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Crash Bandicoot: Warped

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Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Crash Bandicoot; Warped.jpg
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For the last time! GIVE ME THE CRYSTALS!
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): PlayStation
PlayStation Network
Release: NA: October 31, 1998
EU: December 11, 1998
Developer(s): Naughty Dog
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Series: Crash Bandicoot
Predecessor: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Successor: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (by release date)
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (canonically)


Crash Bandicoot: Warped is a 3D platform game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. Despite its name, Crash Bandicoot: Warped is the sequel to Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and is overall the third game in the Crash Bandicoot series. It was released in North America on November 4, 1998, and in Europe and Japan in December 1998. It was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on August 23, 1999 and for the Platinum Range in 2000. The game was later made available for the PlayStation Store in North America on February 7, 2008, and in Europe on October 23, 2008.

Plot

After getting destroyed in the previous game, the remains of the Super Cortex Vortex crash into an anchient temple, freeing Aku Aku's evil twin brother, Uka Uka from his underground prison. Infuriated by Cortex's constant failure, he recruits Dr. Nefarious Tropy to create the Time Twister Machine to gather the Crystals from different time zones in the past and future. After Aku Aku informs Crash and Coco about Uka Uka's release, they set out to gather the Crystals before Cortex and Uka Uka do.

Why It Rocks

  1. New villains make their debut, such as Uka Uka, Dingodile and N. Tropy.
  2. The time travel plot allows for more varied themes for the level designs; from the ancient Egypt, to the Middle ages and even the future. Throughout the game, most background scenarios are depicted as Cortex already having conquered the world, which fits with the plot of the game and the player needing to recover the Crystals.
  3. Coco Bandicoot becomes a playable character for the first time in the series. Warped also introduces Pura.
  4. Many levels revolve around special mechanics such as underwater exploring, riding an airplane, driving a motorcycle, etc. for more varied gameplay.
  5. There's much less back tracking compared to the previous two games.
  6. Crash gets super powers whenever he defeats a boss:
    • Super Belly Flop: Crash's belly flop creates a shockwave on impact.
    • Double Jump: Jump again while in the air.
    • Death Tornado: Spin longer and glide across the air.
    • Fruit Bazooka: Aim and fire an unlimited amount of Wumpa fruits.
    • Crash Dash: Run faster and make Time Trials a bit easier.
  7. When achieving 100%, you unlock a cutscene of Crash and Coco watching a fireworks show.
  8. A Time Trial is unlocked in each level after beating it once (finishing it and collecting its crystal if it has one). In this mode, the player must race against the clock to the end of the level. The player is rewarded with a Time Relic for their performance, ranging from Sapphire to Gold and then Platinum.
    • Getting every Relic of any kind unlocks a secret level in the secret warp room, and getting specifically Gold/Platinum Relics give the player an extra gem.
  9. The death animations are just as hilarious as before if not more.
  10. Great soundtrack, especially for boss levels. Special highlight to the prehistoric levels and Dingodile's theme.
  11. Awesome and beautiful graphics compared to other games on the PlayStation thanks to the engine the developers made and took full advantage of the console.
  12. Amazing boss battles, with a special highlight being N. Gin.
  13. Good voice acting that's even better than the previous game.
  14. Every boss now has their own voice that suites their design and personality.

