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About the Game
Minor Spoilers
Uka Uka.
Making sequels can be quite tough in the world of video games. You want to add enough new content to make it feel different and fresh, but you don't want to alienate the loyal fanbase by changing things too drastically.

Naughty Dog faced a similar dilemma with Crash Bandicoot 3. How could they improve on something that a lot of fans would call an almost perfect game? Well, this is their answer. Here is Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and let’s find out how they did...
Quote Things start well with the game’s Story. In the opening cutscene, we find that Cortex has been working for Aku Aku’s evil twin brother Uka Uka. He has now escaped prison, and plans to use a time twister machine (created by Dr. N.Tropy) to gather crystals from across time to take over the world. Unfortunately for them, Aku Aku, Crash and Coco know what Uka Uka is planning and it’s a race against time to gather the crystals before Cortex’s army does so.

So Cortex is the bad guy, Crash is the good guy, you collect Crystals (and gems) from a special machine which warps you to various points in time. Yep, that is quite similar in a lot of ways to Crash Bandicoot 2. But there are some new characters, along with returning favourites, that keeps you interested in Crash’s adventure.

Crash is the same crazy Bandicoot you know well. He has the same moves as before, spins like before and has some crazy animations when he “dies”. But Crash is a hero wants to get stronger. So in warped he now has upgrades for some of his moves, along with a couple of new powers.

The super belly flop, the death tornado and the double jump. Upgraded… better. The double jump is especially useful and makes Crash control even more fluider than before. So what about the new abilities? The first of his new moves is the Crash dash, a sprint useful for gaining relics in the new time trail mode. (Mentioned below). The other is a fruit bazooka. Yes, you read that right, a bazooka. A weapon that fires wumpa fruit at enemies and out of reach crates.

While you can’t fully play as Coco (Wrath of Cortex has that honour), Coco is helping out her big brother with a few vehicles of her own. Fly a bi-Plane in war time, ride a water jet-ski over pirate waters and ride Pura the tiger cub on the great wall of china. Or if Crash is more to your liking, saddle up and ride a motorbike in 1950's America or scuba dive in the depths of Atlantis.
[Crash Bandicoot 3]Stuck between a cliff and a dino place.
There’s a lot of different vehicles and gameplay styles here to choose from. They are all fun to play and enjoyable to explore. Because of the time travelness of the story, this has led to Crash Warped having some of the strongest level design across of the whole Crash series. How about prehistoric times? Medieval Britain be more to your liking? Too old fashioned for you? Travel to my favourite era – the future!

Crash Bandicoot 2's gameplay was more-a-less perfect, so it made sense that the basic gameplay remains in the sequel. But there is one big gameplay addition which doubles the lifespan, along with great re-playability. Time trail mode is exactly what is says on the crate. Run through each level as fast as you can, while not dying, otherwise you will have to start over.

The levels have a few differences in this mode. Wumpa fruit and bonus stages don’t exist and there are more Aku Aku masks to help you. The biggest difference is time crates. Spin any of these and the clock will freeze for up to 3 seconds. Getting these are crucial to collecting relics, and unlocking the secret levels. Some levels are easier than others, but it's a fun addition and you will be replaying levels over and over to beat your previous best time.

Closing Thoughts
Classic Classic
Crash Bandicoot 3 is similar to Crash Bandicoot 2 in a lot of ways, but that isn’t a bad thing. It has some big additions and various improvements to make it feel fresh, and a great way to finish off one of the best platformer trilogies ever. Re-playing the trilogy in the upcoming remakes named Crash Bandicoot: the N-Sane Trilogy is going to be a pure joy from start to finish.

My One Big Highlight
Spiderman One of the superpowers you gain is the fruit Bazooka, which in itself is pretty cool. One of the levels you explore after attaining the gadget is Gone Tomorrow, which has a futuristic setting. One of my favourite level environments in the whole of the Crash series, along with the super cool Wumpa Bazooka, how can things get better than that?
Elephant In the Room
elephantThere's very little bad I can say about Crash 3… except from one thing. It does have more vehicle levels, compared to Crash 1 and 2. 51% of Crash 3 feature a vehicle, compared to 30% of Crash 2 levels. The larger amount of vehicle levels is either a good or a bad thing, depending on your preference of play.
Gameplay Spoilers
[Crash Bandicoot 3]Both of these warp rooms are pretty cool. I do like the new weather effects in the Wrath of Cortex Hub.
Whenever I think about Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the more it confuses me. I like the game for what it is – another dose of classic Crash Bandicoot action. But is it a good or great game? That's a tricky question, especially since a lot of the fan base think it’s just a carbon copy of Crash Bandicoot 3. Let’s analysis the game and find what is new.

