From the outset, let me say this – I am not a big fan of the platform genre. My tastes lean more towards action games like Grand Theft Auto and Rainbow Six 3. So as soon as I powered up Crash: Twinsanity I fully expected a gaming disappointment. But what I expected and what I found were two very different things.
As soon as the game had loaded I was greeted with a really charming 3D cut scene, which looked great – had I judged too soon? I hadn’t played any of the Crash titles prior to this, so when a weird little man with an ?N’ on his forehead suddenly shot Crash’s sister I had to rely on my skills of deduction to figure out that he was the bad guy. From this point I enthusiastically predicted prolonged nemesis chasing through many different levels while attempting the prevention of nefarious ambitions.
Well this is somewhat close to what transpired, but the game manages to execute it in a fun and humorous way. There are times when you have to work together with Dr. Neo Cortex to complete certain tasks because a mysterious third party is introduced – who is also trying to take over the world. When ?working together’ you have to do things like beat the poop out of each other as you roll down a hill, or grab Cortex and spin him against cranks, and sometimes you’ll even have to protect the evil doctor. As you progress through the game you get to take control of up to five different characters. The game really started surprising me.
The opening cut scenes looked great but, not to be outdone, the in-game graphics looked just as good, too. You can obviously tell the difference between the two, but for a gaming series that has had its ups and downs, Twinsanity manages to get things right. The game camera sometimes moves to an awkward angle and leads Crash to an unseen death, but this is bearable because plenty of lives are littered throughout the levels. The problem with dying is that there’s no way to skip the in-game explanatory cut scenes, so you often have to watch the same scene repeatedly until you’ve managed to traverse a deadly hot spot and secure a checkpoint. The characters all look extremely cute and the animations are always funny to watch; the game even made me giggle occasionally. The levels look colorful, vibrant and lively; it almost seems as though you’re playing an interactive cartoon.
I really like how the different characters are voiced, and the individual casting is spot on. The characters’ mood changes can be heard easily in their voices and they’re always matched by the facial expressions during cut scenes. Even the music is catchy and, amazingly, doesn’t annoy – even after playing for over an hour – it’s always in the background but never detracts from the game, in fact, if anything, it adds to it. While you’re playing many things will be exploding around Crash, which always sound convincing. When you’re rolling around and fighting with Dr. Cortex you can hear punches and, sometimes, one of the characters will even say uncle. Enemies such as pigs and flowers don’t really frighten but their snarls and oinks sure sound good.
Crash: Twinsanity has a pretty wide variety of controls for a kids’ game. There are, of course, the basics like jumping and hitting things but, once in a while, you may have to throw a character across a wide ravine or slam him through an obstacle in your path. The control system works pretty well but some moves are difficult to execute properly – when you can’t perform a double jump and slam down on enemies it makes progression somewhat more difficult than it should be.
This is certainly a good title for the Xbox and it has some great elements to it. Twinsanity’s humor can be enjoyed by both adults and children and, of course, the game can be played by both also. If you’re a fan of the Crash series then you can probably feel safe and secure about picking up this title. At the same time, if you’re part of a family looking for a game that everyone can play and enjoy, then this game also works for you. Check it out to see what I’m talking about. I’m a convert; you could be too. Go on, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.