Crash Bandicoot: Wrath Of Cortex
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Crash makes his first system jump and boy was it worth it!
We all knew this day would, first Sonic, Sega's beloved mascot makes an appearance on a Nintendo console. Now Crash has decided to branch apart from the Sony camp and make his debut on the Xbox. What a glorious day in the gaming world LOL. Anyways to get on with the matter at hand the Xbox finally has a good franchise to keep it's platforming fans at bay. How does this game stack up to the PS2 version and past Crash games, we shall see.
To begin with Crash has been given a makeover for the Xbox, for the first time in gaming history we have an effect that actually gives characters with fur texture! This is called fur shading, now that just sounds funny doesn't it? Well it is a very cool technology that uses pixel shading in order to give characters like Crash the appearance of having actual fur. In close up shots you can see that Crash actually has a furry body, now that is technology! The Xbox version has also added a few other tweaks such as better water effects, smoother textures, and it definitely improved upon the loading time of the original.
The game itself is very reminiscent of the old Crash games, seeing as how this game is no longer in the hands of famed developer Naughty Dog I feel that Traveller's Tales did an amazing job of keeping the franchise fresh. The levels are very challenging and the puzzles keep it interesting. The entire layout of the game is very good upping the difficulty just a touch on each new level. The only problem that I see is that some levels do not contain enough checkpoints and have some very cheap death sequences. For instance there are some levels that cannot be beaten unless you memorize them, it isn't a matter of skill or even luck, but actually dying a few times in order to learn where all the enemies are hiding. Good thing the game gives you plenty of extra lives to compensate for this.
What else can I say about Crash that hasn't been said before? Well for the first time since the original Crash I actually want to play this game. I dunno if it is the fact that the XBox makes a beautiful platformer or the fact that the game is finally taking a new direction and making things interesting once again. The challenge is definitely there and the difference in the levels and vehicles you can control keep the game fresh and exciting. You can definitely see the production value shining.
Overall I recommend giving this game a whirl if you are a fan of platforming games, or if you are starved for a good adventure game. This game is worth playing through and that says something considering I have not been a huge fan of Crash since the original. So at least give it a rent if just for being able to see the Xbox improvements. A good game that deserves to be played, a classic platforming adventure that is well worth the price of admission!