The road to Wrath of Cortex was a rocky one. It was originally envisioned as a free-roaming platformer, but due to disagreements behind the scenes, Traveller's Tales was brought on board to build a new Crash game - in less than 12 months. For a AAA title, that’s a big ask.

So Traveller’s Tales retooled the concept into a Classic Crash platformer from start to finish. So don’t worry – this is still an on-rails platformer. This avoided the split in the fanbase for Crash of the Titans, as it changed the formula too radically. (Admit that was clever use of the word)

All the classic Crash characters make a comeback, along with some new faces. The Story is another simple plot, but still feels very Crashy. After failing to defeat Crash and take over the world, Uka Uka demands Cortex to come up with a new plan… or else. Cortex’s new plan is to harness the power of a group of destructive masks called the Elementals (Earth, Water, Fire and Air) to create a new super weapon. A weapon especially created to destroy Crash Bandicoot forever…

While the elementals are never seen again, Crunch became a regular character for most games after Wrath of Cortex. This does answer a question that fans may of wondered: are there other elemental masks than just Aku Aku and Uka Uka? Well now we know.

While boss fights in the Crash series up to this point have your standard 3 or 5 hit points, the forth boss is something very different to any boss fight before in the Crash series. Here you attack Crunch and gradually bring down his health bar - while avoiding his attacks. There are also some levels (and even a race) which you encounter Cortex's various minions, inside normal levels, rather than just separate bosses.

Crates also make a comeback, with a new invisibility crate (which allows Crash to avoid hazards for a short amount of time). Crash's moves also make a comeback, with a new superpower called the sneak ablity. This allows Crash to tip toe across lines of Nitro crates, reaching places he wouldn’t otherwise able to reach.

Pleasing Coco fans, probably the biggest gameplay change is Coco. In Warped, you could only play as Coco with a vehicle. (If you want to get nitpicky, walking to the ending portal for a few seconds) Coco is fully playable in the Wrath of Cortex, with proper levels like Crash.
[Crash Bandicoot 3]An awesome throwback! Quite enjoyed this level...
Crash and Coco have new toys to play with in Wrath of Cortex, with some of the highlights being the Jeep, Heli-pack and Snowboard. Then you have: the Atlasphere, Mine Cart, Crash Glider, Space Fighter, Sub, Firefly, Scooter, Red Mech, Yellow Mech and the Trolley. Things are a little different this time round, as traditional platforming and vehicle gameplay can be found in the same level, something that makes the gameplay more varied.

Crash Bandicoot 3 is one of the best looking games on the original Playstation. So using the upgraded power of the sixth-gen consoles, did the developers make a big upgrade to the graphics? In a word, yes. The world of Crash has never looked as good, with lush levels and bigger environments than we had seen up to this point.

Some level themes do re-appear, but are different enough not to feel like copies. You have your rainy jungles, laboratories, volcanoes and space stations, outer space, underwater bases, a level set in China and Japan, a fire island, inside a blimp secret base and even the wild west. One of my favourite level themes, so when Crash finally explores the Wild West, it was real good fun.

Josh Mancell (and Steve Duckworth from Crash Bash) did a fantastic job with the soundtrack for the five games before Wrath of Cortex. It was a new composer’s (Andy Blythe and Marten Joustra) turn in the spotlight. How did they fare?

The soundtrack as a whole has a more electronic/disco feel to it, this being a good or bad thing depends on your taste on music. For me, and this is coming from someone who listens to Rock, I quite like it. There are some great themes, including the dramatic Medieval Madness, the laid-back Gold Rush and the adventurous Eskimo Roll. So does the Classic Crash theme make a reappearance? It certainly does! Like Warped, versions of the theme also play during the bonus stages too.

Closing Thoughts
Your way of thinking on if you like the Wrath of Cortex depends on your point of view: Do you like sequels to be largely different than its predecessor? Or do you like them to be improved in a lot of ways, but keeping the core gameplay of its predecessor? This game is the latter.

