PlayStation

It's a little hard to dumb down this review, given this is the first game I've ever played in my life, at two years old in 1997, but nonetheless I will try. Now anyone who knows me personally knows I'm quite the critic, I take a look at the good and the bad of any game and try to be as optimistic as possible. An important rule I also have is to completely wipe nostalgia away from my reviews. That being said, I love this game. Not because I grew up with it, not solely because of the memories I have with it, but because it was designed so cleverly. It treated the players like they were smart, with no tutorials (though most things were explained in the game's manual) and just all-around smart design in terms of levels and enemy placement. Crash has Mario controls, meaning he can run and jump, and he also has a spin attack, and that's it. However, you are challenged with timing your jumps and spins as the game gets more diabolical the further you get. The plot is also Mario-esque; Crash must save his girlfriend Tawna from the evil Dr. Neo Cortex. Very simple, and the game acknowledges it's a simple plot, as the game's much more gameplay-driven than story-driven. Crash controls fine, with not too much traction but enough to not seem like he's walking on butter. You can regulate how high or far you jump with the longer or shorter you have the X button held down. From there, your progression in the game is mostly predicated on your own skill at mastering these controls. The game looks gorgeous; visually a bit dated but aesthetically it's one of the better-looking games on the PS1, stuffing as much detail on the disc as possible while retaining a nice draw distance and with virtually no framerate issues. Throughout the game you collect gems, which you get by breaking all the crates in a level without dying at all. If you're a completionist this'll be quite the task, as there are levels in your first playthrough where you can't get a gem just yet due to secret areas you need certain colored gems to access, which means there'll be some backtracking if you're aiming for 100%. Some levels in their own right have some backtracking segments which can get annoying due to Crash running towards the camera (which is fine in the boulder levels, but when exploring forks in the road this can understandably be an issue). The only way you can save the game is by either obtaining a gem or completing a bonus round once you've collected the three Tawna tokens in a level. Again, with these being the only two ways to save your game, this could be seen as annoying, but I see it as clever, as it eliminates using the 100% cheat and saving it to achieve everything the easy way, and you're now tasked with earning the right to save, which in my opinion adds to the challenge for the better. So in conclusion, if you love old school platformers and have not picked this game up, you're definitely missing out. This game does everything a good game should do: doesn't give you annoying tutorials, treats you smartly, has quite a bit of difficulty to it, it's a short game but your progression depends on your skill, it looks impressive, sounds impressive, and is just all around awesome. Pick it up and give it a play; you will NOT regret it!