Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure

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US cover.

Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure is a multi-genre platformer video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Universal Interactive for the Game Boy Advance on 2002-02-25. It is the seventh game in the Crash Bandicoot series.

In the game's story, Dr. Neo Cortex has shrunk the world down to a tiny size, and Crash must collect 20 crystals to return the world back to its original size.

Personal

I was very underwhelmed by the original Crash Bandicoot, and I wondered if it was just the awful graphics and terrible 3D environment on the PlayStation. So, I tried the GBA game to see if they had improved the game since. I beat the normal portion of the game (all 20 purple crystals and all bosses) on 2022-01-25, but was still very much underwhelmed, and had no desire to find all the other trinkets.

I don't own this game, but I beat the normal portion (all purple crystals and bosses).

Review

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3 3 4 4 5

Best Version: Game Boy Advance

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • I like that you're given infinite continues, but losing all your lives is still a legitimate set back.
  • The hidden red gems, gray gems, and time trial ankhs add a fair amount of replay value to the game.

Bad

  • The controls leave a lot to be desired. Making the double jump only work while the player is still moving upward is annoying and results in a lot of deaths that would otherwise be prevented. The body slam and high jump aren't described in the game, so, if you don't have the manual, you'll find yourself stuck in several sections. Also, hit-detection doesn't map to sprites very well, so it's never really obvious if you're going to clear a jump, fall off a ledge, or avoid an enemy.
  • Most of the background settings are reused several times throughout the game. The jungle and ice cavern from the first couple levels looks identical to the jungle and ice cavern in the last few levels. Same with the underwater levels and spaceship levels.
  • The pre-rendered 3D graphics look terrible. They should have hired a pixel artist instead. The backgrounds are decent, but the foreground blends too much with the background, so it's often difficult to tell them apart.
  • I don't take very much satisfaction in breaking open hundreds of crates to get mangoes. I get even less satisfaction having to avoid them because they're placed too close to nitro crates. It also really slows down game play to have to gather them from crates, so I just didn't bother for the most part. It's like if Super Mario Bros had about a dozen 10-coin blocks in each level.
  • The cartoon sound effects, although they fit the game's theme, are annoying. The music is acceptable, but repetitive and too focused on bass.
  • There are too many blind leaps where you have to jump down a pit or over a ledge without knowing if you're going to hit a hazard (especially in the final level). This is bad level design and very frustrating.
  • Some enemies will clearly kill you even when you're spinning like spiked monsters or electric eels, but others offer no indication they will kill you from a touch, so you end up dying a few times on them until it's obvious.
  • The story is dumb.
  • Despite the title, the adventure isn't that huge.

Ugly

  • When I wasn't bored with the slow pacing, I was frustrated by the poor controls and bad level design. This game is playable, it's just not very fun.
  • The pseudo-3D levels are annoying because the perspective makes it difficult to gauge distance. In the shooter levels, which are derivative of Space Harrier, it's difficult to line up your shots with distant targets, and it's hard to tell when hazards are going to collide with you. It's even worse in the stages when Crash is running toward the screen. Because you're forced to move faster than you'd like, you're given very little time to react, so it's all too easy to miss checkpoints and inadvertently collide with hazards. You basically just have to die a lot until you memorize much of the layout which is not fun at all.

Media

Box Art

All regions use the same art just with a change to the subtitle and minor graphic differences. It features Crash in a jungle jumping over a ravine with Dr. Neo Cortex looming behind him.

Videos

Longplay.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Europe) Crash Bandicoot XS
English (USA) Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
Japanese クラッシュ・バンディクー アドバンス Kurasshu Bandiku Adobansu Crash Bandicoot Advance

Links

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