So is Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex better than the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy? No. Is the game a good addition to the series? Yes, I would say so. It doesn’t quite hit the heights of the original trilogy but it never stops trying. With the new remastered Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy on the way, I’m sure fans will want to revisit Wrath of Cortex.
Major Spoilers
[Crash Bandicoot 3]Which cover is best? It gives out the wrong impression on the game being a platformer, but I do like Crash Warped. It's just cool and that's it.
That is a good question isn’t it? Which game brought most to the table: Crash Bandicoot 2 or Crash Bandicoot 3? Well there's only one way to settle this… FIGHT! Or could compare both games and see which comes out on top? Yea, lets do that instead.
One of the best looking games on the PS1, which was a good step up from Crash 1.

With new graphical effects, better shading and some lovely environments, it turned out to be one of, or the best looking game on the original Playstation.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 3

Crash Warped only had a small step up from Crash 2, but with the graphics that good, you can’t get much better, so Crash 3 wins.
Cortex crashes into a cave and discovers crystals in a cavern. He takes it to his space station called the Cortex Vortex, which he plans to use the crystals to take control of earth's inhabitants via mind control.

Cortex manages to break free Uka Uka, his master and evil twin brother of Aku Aku. They plan to travel in time to collect the crystals to take over the earth.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 2

While Crash 3 has much needed back story for the ancient masks and for Cortex, but the rest is just standard stuff. Crash 2 on the other hand has an interest premise of Cortex being a “good guy”. Abducting Crash and tricking him to help him collect crystals to stop “an evil force that threatens to destroy the world” With Coco trying to warn Crash too, it’s a better story.
Crash 2 has lots of characters. New characters include: Coco, N.Gin, the Komodo bros, Tiny and Polar. Coco, N.Gin and Tiny would become regular characters. The cutscenes of Coco in the warp room, makes her involvement an important one.

Crash 3 also has a lot of characters. New Characters include: Uka Uka, Dr N. Tropy, Dingodile, Pura, Baby-T and Fake Crash. Out of these, Uka Uka would become a regular character, with the rest having some appearances.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 2

Crash Warped has the strongest characters, but Crash 2 has more important characters introduced and show up more regularly in the series.
The Game has 10 Level themes: Jungle (Day and Night), Snow, River, Chase, Polar, Sewer, Ruins, Wilderness, Space Station (On Foot), Space Station (Jet-Pack). With Jungle, Polar and Space Station with the Jetpack being my favourites.

Also has 10 Level themes. Medieval, Underwater, China, Prehistoric, Pirates, Arabia, 1950's USA, Eqypt, War Plane, Future. With Medieval, Prehistoric, Eqypt and Future being my favourites, which is more than Crash 2.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 3

This was a tough one, but Crash 3 wins because of time travel element. There are some cool locations to visit.
[Crash Bandicoot 3]The age old question: which warp room is better? Tough question that, I will ponder over it...
Both Games have excellent music and both are by the same composer, so this is down to how many I like from each game. I complied a list, and Crash 2 has 11 tracks I like. This does include Turtle Woods, my favourite Crash music track.

I also complied a list of favourite music tracks for Crash 3, and it came to 10. Whereas most of Crash 2's were quite high up in my favourite tracks, Crash 3 was further down in general.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 2

Crash 2 having turtle woods and more of my favourites. Crash 3 has some great tracks too, just not as many.
Controls and Moves
Crash Bandicoot 2 has the most fluid and most responsive controls I have ever played in a platformer. It also has a lot of new moves for Crash including the body slam, slide, crouch and the high jump.

Crash 3 uses the same (tweaked) engine as Crash 2, but has new upgraded powers for Crash, including a new fruit bazooka and a running ability. The new powers are great, but most are underused in the game.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 2

Crash 2 made him the hero we know today, as with just running and jumping made it a little basic.
Crash 2's gameplay improvements were generally in the controls of Crash. Elsewhere, we get improved boulder segments, bigger levels, more vehicles and more death routes and lots of secrets.

Crash 3 has definitely got the upper edge in vehicles that Crash and Coco can use. Time trail and super powers were also good editions.

Who Wins? Crash Bandicoot 3

Crash 3 has everything Crash 2 had but with the addition of Time Trail Mode and more vehicles.

Closing Thoughts
So who's the winner? It's a close match, with Crash Bandicoot 2 winning Story, characters, Music and Controls and Moves, but Crash Bandicoot 3 winning Graphics, Levels and Gameplay. Crash 2 just pips it, but this is like asking which original Star Wars movie is better, or which is the best Back to the Future. You can make a case for either game, but for me personally, Crash 2 brought more to the series than Crash 3 did.