Summary Cortex is back, claiming to have changed his evil ways, and wanting to help save the planet from destruction. To do this he needs crystals. Cortex recruits Crash to fetch them for him.
Description Type: Platformer
Platform: Playstation 1, PS3, PSP, Playstation Vita
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 30 hrs
Developer or Designer: Naughty Dog
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is the best video game to ever exist. I could end my review right there, but I guess I should elaborate.
Developed by Naughty Dog, the Crash Bandicoot series is probably one of the most original concepts for a video game. It is not based on a book, a comic, a film, a television show, or any other kind of franchise. Crash is a bandicoot, genetically modified by the evil scientist, Dr. Cortex. Cortex planned Crash to aid him in his aim for world domination, but Crash didn't turn out how Cortex expected. Crash turned out good.
In the first game Crash defeated Cortex, but now he is back. Cortex claims to have changed his ways, saying that he now wants to save Earth. He needs twenty five crystals that can be found in different environments accessible via warp rooms. It is Crash's mission to collect these crystals.
While most sequels fail to live up to the expectations of the original, Crash Bandicoot 2 is twice as good as the first one. Released in 1997, Crash now has several more moves, including crouch, crawl, slide, and belly flop. These controls are easy to use, and there are no camera issues.
The environments - which include jungle, arctic, and rainforest - are in depth, layered, and have wonderful graphics for the time it was made. Even now I prefer them to the pristine images you get today.
Another great aspect of the game is the sound, which has such a catchy theme tune, you can't help but love it.
Crash Bandicoot 2 is made up of five levels, each of which has five warp rooms. You have to collect a crystal from each warp room, while avoiding obstacles such as TNT & Nitro crates, as well as various animals.
Once you have all the crystals you will face a boss before moving onto the next level. These bosses are Cortex's other genetically modified mutants, who are as bad as bad can be. The first boss, Ripperoo is easy to defeat, but they get tougher each time.
As well as collecting crystals, you have the option of collecting gems as well. Gems are hidden throughout the warp rooms and more difficult to find, as you have to achieve certain tasks, such as breaking all the the crates, completing bonus levels, etc. If you do manage to collect them all, however, you will get an alternative ending to the story. Which route you go down depends on whether you are a casual or hardcore gamer. Getting the crystals will more than satisfy a casual player, but hardcore gamers looking for more of a challenge will want to go that one step further. I love that Crash Bandicoot 2 provides that option by providing something more interesting than the standard 'easy', 'medium', or 'hard' mode.
Although made for the PS1, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is also available to download on more modern systems from the Playstation Store.