Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the first installment of our newest weekly special called Cody’s Weekly Throwback, a recurring article where I travel back a decade or two and review a game from the past. I take into consideration of the time era obviously but I also base my opinion on my experience as a kid playing them and on the games that out around the time because lets be honest, some of those graphics may sadly be considered “horrendous” by today’s standards The only criteria I require for this review is that the game has to have been released between 1990-1999, so without further adieu I present a blast from the past that erupted within PlayStation’s community right in time for the holidays.
Name- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Developer- Naughty Dog
Genre- Single-player Platform
Release Date- November 5, 1997
Platform(s)- PlayStation 1
Continuing the success of it’s predecessor, Crash Bandicoot (released September 9th, 1996) we follow our main character Crash, a genetically enhanced eastern barred Bandicoot as he is abducted by the series villain Doctor Neo Cortex. Claiming to have
turned a new leaf we are given the task of collecting Crystals with several parts of N. Sanity Island to help Cortex contain the power of the upcoming planetary alignment and keep the planet from being destroyed. This Platform game has us jumping, running and smashing through 5 wrap rooms and 1 secret each complete with 5 levels. Riding polar bear cubs and running from much larger and angrier ones or the classic notorious boulder, we see Crash battle his way through several different level variations and over the top boss battles. Armed with a floating Aku Aku mask we gain a bit of protection, which helps which will take some damage for Crash and upon collecting three grants Crash the ability to become invincible for a limited amount of time.
The funky ost and graphics drew me as a kid, the challenges and fun there after kept me. i can remember gong back and forth from the wrap room to different levels to solve the different ways the levels tried to trick you or overwhelm you. Although the levels really didn’t have much of a variety to them what they lacked they gained in game play. Smashing through crates and double jump to body slam combine with the action platform genre was a ingenuity i hadn’t quiet yet experience. Playing in a very unforgiving atmosphere where one hit will kill you we rely on Aku Aku and keen senses to master our way through each level. The chase scenes were definitely unique to the genre, with our protagonist running TOWARDS us instead of the classic running from the screen. Yes, and this single feature was a game changer. Nothing amped the anity up like jumping pillar to pillar and leaping over ledges with a monstrous boulder rolling after you. Soon pillars begin wobbling and the level spices it up with different layouts to counteract, with few checkpoints you soon learn the harsh ways of Crash Bandicoot and the challenge is the beauty of it.
Final Grade- 80%
Crash Bandicoot blew it’s predecessor away hands down. This installment took what the first one created and ran with it. One of my more favorites from the Crash series, the only real issues I had was the lack of variations to the environment compared to the first game and minor 3d issues(missing jumps because I was unable to see where I was jumping) which was very small since the controls were a work of art. The precision of my jump and actions were executed swiftly and very on point to combat the slew of puzzles that stood between us and those gems. As much fun as you can have with this title one ultimate truth is that it follows a trial and error format, so after several attempts the puzzle is solvable by memorization..which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The different enemies were fun and unique as well as the overall graphics of the game yet the boss battles lack any strenuous challenge sadly which took my experience down a few notches since the general gameplay seems rather testing at times. Everything aside this is a little gem from my childhood worth taking a stab at.
“We are ready, Crash. Would you like to do the…ahem…honors? “