Upon the writing of this first paragraph understand that I have had to: Put down this game ten times, pace back and forth in my living room, scream at my television, side eye my controller, plead with Crash and Coco Bandicoot, and held back at least 5 cuss words. It is important to note that I walked into this game thinking that I will be frolicking and capturing Wumpa fruit the same way I did when I was a kid. I am an adult. Crash Bandicoot 4 is stressful.
When you pick up Crash Bandicoot 4 first thing in the morning, it’s safe to assume you’re looking for violence. As a kid, I enjoyed Crash to its fullest extent. I owned or played all of the Crash Games from Crash Team Racing to Crash (Gamecube) in the mid 2000s. I had some difficulties, but nothing to this level. It is so difficult that I am sure if the creators of this game had a grudge with someone they know, they have fulfilled the requirements for the grudge.
When you start the game, you have the option of allowing your deaths to be unlimited, or the old school way of when you die, you die and start over. I am grateful that I selected unlimited deaths, because, audience, I died over 20 times on a couple of levels. I tried to figure out how to face this atrocity, but there I was with Aku Aku circling around me because I needed extra help. AND YET, I could not help falling to my death multiple times.
Classic Characters Bringing Back the Heat
Crash Bandicoot 4 is a magnificent addition to the series. Not only have they brought back the same energy we’ve been missing for all of these years, they add onto it in creative ways. With classic characters such as Neo Cortex and destructible forces like N. Gin and N. Tropy all ages will join in on the crude fun. The boss fights tackle different sensory details and pairs it with reaction time.
Something I absolutely enjoyed was Tawna, our butt kicking Bandicoot with the hook. They manage to swing her into the story in such a fun way. Allowing her to keep her autonomy of “lone wolf” but still being an integral part of Coco and Crash’s story. There are certain levels where random “surprises” occur that work directly into Crash and Coco’s benefit. You don’t see where it comes from, but when you play as Tawna you get to see how she played a direct role into the occurrence. It’s hilarious. It’s sleek. And honestly one of my favorite parts of the game.
Multiplayer Mode Fit for Side Eyeing Bandicoot Lovers
My favorite part about this game is the fact that it will make you think. If you’re new to Crash Bandicoot, you’re in for a pleasant (yet stressful) awakening. They managed to take what was already a great form and transform it into a tangible party game. Growing up a lot of us with siblings or friends that used to come over would swap the controller every time someone died in Crash. That was a given rule. Now they managed to make it seamless. With their Pass n’ Play feature players can swap the remote at deaths, checkpoints, or both. When one (inevitably) dies they pass the controller to the next player until the board is finished. They managed to make this both cooperative and competitive by allowing breakdowns of how the game is played after each round.
One thing I did enjoy about this game that was a complete upgrade from previous Crash Bandicoot games of this format is how the boards in each “main level” are situated. In the past, each board in a main level would essentially feel like the same thing but with a different map. The levels would follow a similar theme, introduce new henchmen to spin or jump on, but it would inevitably feel too similar. They enhanced it by not only adding bonus boards that can only be attained by following a challenge but also made the maps extremely different. The boards no longer feel like repetitious movements with a different map, but rather a different set of challenges featuring some reoccurring villains. Yes, this inevitably pissed me off when I had to slide, jump, slide, spin, spin, but you know a drastic improvement after something has felt somewhat predictable years ago.
I know I went on and on about how this game stresses me out (it does) and how it made me scream at my television millions of times (it did), but honestly this was a thrill. If you’re the gamer that loves a challenge, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is going to give you the challenge you need. It gave me the nostalgic “screaming internally as to not wake up my mother” feeling. With new characters, upgraded boss battles, and dope levels, it essentially feels like stepping into a new world each time I pick up the controller. I highly recommend this to adults who love to use cuss words, and kids who are trying to learn a lesson on patience.
9.3 Wumpa Whips out of 10