Crash Bandicoot: It’s About Time
Crash Bandicoot is a PlayStation icon.
The original games were so beloved, and such a part of the console itself that it’s no surprise the NSane Trilogy remaster of the first three games still had fiendish legs some 22 years on.
So it is with Crash Bandicoot: It’s About Time.
An infinitely tricky game that does much to build on the legacy of the platform original, Crash Bandicoot: It’s About Time retains much of the spirit of the first game in that it manages to need extreme patience and precision to get through every single level.
In this latest, which picks up after Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Crash’s nemesis, Cortex, and Uka Uka manage to escape from the dimension the Bandicoot traps them in by tearing a hole in space and time.
Vowing to come for Crash, Cortex and a clutch of former enemies decide to take on the multiverse and conquer Crash across the dimensions…
Crash Bandicoot: It’s About Time is a platformer that has both chutzpah and charm in plentiful amounts.
With new moves, thanks to a series of new Quantum masks introduced by Lani-Loli, the game freshens up the moves as well as proffers new challenges within the platforming levels.
But what remains at the core is the gameplay that Crash Bandicoot has become famed for – smashing crates, making tricky jumps and collecting Wumpa Fruit. And it’s these which will feed the addiction – and annoyance levels – in extremis.
The downside to Crash Bandicoot: It’s About Time is the addition of things like skins and fire crates, both of which really add nothing new. Skins need to be unlocked, forcing a replay of the levels, and a need to completely clear them – the original game scored replayability solely on the fact that it was so damn playable, and there was a personal pride to clearing it all. This seems like a cynical playthrough mechanic that’s not welcome.
Equally, fire crates do little except spew fire out and force you to wait for a cooldown before smashing them – they feel like a wasted opportunity above anything.
There’s a lot to master in Crash 4 – and there’s certainly a lot to game on with; the addition of some online elements are a welcome touch, but really what Toys for Bob have done has proven that you don’t need to deviate from a game’s core mechanics – keep those mastered and the game itself will be a classic.
Despite a few minor missteps, Toys for Bob has done an excellent job with a game that’s been long desired. The end of the current generation of games may be approaching, but it doesn’t matter with games like Crash Bandicoot 4.
Because this is a classic game, and is a perfect addition to a franchise that’s been crying out for a sequel for two decades.