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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (42105)
Written on  :  Oct 27, 2005
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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The Good

Crash Bandicoot returns in his next PSX adventure more exciting than the last one. Here, we get introduced to Coco – Crash's sister who replaces the revealing Tawna – who tells him to get a battery for her laptop. When Crash goes to get one for her, he is transported to a warp room where a holographic Cortex asks him to recover the 25 crystals that are needed to power up his new machine, the Super Cortex Vortex. Little does Crash know that Cortex is going to use his machine to take over the world once again.

Gameplay involves you mainly walking through all 25 levels (most of them big), killing wildlife and getting the crystal halfway. The environments within these levels look good, especially those in the levels where there is a lot of ice lying around. Just for fun, I went through the first few levels without actually getting the crystals, and it is interesting to hear Cortex's get furious as he instructs you to get the crystals over and over again. There is a range of new moves that can help you defeat enemies or get through levels. I enjoyed watching Crash do his little victory dance when you manage to get a crystal and gems.

The highlight of this game is using the vehicles that help you get through some levels. The best one was the jetboard which you use to navigate rivers. With this gizmo, you can get a nitro-boost that will get you past whirlpools. In addition to this, there are yellow ramps with red arrows on them; and if you run up it, you are hoisted into the air, allowing you to break boxes that remain stationery in the air.

If you break all the boxes in the levels, you are awarded a gem. More often than not, a second gem can be collected by going down alternate paths. The minority of the levels has alternate paths marked with a skull to indicate a dangerous path lies ahead. It is easy to lose a life if you aren't fully aware of what dangers lie ahead of you. I can recall one or two situations where completing a skull path just takes me to another exit, meaning that I had to go back and replay the level, but that's fine with me.

You have to defeat a boss every five levels. It takes a bit of time to figure out their patterns, but they take only two or three hits to kill. In my opinion, the most challenging boss has to be Cortex himself. You have to follow him through a tunnel and try to lower his health while avoiding his gun and some asteroids before Cortex reaches the tunnel exit. The funny thing is that I managed to kill him just when he was about to go through the exit.

It was a pleasure watching all the different ways Crash dies. One of my favorites is when Crash gets frozen in an ice block with the bear pup sitting on top of it. Crash can die if he isn't protected by an Aku-Aku mask.

The music in the game is very good. In fact, it is much better than Crash 1. The music in some levels have a pumping soundtrack, especially the levels where you are running away from boulders or just a huge polar bear. I like how you get a nice drum beat when Crash is invincible (if he gets three Aku-Aku masks without being in contact with enemies). I always know when the invincibility wears off if the drum beats decrease.

The Bad

You will remember that in Crash Bandicoot, you selected levels on a map, and you can freely rotate the map to explore other parts of the island as well as the nearby islands . In this game the warp rooms with the five portals are limited, and there is little space that you can walk around in. I feel that this gets boring after a while.

There is an alternate ending, but this ending can only be seen if you managed to reach 100% of the game. And to get there, you have to go to great, difficult lengths to explore every path in a level, get every gem (colored or not), go inside a hidden warp rooms, etc. It's alright in Crash Bandicoot where you type a cheat password that allows you to reach 100% of the game and view a second ending. But in the sequel you can't even enter passwords into the game, and since I just don't care enough to get that far myself, I just viewed the ending on YouTube.

The Bottom Line

In Crash 2, gameplay is similar to that of the original game, except that there is a bit more involved. For example, you can use a range of new moves to help you get through the levels and ride at least two vehicles, both of them having their advantages, as well as riding bear pups in the more icy levels. You are also encouraged to get hidden gems by taking dangerous routes through most of the levels. The graphics and sound is on par with Crash Bandicoot. There is an alternate ending, but only die-hard gamers can only reach 100% if they have the skill and patience.