For all you Crash Bandicoot fans out there, the new entry in the franchise that has been eagerly anticipated has been available to play for the last week. Most of you have probably already dove headfirst into the game and have also probably finished already. My cousin and I have nearly beat the entire game, and I wanted to share my personal opinions on it.
First off, I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan of the franchise. I enjoy playing many of the Crash games, however, so I was pretty excited about this release. As you can no doubt tell from the title of this post, there are some negatives to this newest installment, at least in my opinion. With the bad comes a lot of the good, though, so let’s take a look.
The Good: Level Design
You could easily argue that Crash 4: It’s About Time has the strongest level design in the entire franchise. To me, I get a ton of Donkey Kong Country vibes when playing a lot of the levels. Given my love of that video game series, that can only be taken as a huge compliment. Not only are the levels themselves brilliantly designed but a lot of the mechanics are really fun to play around with.
The Good: Different Characters
The plethora of characters that you get to play as is definitely a strong suit of this game. While Crash and Coco are the predominant characters, there are also design-specific levels for characters such as Cortex, Dingodile, and Tawna. Throwing in these different members really freshens up the gameplay. Each of the aforementioned three characters plays extremely different from the rest, and they also have unique moves that make them feel organic.
The Good: Variety of Masks
I can’t tell you how smart it was to implement different usable masks into this game. Though you can only use them during certain points of each level, each of the masks offer dynamic and unique platforming. Sure, they do make the platforming pretty darn difficult at times, but all of them are mostly fun to use. Basing the story around the different masks was also a nice little touch.
The Bad: The Asinine Difficulty
Alright, here we go, it’s time for me to rant. The good news is this is one of the only slights I can make about this game. The bad news is it oftentimes hinders the game so badly that I don’t even care to play it. Let me begin by saying that I’m an advocate for games being somewhat challenging. Video games that are way too easy are sometimes hard to immerse into.
At the same time, games that are stupidly hard can be unplayable. If you can’t play a game without raging every two minutes, then why play it? That’s my philosophy anyway, and boy does Crash 4 have a difficulty problem. One of the biggest issues is the game goes from 0 to 100 in like two seconds. There really isn’t a difficulty curve, either.
Even just from a casual standpoint, this game is over-the-top. When you start talking about what you need to do to 100 percent the game, it just becomes obnoxious. It’s also not as if the game is a fun kind of hard. It’s cruel, unreasonable, and just flat-out mean. The goal was clearly not to attract newer audiences as even seasoned players will struggle with it.
The Bottom Line
Yes, Crash 4 is a good game. There are many elements that make it stand out as a great platformer, but the difficulty is just too much virtually all the time. It’s nice to not die 10 to 15 times per level, but that’s what this game is all about. For the record, my cousin has been playing the franchise for 20+ years, and even he was struggling massively. It’s about time indeed, about time to go see a rage therapist after this game.