Crash Bandicoot has had an interesting time since first being built for the Playstation console. He quickly rose to become what many had determined as the Playstation's mascot alongside Mario for Nintendo and Sonic for SEGA but as mascots became less and less important for a consoles image, Crash seemingly died out and almost had to line up at the unemployment queue. That was until the developers decided to put him on the other consoles and since then Crash has appeared on everything, even the N-Gage. Twinsanity is the first game to introduce a team based element and it's a surprising combination who you play as, Crash and Cortex.
The storyline which brings these two arch nemesis together is really quite cliche but is done well enough to justify the two main characters of previous titles teaming up. Two twins from outer space have invaded the land in which Crash and Cortex reside. The only reason they team up is that the twins outlay their plans to destroy Cortex and enslave Crash after taking over the world. The game is somewhat played out like the GBA game from last year where you play in various different worlds to find out the identity of the twins before finally defeating them.
Crash Twinsanity as with every other console crash game is a third person platform title. The world is completely three dimensional which on paper offers exploration but in practice the game is extremely linear and is definitely aimed at a younger market. Basically you run through each level avoiding or defeating characters before taking on a boss character and moving on. Of course the game is not this simple and along the way you will run into problems and the most frustrating aspect of the game. One which almost single handedly destroys its appeal.
One of the biggest problems we found with this game is the amount of time between save points in each level. To give an example, early in the game you play through a number of roll sequences then take on some enemies, solve a puzzle and get outside again. Normally you would expect a save point at the end of the roll, after the enemies and when solving the puzzle but Twinsanity decides that you don't need a save point at those points. One thing which does combat this is the checkpoints where you start if you die, but once all the lives are gone its back to the start and those who get frustrated easily with a game will no doubt turn this off. It almost kills the game.
When you do manage to find save points and get further you will find a fairly decent platformer to play. All the Crash trademarks are in the game such as the apples, the traps and various pickups you can get. The fact that the two rivals have teamed up has allowed the developers to include some very interesting gameplay mechanics. Crash can use Cortex in many ways, such as throw him over to another ridge in a puzzle or slide on him down a snow covered mountain. The animations for these particular mechanics are quite humorous. Most of the time Crash will beat down on Cortex but occasionally you will see Crash getting as good as he gave earlier in the story. It would have been nice to see a multiplayer element from this but the game unfortunately does not have one.
The level design is fairly decent and the variety of levels is something that may keep you playing the game. Again the level design somewhat lends itself to the younger market with the lack of exploration and linear gameplay but the difficulty level is still quite tough. Visually the game is quite good with cartoon style graphics rendering both the models and the actual levels. You will find some highly detailed boss characters throughout the game as well. In terms of sound effects this side is a bit of a disappointment due to the lack of voice acting and fairly cliche soundtrack for the style of game which Crash is.
Crash Twinsanity is a decent game which is heavily pulled down by the lack of save points. How the developers decided that you only need a save point only after three or four lengthy tasks with quite tough enemies is hard to comprehend. If you can put up with the save game issues, the game is good but for those without patience look elsewhere.
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