned last time has yet to go away! The visuals are easily the best factor of this series!
Cause god knows the gameplay isn’t doing it any favors.
Unfortunately, one thing hasn’t changed: the levels still feel and look the same! Sure, there are more pallets, like the ice levels (which I hate with a fiery passion) and the new space levels. But the levels all still feel like copy-pastes of each other!
The boulder levels still feel the same, even when you’re being chased by a giant polar bear! All the new space levels are nigh identical (save the god awful jetpack levels, but we’ll get to those)! The number of repetitive levels is lessened, yes. But it is still a problem.
Gameplay: *Screams of Ceaseless Agony*
Ugh… I’ve got a fucking headache just remembering this fucking game!
Once again, the gameplay is really basic. You run and jump through various levels, smashing boxes and spinning enemies away. Now, you can slide, long/high jump, and slam down for extra power to break tougher boxes. Plus, there is now the added threat of the Nitro boxes, green boxes that explode instantly upon contact.
Honestly, this game started off a bit better than the first! The depth perception and the controls are still rough, but they’re slightly better than the first game. It’s still hard to tell when to jump or how far you need to jump (a problem that is further exacerbated thanks to the addition of the long/high jump). But it isn’t nearly as bad as the first game. For a while, I was almost having fun!
Then the fucking jetpack levels started.
These levels murdered my good-will towards this game! I have never played something that has controlled as poorly as these levels! I felt like I was trying to maneuver a balloon hundreds of feet in the air with a thread of spider’s silk! These were completely infuriating, painful, and worst of all: not fun.
I hate those jetpack levels more than I hate the entirety of Crash Bandicoot 1. And I really hated Crash 1!
The boss fights aren’t any better. Most of them are forgettable or tedious. There wasn’t a single boss fight in this entire game that I had even a shred of fun with! Anyone who claims to enjoy these fights either has the patience of a saint or a bucket overflowing with nostalgia.
Considering that they’re Crash fans… Well, it’s probably both.
Goddammit… I just can’t win with this series! I just want to enjoy a fucking video game!
This game is bad. It’s really bad! For every step forward it takes to improve the foundation left by the first game, it takes three steps back! Just when I started having fun, the game kicked me in the nuts and said “NO FUN FOR YOU!!”
Once again, I cannot recommend this game. As much as I hated Crash Bandicoot 1, at least I had the drive to finish it. But by the time I had reached the halfway point of Crash 2, I was desperately wanting to do anything else! This game still has some of the worst platforming I’ve ever experienced, along with some of the worst boss fights, and vehicle levels. Frankly, it’s a miracle I finished this one!
I’m not going into Crash 3 with optimism. I’ve learned my fucking lesson! At this point, my expectations are hanging out with the Mariana Trench!