Game Night, Video Games

Crash Bandicoot 3: I’m Done (Game Night)

Never ask me to talk about these games again.

Crash 1 Review
Crash 2 Review

Before we begin reviewing this game, let me quickly summarize my thoughts on the first games. Because I know that you guys aren’t going to click those links. To summarize: “Fuck.” Or, if you want something a little more specific: “Kill me.” Now, on with the review.

My expectations for Crash 3 were astronomically low. After the travesty that was Crash 1 and the utter disaster that was Crash 2, I fully expected the series to end on an equally low note. Frankly, I just wanted to get it over with. I still need to replay the Spyro trilogy dammit!

I can’t believe I’m saying this. But I was wrong yet again. I actually like this game!

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I feel like I should wash my mouth out with soap.

Though I’m not sure if it’s because the game is good. Maybe I’m just so used to Crash and his crap that I’ve finally become numb to it! But I’m reasonably sure that it’s because the game is good!

Either I’m a crazy man or they finally fixed the platforming. I pray it’s the ladder. But in all actuality, the former is a strong possibility. Especially now that I’ve seen JonTron vomiting candy corn on loop for about ten minutes now.

Let’s review the game now, shall we?

Plot: Evil Plank of Wood Does Evil Things

Hey! The tiki mask is actually plot-important! It only took three fucking games!

Once again, this game picks up right where the last one left off. After Cortex’s second defeat at the hands of Crash Bandicoot, his space station crashes down to earth and frees Aku-Aku, the evil opposite of Crash’s helping buddy Uka-Uka. Fearing what his evil brother will do, Uka-Uka recruits Crash and his sister to gather the magic crystals and defeat the evil mask, and Cortex, once again!

This, just like the previous games, is far from complex. The characters don’t undergo thrilling character arcs because they aren’t meant to! The story is only here to give you some context for running, jumping, smashing, crashing (I’m clever I swear) and collecting crystals. In that regard, it does a great job.

That’s about all there is to say here. It’s good for what it is, but it isn’t going to win any writing awards. Moving on.

Presentation: Yup. Still Good.

I’m half tempted to copy-paste the paragraphs from the previous two reviews for this one. It’d be better than trying to find a way not to repeat myself.

But in all fairness: this game is different. I hesitate to say improved, mind you. But it is different.

In terms of visuals, this game is the same as the others. It’s bright, colorful, and animated with so much squash-and-stretch that you’d think you were Donald Duck hailing Hitler (look it up). There’s a lot of nice attention to detail, such as the character’s various facial expressions, their reactions to the world around them, and of course: the death animations. Plus, it runs at a gorgeous 60 FPS.

PC version baby! WOO!

In terms of level variety, this game isn’t any better than the others. Each level of a pallet, such as the medieval and vehicle levels all feeling the same. However, it does deserve praise in one regard: not one level in this game uses the same pallets from the previous games! The boulder escape levels are replaced by dinosaur escape levels, jungle levels are replaced by the aforementioned medieval levels, etc.

The levels still feel the same on a gameplay level. But they do look nice!

Gameplay: I CAN SEE!!

Holy shit! I played a Crash Bandicoot game and I only died because of depth perception issues once! What demon/devil/monster thing did I accidentally make a deal with to make this happen?!

The core gameplay of Crash Bandicoot is still here. You run through various levels, breaking boxes and sending enemies flying, to collect various gems. After collecting five gems, you beat a boss and repeat the process again. Rinse and repeat until the credits roll. Every few levels there’s a vehicle level to spruce things up. But aside from those, the gameplay is virtually the same.

Except for one major thing: they finally figured out how to make a good 3D platformer!

The number of jumps requiring laser-precision is practically non-existent in this game! Controlling Crash still isn’t great, but he handles better than he did before. The various camera angles work far better, making it much easier to tell where you are, when you need to jump, and how far you need to leap. Thanks to these changes, I can now play the game without wanting to swallow my own eyes!

Baby steps people.

And then there are the power-ups! After each boss fight, you unlock a special ability that makes it possible to overcome certain challenges. These include spinning through the air to cross massive gaps, an extra powerful ground-slam attack, a rocket-launcher that shoots Wampa Fruit, and my favorite: the double jump! Each of these makes getting through the levels much more varied, easy, and fun!

In terms of core gameplay, this game is rock solid. Finally, a fun Crash Bandicoot game! At last, I enjoyed playing one of these games from beginning to end!

Is what I’d like to say. Unfortunately, it is dragged down by forgettable boss fights and boring vehicle levels.

Let’s start with the vehicle levels. There are four varieties of vehicle levels: motorcycle races that are basically mediocre prototypes for Crash Team Racing, tiger riding levels that replace the polar bear from Crash 2, jet ski water levels that control about as well as a slinky made of jello, and aerial dog fights that are neither challenging or fun. None of these are as bad as Crash 2’s god awful jetpack levels, but they’re certainly not fun.

The boss fights aren’t anything to write home about either. Honestly, I can hardly remember any of them! They’re either so easy that they aren’t fun or so monotonous that they just become tedious! Each one boils down to ‘Survive their attack until they become vulnerable; hit them once and get the fuck away; rinse, repeat, victory’. Again, they aren’t bad. Just boring and forgettable.

Regardless of my complaints, I don’t mind this game! I actually had fun playing it! More importantly, my fun wasn’t interrupted by something stupid, bad, or infuriating every two seconds! I was able to go for large stretches of time with an actual smile on my face!

Nicely done Bandicoot. Better late than never.

Conclusion

I honestly didn’t expect it to go like this. After the first two games, I fully expected to find this game about as fun as shoving a cactus into my ass! I thought it would be a hurdle that I needed to hop before I could finally get around to playing the Spyro games again!

Because I can’t play nothing but Fire Emblem for two hundred hours straight. As much as I’d like to.

I actually had fun playing this game! It wasn’t great, mind you. The core gameplay of Crash Bandicoot just isn’t all that great in my opinion. But I do have to be fair: this is the least bad Crash Bandicoot game yet! For a large portion of the game, I had a great time!

But those miserable stretches were far from fun.

Still, I have to say that I would actually recommend playing Crash Bandicoot Warped! It refines the core gameplay of the series that make the game genuinely fun! Some of the boss fights and the vehicle levels (yes, all of them) aren’t all that great, yes. But it nails the most important part of a 3D platformer: the platforming.

That’s it. I’m done! I never need to play a Crash Bandicoot game ever again! I’m free at last! And if you ask me to play any other game in the series, I will personally go to your place of residence and take a shit on your bed.

Or I’ll just tell you “No.” I’ll have to get back to you on that.

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