A day with the Bandicoot Union Local 510 Review

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1

Publisher

  • Universal Interactive

Developer

  • Traveller's Tales

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS2
  • Xbox

rating

A day with the Bandicoot Union Local 510

Being a system mascot ain’t easy. You spend every waking hour collecting rings,

coins, and even Wumpa fruit on your way to thwart some dastardly plan concocted

by your arch-nemesis. Every once in a while, you’re fried, splattered, or squashed

by the various legions of evil weirdos out to stop you. Even your “days off” are

spent at the local toy store waving to kids, avoiding

ruthless parents
, and passing out small bouncy balls with your name on it.

Talk about a rough gig.

This month, Sony’s “unofficial” mascot, Crash Bandicoot, has been working

especially hard. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex has hit the Playstation

2 with more marsupial mayhem than ever before. Dr. Cortex and a certain evil

tiki mask named Uka Uka are back to their evil ways, so it looks like our hero

will be working some overtime.

Even though the development of Crash has changed hands from Naughty

Dog to Traveller’s Tales, the latest installment of the series isn’t a whole

lot different from past games. You still travel though various lands collecting

fruit and performing platformer elements with various vehicle bits thrown in

between. Just collect crystals, defeat bosses, and you’ll stop Dr. Cortex and

save the day yet again.

Getting through the game’s thirty levels is pretty easy, but if you really

want to pass it 100%, you’ll need to accomplish a few secondary objectives,

such as collecting gems and relics. Gems are found by breaking all the boxes

in a level and relics are gained by passing a level within a certain amount

of time. These extra goals certainly add to the replay value and are necessary

if you want to experience the “real” ending.

New for Wrath of Cortex are a few levels featuring Crash’s sister,

Coco. It’s really not a big deal, since she plays exactly like Crash, but it’s

a nice little addition for hardcore fans.

Also added are a bunch of vehicle levels to keep things interesting. You’ve

got a jeep, space fighter, copter pak, and even a mech suit straight out of

Aliens. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the basic platform jumping

mode and these levels do it well.

With a new system comes new power, and the Traveller’s Tales team has put

it to good use. Crash looks fit for the next-generation with cleaner graphics

and solid animations. It’s amazing what a little system upgrade will do for

a familiar face.

And speaking of power, Wrath of Cortex has got some serious voice-acting

might. R. Lee Ermy, who played the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket,

joins the cast alongside the Jedi Master himself, Mark Hamill.

But even with all of this newfound power, someone still managed to drop the

Wumpa fruit. Wrath of Cortex features some of the worst loading times

yet seen on a next-gen system. Loading screens will provide you with plenty

of time to do all of those important pre-game errands, like answering the phone,

making a bathroom run, and even picking up some Rocky Mountain refreshment…from

the source.

To make matters worse, these loading screens pop up far too often. Load your

saved game, load your level, load to get back to the warp room, load cut scene.

It never seems to end! I swear half my time spent with this game was staring

at a load screen. Make sure you’ve got a little extra entertainment standing

by while you wait. Might I suggest the latest editions of the World Book Encyclopedia,

volumes A-G?

Wrath of Cortex also suffers from a little depth perception problem.

When jumping from platform to platform, it is of the utmost importance that

a gamer is able to tell where he is going to land. Since the camera in Crash

sometimes falls directly in front or behind the character, it can get pretty

difficult to judge exactly how far to jump. Fortunately, it doesn’t last for

the entire game, but there will be a few frustrating occasions where you’ll

swear you jumped far enough and still didn’t quite make it. Rats.

With the exception of the severe load times and minor depth problem, Crash

Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
is still pretty much like any other Crash

game. The bandicoot may have a few wrinkles under his snout, but he can still

get the job done.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2
Rating
Looks better than ever
Lots of vehicles
Classic Crash
A little too classic perhaps
Worst... loading...ever.
Loading so bad I have to mention it twice
Occasional depth problems
This thing is still loading