Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crash Bandicoot 2; Cortex Strikes Back.jpg
Cortex strikes again? Well so does Crash Bandicoot.
Genre: Action
Platforms: Sony PlayStation
PlayStation Network
Release Date: NA: October 31, 1997
EU: December 5, 1997
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Franchise: Crash Bandicoot
Previous Game: Crash Bandicoot
Next Game: Crash Bandicoot: Warped

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platforming game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation. Originally released in 1997, it was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits and Best for Family line-ups in 1998, for the Platinum Range in 1999 and for the PSone Books line-up in 2001.

A remastered version of this game along with the rest of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, was released for the PlayStation 4 in 2017 as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.


After his defeat in the previous game, Dr. Neo Cortex discovers the Power Crystals. One year later, Cortex completes his new space station with the help of his new assistant Dr. N. Gin. However, to reach full power Cortex needs 25 more Power Crystals, but he has no operatives left so he comes up with an idea.

Cortex kidnaps Crash and convinces him that he's good now and that he needs the Power Crystals to prevent a catastrophe from destroying the world. Crash gullibly believes him and starts gathering crystals around the Wumpa Island. Through his journey, Crash's sister, Coco Bandicoot, and Cortex's previous assistant, Dr. Nitrus Brio, try to contact Crash and warn him that this is a trap in vain. Brio also tells him to forget about crystals and collect Gems instead.

Once Crash obtains all the Crystals Coco manages to discover Cortex's true goal: to use the Crystals to power-up his super Cortex Vortex to enslave the entire world. With his cover blown, Cortex tries to flee to the space station with Crash in pursuit. Ultimately Crash defeats Cortex and takes back the crystals.

Later Crash obtains all of the gems, which Brio uses to complete his power laser and Crash uses it to destroy the super Cortex Vortex.

Why It Rocks

  1. The opening cutscene begins immediately where the previous game ended.
  2. Noticeably improved graphics when compared to the previous game.
  3. Great soundtrack.
  4. Good voice acting.
  5. Unlike the previous game, the amount of crates destroyed does not get reset to zero after the player dies after activating the checkpoint, instead it resets to the number when the checkpoint was activated. This means the player no longer needs to complete the levels without dying to obtain Power Gems.
  6. The game still rewards the player for not dying with special platforms in certain levels that lead to hidden "death routes" which are only available if the player reaches them without dying.
  7. Crash has new moves and his controls are improved.
  8. The heads-up display menu now shows how many boxes you've broken in each level, and at the end of each level you're told how many boxes the level has in case you didn't find them all.
  9. The new Warp Room system organizes the levels better and makes it easier to travel through them.
  10. You can save the game anytime you want unlike the previous game.
  11. Large amount of secrets that encourage thinking out of the box.
  12. Creative and fun boss battles.
  13. If the player obtains all the collectible items in the game they are rewarded with the real ending cutscene.
  14. More detailed and varied death animations.
  15. The iconic "Crash Dance" is introduced.
  16. Crystals are introduced in this game.

Bad Qualities

  1. Frequent backtracking in levels, and the camera doesn't rotate when you do.
  2. The game is rather short, beatable 100% in about 4-5 hours. Less if you already know where everything is.
  3. The plot is rather pointless because Cortex's real goal is spoiled right away, and the game's title itself already tells Cortex is evil!
  4. Awful final boss battle, because Cortex doesn't try to attack Crash at all.
  5. It is never explained how Coco was created.


Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back received generally positive reviews from critics. The game was praised for solving almost every issue the previous game has.

Since its release, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back has sold over 5.17 million units worldwide, selling about 3.78 million units in the United States and 1.3 million units in Japan. This makes it one of the best-selling PlayStation video games of all time. The game's success resulted in its re-release for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on August 30, 1998 and for the Platinum Range in 1999. The game replaced Crash Bandicoot as the highest-selling non-Japanese title in Japan, selling over 800,000 units by April 1998.

Fans usually consider this game the most difficult yet fair of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, as it is more challenging than Crash 3 yet more forgiving than Crash 1.

Game Tips

  1. The five entrances to the secret Warp Room are:
    • In "Air Crash": Right after the first Checkpoint, instead of jumping into the jet ski, use the crates floating on the water to reach a small square platform. This entrance leads to the Death Route of "Snow Go" where the Red Gem can be found. It is possible to grab the Red gem without going through the Death Route, but it's rather difficult to do so.
    • In "Bear Down": At the end of the level, when Polar throws Crash you'll notice a small ice island in the middle of the lake. Reach it by using the smaller ice platforms, but be careful because those sink. This entrance leads to a secret section of "Air Crash" to grab more crates which you need to get the gem.
    • In "Un-Bearable": At the end of the level, after Polar throws Crash, you can make it to the other side of the pit. After that keep backtracking until you reach Polar. This entrance leads to "Totally Bear".
    • In "Hangin' Out": When you grab the Crystal right next a checkpoint late in the level, you can walk backwards to find a small hole, jumping into it leads to a small path, the secret exit is at the end of it. Instead of going to the secret path right away however, make it to the end of the level, grab the gem, and lose a life to respawn right next to the secret path. This entrance leads to "Totally Fly".
    • In "Diggin' It": Near the end of the level you'll notice a Piranha Plant standing on a small green platform surrounded by a bottomless pit, body slam it. Just like "Hangin' Out", you can grab the gem before taking the secret exit. This entrance leads to a secret section of Level 13 to grab more crates which you need to get the gem.
    • In "Un-Bearable": After the giant Polar Bear falls off a bottomless pit you'll notice some of the wooden planks didn't break. Jump into that bottomless pit to find a hidden path with more crates. In that Death Route there are two 1-Up crates that never stop giving 1-ups, exploit that to easily reach 99 Lives.
    • In "Piston It Away": there's a death route, but before grabbing it you need to make it to the end of the level then backtrack to it in order to get that level's gem. Don't break the Checkpoint near an Aku-Aku crate close to that Death Route platform when you first reach it, instead break it after doing the backtracking.


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