A clash between the past and the future where practically everything comes together wonderfully. An exercise in bravery with highs and lows that, in practice, works.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was quite a declaration of intent. Activision, in its quest to delve into a somewhat underdog genre of three-dimensional platforming, launched a probe balloon in 2017 capable of selling more than ten million units. Followed by the marsupial we had the purple dragon, then we got on wheels and … here we are, facing a return that we can qualify as legitimately demanded. It was not an easy company to take on Crash Bandicoot in 2020 and put a four with his name; that is also a declaration of intent. Now, after completing a title a house brand home stretch, we can calmly say that Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is what we’ve been waiting for.
And that is something we must celebrate. Because Toys for Bob has captured the essence: this video game feels like Crash Bandicoot. Any fan of the original trilogy, whether they have grown up with the original iterations of PlayStation or the 2017 remastering that Vicarious Visions recreated so well, will know that this license has a very particular way of understanding the genre of platforms. Jumps, time, cadence, inertia … Small details that are recorded in our brain as if it were riding a bike. The American study passes with flying colors in one of the two main tasks, the gameplay. The control is exquisite when we handle Crash or Coco; the problem is that this fourth numbered episode has decided to risk in some respects by introducing new items – the Quantum Masks, which we will talk about later – and selectable characters. Let’s say that not everything finishes working, and it is a pity, because it tarnishes the excellent work that is done with the more traditional phases. Ups and downs. Claroscuros that prevent the title today protagonist from having an outstanding rating.
The Risk of Experimenting: The Day Crash Bandicoot Wanted to Be Something More
You are going to allow us to make a little mention of Skylanders. It is inevitable not to do a bit of retrospective with the group of professionals who have been in charge of giving color and shape to Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. For five years they worked with the Skylanders license, heir to modern adventures for the smallest of the house of and pioneer of what would end up being the current Activision in this segment. It shows that there were ideas that they wanted to take advantage of again. For this reason, some levels open more than usual and the emergence of characters such as Neo Cortex and Dingodile bet more on the interaction with the stage than when we use Crash and Coco, a traditional experience with all the letters. It is the latter that really shines.
Now, where are we and where do we come from in our hero’s universe? Broadly speaking, we are right where we left off at the end of Crash Bandicoot 3, but Neo Cortex and Dr. N. Tropy have escaped from the interdimensional prison, leaving behind a hole in the universe. Come on, it’s all upside down. Their plan is to conquer all dimensions, so Crash and Coco are in charge of stopping their feet. Twenty years are not in vain, however, and we have to say that the least of the problems is the artistic section chosen by Toys for Bob. Neither trailers nor screenshots do justice to how good the title looks on screen, how natural the color palette looks, and how accurate the movements are. As soon as you have been at the controls for two minutes, you feel that the essence is still intact, that the movements in the air while jumping are maintained and that, above all, there are levels with devilish difficulty, with no margin for error. An unforgiving title.