Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Good guys don’t always finish last, as an orange Bandicoot named Crash has shown us by beating the evil Dr. Cortex in the past three games in the series. Now, in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Dr. Cortex is back at it, trying to harness the destructive power of four elemental masks in order to complete is newest super-weapon. Unfortunately for him, Crash is back and ready to thwart the mad genius. Well, maybe calling him a ‘genius’ is giving him too much credit, but he is definitely mad.
Although this is the fourth game in the very successful franchise, it marks the first time the one-time poster-child for Sony has been ported over to the Xbox. It is also the first time Universal Interactive Studios has given Traveler’s Tales the reigns to develop the popular platformer. Let’s take a look to see if this game continues the Crash tradition, and if it harnesses the added power of the Xbox.
The stage for Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is set with a fairly typical platform crisis of an evil-doer and his minions, setting out to destroy all that is good and holy. Dr. Cortex has unleashed the four elementals (Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind) to provide him the final piece to create a new weapon named Crunch. In the meantime, the elementals are churning up tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and the like. It’s up to Crash to take back all of the power crystals and defeat the elementals, while smashing crates and collecting wumpa fruits.
Crash’s sister, Coco, has created a portal room with access to the four chambers and one Crunch chamber. Within each of these chambers are five stages, plus the boss stage. Once all five chambers are cleared, a final chamber is opened. In the beginning, only one chamber is open. The five stages of each chamber can be done in any order to unlock the boss. Upon defeating the boss, you are given access to the next elemental chamber, as well as a special ability. Crash starts out the game being able to jump, spin, crawl and body-slam; but he becomes more acrobatic with the gained abilities. The special abilities for Crash range from classic platform standbys like double-jump and super-speed to being able tip-toe across explosive Nitro crates and firing a wumpa fruit-launching bazooka.