The Crash Bandicoot franchise is currently enjoying a second lease of life, but what happened before that?
It’s fair to say that Crash Bandicoot is one of the most beloved characters among video game fans. Currently, this character created by The evil dog has regained its lost shine thanks to brilliant remasters courtesy of Vicarious visions in the form of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, or the latest Crash Bandicoot 4. And, for the first time in a long time, fans are really excited. with the future of this franchise. However, if we go back more than fifteen years, more precisely to 2004, we find ourselves in a very different situation from what we are currently experiencing: the decline of a video game icon.
Twinsanity Crash put on sale in september 2004 and Xbox, but the story of this game actually begins three years earlier, with Cortex’s wrath, the first game in the franchise to access a Microsoft console. I expected a lot from him, as he was going to be Crash’s first adventure on a next-gen console
It’s no wonder the game sold as well as it did, but The Wrath of Cortex also had much more negative critical reception than any previous Crash game. It turned out that the format based on the levels of the first three was not also implemented here, probably because this time around no naughty dog era who developed the game. Critics were quick to point out that the game lacked any kind of innovation and that I was only trying mimic the naughty dog style. While playing it, many came to the same conclusion: Wrath of Cortex seemed like a shoddy review of the third installment.
So we go back three years, more precisely during the launch of Crash Twinsanity. This time we were faced with a project that would move in a whole new direction, according to its developers. For the first time ever, Crash Bandicoot would be an open world platform game. Many of the basic elements of Classic Crash have been removed. That meant there were no bonus rounds, time trial or gem levels, no protection from Aku-Aku, no big final showdown with Cortex. The boxes were unnecessary and fall damage was introduced.
And instead of fighting Cortex, this time Crash would team up with him. And yes, this is the story that revolves around this concept: the two must work together Stop “The Evil Twins”, who are a pair of mutated parrots from another dimension. Most of the game will be spent collecting Power Crystals so that we can travel to and face the tenth dimension.
When Twinsanity went on sale, critical reception was so mixed as the Cortex’s wrath. Many critics praised the new direction the game has taken, but overall it was a title that was much lacking. In a few words, Twinsanity was far from ready for release. It was buggy, some sounds and animations were missing, cutscenes couldn’t be skipped, and individual levels couldn’t be chosen to play. Plus, it was too short and clearly unfinished, with an odd pace that surprised everyone. Some sections lacked any kind of boss, while others have had two games in a row.
Most of these problems are caused by the development team being too ambitious. They were eager to realize their original vision of Twinsanity, not even with the three-year development cycle that was attributed to the game. The result was a game that not only felt rushed, unfinished, and buggy, but contained a lot of content that seemed to be lacking. New levels, new bosses and new characters were to be be left out for lack of time.
But even with these problems, Twinsanity had a lot to offer. The concept of teaming up with Cortex, as well as the open world gameplay, these were innovative ideas and quite well done. They represent an interesting departure from the well-known formula of collecting crystals at different levels. The game’s soundtrack was also notable for its originality. Plus, playing Twinsanity made us feel like the developers care about the series. There has been a lot of nod to previous games and some characters seem like we haven’t seen in years.
But the best thing about this game is its humor. Twinsanity is a fun, clear and simple game. It’s much crazier than any of its predecessors, with hilarious dialogue and moments like Cortex in Coco disguise.
The legacy of Twinsanity is quite interesting, because the game retains cult status and enjoys great prestige among many Crash fans. Some consider it the best game outside of the Naughty Dog originals. Some even want it to be remastered, a possibility that has already been discussed previously. However, many others hate it, complaining that the game has removed everything that made the originals so good.