Bad Qualities

  1. The game makes it out that Cortex was working with Uka Uka all this time, which isn't possible since Uka Uka was released from his prison after Cortex's space station was destroyed at the end of the previous game and there was never any proper set-up in the previous two games.
  2. The vehicle stages have gotten mixed reception, with some players liking it, others consider the game has to much of them.
  3. Despite the fact that it (mostly) doesn't have secrets as hard to find as 1 and 2, it's still pretty hard to get 100% here thanks to the time trials. Yes, you can get a hold of the Fruit Bazooka and a faster dash. And yes, you can restart the time trial as much as you want. But that won't really make the amount of hours spent on getting all the Gold Relics less ludicrous. In part because Time Trials need pure skill as opposed to getting really lucky/reading a guide (as with the gems in the second game). That's not even including the Platinum relics which demand nearly frame perfect precision to obtain, which becomes unfair in the Relic stage "Area 51?", which doesn't even have the decency to let you see more than three feet ahead of you. However, Platinum Relics are not required as obtaining gold relics is enough to achieve 100% completion.
    • The Egyptian levels are insanely difficult relics due to the doors. They open and close at intervals, and it ruins your run if you get trapped behind one with it closed. Even worse is Tomb Wader with the rising waters that will be guaranteed to halt Crash's run.
    • "High Time" and "Flaming Passion"'s gold and platinum relics due to the fire-throwing enemies, the guys who swing swords while advancing towards you, slow-moving carpets, and monkey bar segments.
    • Many of the developer times are extremely difficult to get, because most of them were reached on a non-final version of the game.
    • Hot Coco, a jetski level, where you have to plan an optimal route through an open-ended stage littered with bombs to crush the time crates in a certain order. Break too many while on your way to hit the nitro switch and you won't have enough on the way back. Leave too many in tact and you won't be fast enough to make it back before the platinum time, which is less than 20 seconds. This is even worse in the remake due to the more slippery jetski controls. However, this was only in the PAL version of the game. Other versions had a much more lenient time limit due to an oversight by the developers.
    • Hog Ride, the first motorcycle stage, where you have to keep the boost you get early in the level for the entire stage. Turning while boosting is much harder and you have to break all of the time crates in this state.
    • Tomb Wader, since the water is constantly rising and falling and getting the relic is dependent on the water being at a certain level at a certain time.
  4. Difficulty Spike: The game gets noticeably harder in the fourth warp room — the first level in it, Sphynxinator, is positively evil for first-time players. Four boxes are hidden in a place you wouldn't initially think to look, and the blue gem path is filled with oil.
  5. The Fruit Bazooka is kind of game-breaking, since now you can aim away at the crates without personally going there, as well as hitting enemies from far away. Not so much for Time Trials, though.
  6. Missed Opportunities:
    • Coco's "playability" is completely superficial, limited to vehicle levels or four or five steps of slow walking. Those getting Warped to play a fresh new character will be sorely disappointed. This is rectified in the N. Sane Trilogy, however, where her playability has been greatly expanded to almost all levels from this game (as well as being playable the first two).
    • The boss fight against the new time-twisting villain N. Tropy. Despite having the ability to literally warp time, his attacks consist of him shooting beams and chucks some electrified clocks at Crash.
    • Compared to other platformers, which make unique use of altering time, Warped only implements the concept nominally to introduce historically themed levels, instead of adding gameplay elements of time-travel.

Reception

Crash Bandicoot: Warped received "universal acclaim", according to review aggregator Metacritic. Johnny Ballgame of GamePro concluded that the game was "a very strong contender for PlayStation game of the year" and that the "rowdy rowdy" gameplay will keep your head spinning for days." Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine considered the game to be "the best 2.5D platformer ever released." Ryan MacDonald of GameSpot said that Crash Bandicoot: Warped is "easily the best Crash yet," describing how all of its aspects were superior to previous installments in the series, and concluded that the game was "the most fun I've had with a 3D platform game in a long, long time." Mark Cooke of Game Revolution called the game "a barrage of good things" and said that the game's elements "all come together perfectly." Scott Alan Marriott of Allgame ("All Game Guide" at the time) considered the game to be "so impressive to watch that you'll have to keep one hand firmly below your chin to keep it from falling to the floor."

The game's graphics were lauded by critics. Johnny Ballgame praised the game's graphics as "incredibly clean" and "detailed", citing the water in the jet ski levels as "the most realistic-looking waves of any PlayStation game we've seen so far". Randy Nelson called the game "drop-dead gorgeous", detailing that "the textures are impeccable, the animation's top-notch, and the special effects kick some serious booty." Ryan MacDonald called the game "one of the most beautiful PlayStation games ever", citing the game's "smooth" character animations, "bright" and "colorful" landscapes, "gorgeous" lighting effects and a "refreshingly fast and steady" frame rate. Mark Cooke praised the game's "smooth" and "cartoonish" animation as "top of the line, bested by no other game" and its "limitless" rendering distance and "beautiful" 3D models as "the pinnacle of PlayStation rendering". However, he criticized the absence of death animations for the enemy characters. Scott Alan Marriott described the graphics as "unbelievable" and said that "everything is crystal clear, colorful, smoothly animated and extremely detailed."

Sales

By February 1999, 2.9 million copies of Warped had been shipped to retailers worldwide; the NPD Group reported sell-through of 862,506 copies in North America alone by the end of January. At the 1999 Milia festival in Cannes, it took home a "Gold" prize for revenues above €15 million in the European Union during the previous year. By 2002, Warped had sold over 5.7 million units worldwide, making it the thirteenth best-selling PlayStation video game of all time. The game's success resulted in its re-release for the Sony Greatest Hits lineup on August 23, 1999, and for the Platinum Range in 2000. Crash Bandicoot: Warped was a bestseller in Japan, and was the first non-Japanese PlayStation title to receive a "Platinum Prize" in Japan for selling over 1 million units. Game Informer placed the game 26th on their top 100 video games of all time in 2001 noting the game's difficulty not hard like the first game and not too easy like the second game and praising the platforming action as “fantastic”.

Videos

Trivia

  • Two of the secret levels, "Ski Crazed" and "Rings of Power" are direct references to games that Naughty Dog had made prior to making Crash Bandicoot.
  • The twentieth level, "Tomb Wader", is an obvious reference to Tomb Raider.
  • This is the only Crash Bandicoot game where Coco has no dialogue at all.

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