About the Game
Battle Arena. When it was clear that Naughty Dog were no longer making Crash Bandicoot games, the fanbase were unsure where Crash would go next. Crash Bash turned out to be Crash’s first venture into the party genre and quite different to what come before in the Crash universe. Crash Bash is a good party game and has enough of the Crash Bandicoot formula to make it be different enough from traditional party games. Here is three reasons why Crash Bash is very good:
Reason 1: Tell me who's in the character roaster… or else Crash Bash was released a year before Wrath of Cortex was released, so it was quite early in the Crash series. Fans of the original Naughty Dog games will appreciate the choice of playable characters in Crash Bash. There are eight playable characters to play as, in any game mode and are all unlocked from start. (None of this unlocking malarkey)
These characters are split into four groups who have similar abilities, so who are the playable characters you may ask? They are: Crash and Coco, Cortex and N.Brio, Tiny and Koala Kong, Dingodile and newcomer Rilla Roo, his only appearance in the Crash series. Finding out which characters you prefer to play as will be a bit of trail and error to start with, as each of the characters have strengths and weaknesses, depending on the mini-game in question.
Reason 2: Let's play a mini-game. Pick that one, it's my favourite! Keeping in the spirit of Crash Bandicoot lore, the mini-games in Crash Bash are all based on level environments from previous games. There are 7 types of mini-games categories, with 4 versions of these mini-games within each category, meaning a grand total of 28 mini-games to play. Each mini-game with each particular category has a different theme, and slightly different rules, to keep things fresh.
So what kind of things will you be doing in these mini-games may you ask? Well you will be throwing crates, blowing up tanks, squashing mushrooms, creating paint using pogo-sticks, polar bear fighting and more. Playing with up to 3 friends in multi-player makes things even more fun while it doesn't effect the fun factor for single players.
This is mainly down to the AI or the computer controlled characters in laymen’s terms. Unlike some games where the AI can be quite slow or quite stupid, there is no such problem here. How smart the characters are depends on the difficulty you choose. When you choose the hardest difficulty, the characters are pretty tough to beat, but how tough to beat depends on which mini-games you find naturally easier, I find the Crate mini-games the easiest for example.
Reason 3: Let's have an adventure… it's good vs evil all over again Like Crash Team Racing, instead of just having a bunch of mini-games or using the board game approach of Mario Party, Crash Bash sticks to what Crash Bandicoot does best, and uses the warp room format with bosses to defeat along the way. Each warp room features a different design, and unlike the previous games, it adds one more mini-game to each subsequent warp room. So by the time you get to the forth warp room, you have 7 mini-games to play through!
Whereas in previous games you collected Crystals, Gems and Relics, Crash Bash does things differently. Trophies are awarded when you normally complete a mini-game. Gems are won by defeating all your opponents within a strict time limit, or by gaining enough points before anyone else. Crystals alter a rule or adds a new rule entirely to make things that little more difficult. Relics require you to play against super tough opponents for two or three rounds in succession.
The bosses have been vamped up in terms of length and difficulty. No longer you have to hit them 3 or 5 times, the number of hits are unique to each boss. Some familiar faces show up, which will please fans, and to make things varied, each boss is based on a different type of mini-game, so you won't be breezing through these bosses any time soon! So 3… 2… 1… GO!
Crash Bash is a very good party game, which is still faithful to the Crash name. It almost manages to answer the question of what would a Naughty Dog party game based on Crash Bandicoot would be like. Although not as polished as the original games or Crash Team Racing, it's still a worthy game in the Crash series.
My One Big Highlight
Crash Bash has one of the strongest soundtracks of any Crash game. It has loads of catchy new tracks and remixes of previous Crash Bandicoot tracks too. It's an excellent soundtrack.
Elephant In the Room
The graphics. Ba. Considering Crash Bash was released quite late in the PS1's lifespan, it should of looked better than it did. It's not awful by any means, but the characters just don't look as good as they did in games that came before.