Retrospection: Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Today I write about a game whose main character is the ADHD offspring of the Tazmanian Devil and his cousin (We have laws to protect against this, people). Crash Bandicoot is lovable with a passion for apples, hurricane-fast pirouettes, and his blonde girlfriend / younger sister / “It’s totally platonic, I swear!!!” female character Coco Bandicoot. He also has a tribal, Jim Carrey’s The Mask-ish friend named Aku-Aku that acts like a meat (er – wood) shield for damage. The three are flung into a compelling adventure when a satellite crashes into an island freeing Aku-Aku’s evil counterpart Uka -Uka, who uses this time travel thing… yada yada yada, destroy the world, insert evil laugh. You know the drill. Crash and gang have to get crystals across time to stop the oncoming nastiness. Somehow the original villain Doctor Neo Cortex has been Alien-style face suckered into being Uka-Uka’s bitch. It’s chaotic, funny, and exciting. It’s Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped!
I have to say right off the bat that this game has something going for it: Humorous death. Forget not wanting to die in a video game, because you are pretty much begging to die. With fruit baskets. I kid not a soul when I say that you haven’t played the game correctly until you have gotten molested, maimed, engulfed, bifurcated and conflagrated by every last enemy in this game at least once.
In the first level I was full tilt wading through the Middle Ages when out of nowhere, a sexually confused frog mounts me and steals my V card. POOF! The frog turns into a prince. BAM! I die from mind explosion. Thankfully the game practically compels you to explore and gives you enough food to make like an amoeba (or a Sheldon with too much Thai food) and split off into more lives.
Boss battles are as entertaining as the ball pit in McDonald’s, minus the occasional poo-filled diaper. You are neck deep in fun with the quite endearing animation. The boss’s body language is terrific. Being mostly genetic experiments of Doctor Cortex, each boss sucks you into the world a little more with the surprising fluidity and believability of their characters. The big lugs have hella-good personalities for being just a few hundred polys in mesh. At points I wanted to slap Doctor Nefarious Tropy for being such a snob, just sitting on his platform with his tuning forks. That being said, they do still have that kind of 2D “I’m a bad guy; GRR!” sort of complex. But I suppose that’s what you become when you are raised by an evil overlord. Speaking of which, biological mutation research that produces super-powered minions with a sense of self respect and rebellion against authority has never really made any sense for a super villain. No wonder his full name isn’t Doctor Frontal Cortex. He plans for pitfalls like a green-shelled koopa.
After all these boss battles, Crash is twinkie-on-a-sticked along to the next area after he gets a shiny new ability! Eventually you get the king of all incendiaries, a bazooka. This is all pretty flabergasting to me, because at this point the game has me as very pro-life, so I see every apple as being an unborn Crash. Firing little fruity fetuses at my enemies makes my eye twitch in silent agony. But the rest of the perks open up new places to go in old levels, actually making you want to go return the wonderful smooch that the crazed amphibian laid you out with earlier in the game. Buahahahaha! Oh, wait, that is Cortex’s line.
Warped is a great game to look into if you want a really happy oldie. Pick up a PlayStation for $20 at your local used game store or thrift store and a copy of Warped for between $5 and $50 or download the PS One classic from the PlayStation Network to your PS3 or PSP for $6. You won’t regret the investment, as the game packs a punch with just about every category. The graphics are solid, the music is actually pretty catchy, and gameplay and level design is to die for. Seriously. Go die a few times and have fun!