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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
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Console: Sony PlayStation Network
Year: 2008
RFG ID #: U-151-S-00420-A
Part #:
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: SCEA

Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1
Controller: Standard/PSP
Media Format: Downloadable
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Collection Stats:

  • 25 of 7431 collectors (0.3%) have this game in their collection
  • 0 of 7431 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7431 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

From the game's description on the Playstation Store:

The evil Dr. Neo Cortex is back with a vengeance. And this time, he’s out to…save the world? And he’s asking for help from his arch nemesis, Crash Bandicoot? Could this just some conniving plan to lure Crash into a deadly trap? Find out as Crash takes on an adventure that’s out of this world in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back!
Required Space: 102 MB

The international success of the first Crash Bandicoot allowed Naughty Dog to get started on a sequel, and most of the team members remained intact for this transition. This let them build on the ideas from the first game and polish up problems, while adding new ideas. Sadly this created quite a few new problems. Despite all these new issues, Crash 2 was more successful than the first game, making it the best selling Western developed game in Japan when it was released. However, its international sales caused the game to fall a bit short of its predecessor in total sales.

If you recall, in my previous review of the first Crash, my main issue with it was the quirky controls. These have been improved slightly, but are still not where I would like them to be. Ice levels can be quite infuriating until you figure out how the game calculates momentum. That is to say, it doesn't stop calculating momentum even after you smash into a wall. So these ice levels can involve you moving in place until Crash's momentum eventually stops and then you go flying in the opposite direction. Also beware of small boxes with gaps across from them, you might think that hitting the box would stop you, but if you try and immediately jump onto the box you will assuredly overshoot it and fall to your death. These controls are just trial and error and have absolutely no regard to player skill, you're just meant to figure this out on your own and probably die doing so.

Progression and exploration have been changed as well, with a hub-based world, instead of a linear map system like the first game. Each hub has five levels, and you must find the crystal in each level before you can go on to challenge the boss and move onto the next world. Each world has a similar layout of levels though, and there's not much variety. When you move from one world to the next you can expect to play a combination of a polar bear level, a rock level, an ice level, a sewer level, a temple level, a jet ski level, or an outdoor island level in every world. The only thing that changes is the actual layout of the level, gone are the unique backgrounds and settings that permeated the worlds of the first game.

Each level contains a bonus area that you can use to gain extra lives, but you also need to break every box in these bonus areas if you wish to collect the gems. There are also secret areas in many levels that require a colored gem to access. These colored gems are extremely difficult to find, mainly because the way you get them is so cryptic. You will probably never guess or find out how to get a single one of these colored gems without a guide. In the first game, the colored gems were collected by just getting a certain number of gems, so there was nothing special you needed to do other than find out which levels you could get a gem in. For most of the game your success is limited to trial and error. Deathtraps litter the levels, so you'll probably have to farm the early levels for lives so you can learn how to avoid cheap deaths. That really sums up how this game is designed.

There are some new additions to the control scheme, a slide and a jump are added onto the spin, and a face plant is used to break certain boxes and kill some enemies. This adds in more variety than just a simple jump attack and the spin, but it fails to add enough to save the game's poorly designed levels and bad physics as a result of said design. This may be the weakest of the original trilogy.

SirPsycho's Review

Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sony PlayStation U S Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) 1997 Action/Adventure
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Last Updated: 2015-03-31 14:53:48
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