Review: Crash Bandicoot 4 - It's About Time

I love Crash Bandicoot. I was so happy when I read they wanted to make an actual Crash 4 in the spirit of the original trilogy. I played the trilogy like four times, on PS 1 and emulators. This is not what I wanted.

Crash 4 looks great and has a ton of great ideas. They have new interesting crate types, new power-ups of which most are cool, new characters, old characters with new story to them, more playable characters, new vehicles. They also did several things right: Get a gem for dying 3 times max, get a relic for not dying at all and beating a time. They have sidescroller levels in the original style with the original madness.

Unfortunately, the game is way too hard and not (only) because it was designed to be hard. It would be incredibly hard if it was without flaws, but that's okay, the original three were, too. In the original trilogy though, if you were skilled and had practiced, you could run through levels and enjoy how insanely good you are. In Crash 4, I am in like level 20 or so (the play time lies, I played a part of it offline, took me probably more than 10 hours) and I still miss platforms and crates all the time. The jumping is just weird and unpredictable. It has a jumping assistance where you get a circle on the ground but it does not help, it just shows how weird the movement is. It's worse for the rail parts.

Also, things frequently do not line up either physically or in time. Everything is curved. Yeah, we got 3D now, but no need to do the Hundertwasser Bandicoot. Perspective is also weird. And then you just can't run through levels because you frequently have to wait for things even if your timing should be perfect. It's just no fun. I am so sorry to say this. I switched to "infinite lifes" mode like ten levels ago and I lose like 30 lifes per level while in the original Crash Bandicoot (where you must not die to get a gem), I get the red gem in Slippery Climb in the first attempt. It's not me. I got all six gems in the first levels but then the levels got way longer and harder and now I am so frustrated, I am not even happy anymore when I get through a level at all.

I am not sure if I will finish this game. If you liked the trilogy remake and want a harder Crash Bandicoot, get the original ones and an emulator. If you want more Jump'n'Runs, get Ratchet & Clank (speaking for the older ones there, too, have not played the newer ones, though "Rift Apart" is supposed to be really good).


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