Crash Bandicoot has been a part of my childhood for as long as I can remember, though I never owned any of the main games. I played a level of Crash 1 on a demo disc; I’ve played bits of Crash 2 in places but never played Crash 3 at all. I remember buying Crash 1 at a market in Milton Keynes, this game is tough and unforgiving but it was decent nonetheless. I have Crash 2 on PSN and it was a great game with a much better challenge with the gameplay and level design that improved immensely. I somehow got Crash 3 for PS1 disc only at a charity shop for 10p. I could have played that disc but apparently the European version is a lot tougher than the US version, so I got a PSXtoPSP ROM for the PSP, oh how it feels good to play games on it. With that said I can now begin my review of the final main Crash Bandicoot game Naughty Dog ever developed, Crash Bandicoot: Warped (known in Europe and Australia as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and クラッシュ・バンディクー3 ブッとび!世界一周 Kurasshu Bandikuu 3: Buttobi! Sekkai Isshu in Japan), developed by Naughty Dog, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and distributed by Universal Interactive Studios and was released in 1998 worldwide.
So Dr. Neo Cortex has been defeated yet again, he suddenly resurrects the evil younger twin brother of Aku Aku, Uka Uka. They both join Doctor Nefarious Tropy to collect crystals from different time periods to take over the world so Crash, his sister Coco and Aku Aku go back in time to collect the crystals themselves.
You are in the Time-Twisting Machine and this is your hub. There are 25 levels to play, each having one crystal per level. The machine is split into five chambers with five levels each, after collecting all five crystals in that chamber, you can access the boss and then after defeating the boss you can access the next chamber. If you’re a try-hard then you can collect gems, they can be collected by breaking all the boxes in each level, and at the end of the level you can collect the gem if you collected them all. There is more than one gem in specific levels; you need to find a secret area. You can also do time trials to collect relics. Collecting everything will give you the true ending of the game. Did I do this? Well, do I have time to 100% anything because I want to play the best games out there? Then that answer would be…no.
We have the bosses again, and I absolutely love them. They’re my favourite bosses in any Crash game so far, they have enough challenge to be quite tough at times but beatable and you feel good when beating them. When you defeat a boss, Crash unlocks a new power-up. Yep, we now have power-ups, these include a Super Belly Flop where you can make a heavier belly flop with a bigger range of destruction, Death Tornado Spin where you can spin for a prolonged period of time on land and in the air, Double Jump where you can jump again in the air and a Fruit Bazooka where you can use the fruit to shoot enemies and hard to reach items. The power-ups are so much fun and they bring new elements to the game and they help so much when facing some challenges, these power-ups can give you the ability to beat the level slowly or quickly.
The gameplay is the best of the crash games and once again improved immensely, but it adds some more elements, not much, but just enough to make it so fun to play, even the replay value is very high, it’s one of those games where you can play again and again. The controls are exactly the same as Crash 2 minus the power-ups, especially the Fruit Bazooka, apparently you can use the analog stick but the directional pad plays so much better, it just fits so well with the game. The level design is SO timeless. The level themes include Medieval, Underwater, China, Prehistoric, Arabian, In the Sky where you can fly a plane and In the road where Crash races some cars, get to first place to get the crystal. These are some memorable and fantastic looking level and for the PlayStation, that’s unheard of. It’s literally one of the best looking PlayStation games and certainly takes advantage of the console. The music is very similar to the original Crash games but ten times better, another memorable element to the game.
I literally have nothing negative about this game, I just enjoyed this game, played it in three days and I loved playing this whenever I did, and I never got this kind of enjoyment from the previous games, not to say that Crash 1 & 2 were bad games, they’re good but 3 is so much better in terms of gameplay and the balance of what made Crash good and fun new elements. Though if I had one not-so-good thing about the game is the final boss, it’s tough but not epic as it could be. Oh, and Bug Lite, screw that level and screw the fireflies in that level.
Overall, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped is without doubt the best game in the Crash series and one of my favourite games I’ve ever played. It’s incredibly fun, can be challenging when it needs to be and I think you’ll have a good time playing it, especially getting 100%. It’s a fantastic 3D platformer and some of the best of what the PlayStation has to offer.
However, to get the best experience, as I said before, play the US (NTSC) version as the PAL version is apparently more difficult. I don’t know but it’s just to get the best experience in my opinion.
You can get it on the PlayStation and the PlayStation Network.