Friday, June 23, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #8

#8 Bear It

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 8 (of 27)
Level Type: Polar
Random Fact: Before you enter this level, Polar sits outside of the portal. If you jump on him enough times, you’ll get ten extra free lives! It only works once though.

I love the Polar levels! And they’re all so very well designed too, a large improvement on the “Hog” levels from Crash 1. Polar is the cutest animal too, more so than Pura I find. The first Polar level, “Bear It”, is definitely up there in the best and most memorable levels in Crash history. The music is super cute, the ice is slippy to provide some difficulty and the bad guys lifting the blocks up and down can be a pain too. But it’s not that hard really, and the difficulty that does exist adds to the fun. “Bear It” is simply one of the best Crash levels in the trilogy, and very few people would say otherwise.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #9

#9 Upstream

Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 5 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Stream
Random Fact: This is the first Stream level in the entire series! Stream levels were expanded on for Crash 2.
I do love this level a lot. I love jumping from lily pad to lily pad, there’s something free flowing about that experience when you do it for the first time. And even though it’s the first level, there’s some difficult parts in it, especially again, if you’re playing through it for the first time. But the best thing about this level? The music. I find myself humming along to it every time I play it, it’s such a peaceful track but it also has some good beats to it too. It’s just one of the best designed levels in Crash 1, no doubt about it.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #10

#10 Toad Village

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 1 (of 32)
Level Type: Medieval
Random Fact: The chicken at the beginning of the level can’t be defeated… unless you come back after unlocking the Bazooka and using it!
Kicking off the Top 10 is the first level of Crash 3. To many people this was the first Crash Bandicoot level and it is one of the best. It’s probably the easiest of the first levels of Crash 1, 2 and 3 too I’d say. The music, when it hits me when I play the game for the first time in a long time, just fills me with such joy. Also, the Medieval levels consistently have the funniest death scenes in the entire series and you get introduced to a lot of them here. The frog one is probably the best in the first level, when you get kissed by the frog, and turn it into a lab assistant. It’s just hilarious!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #11

#11 Rolling Stones
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 7 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: In the prototype of Crash 1, there were POW crates in only three levels, this being the main one. A POW crate acted like a firework and blew up nearby crates (similar to a TNT crate), but doesn’t harm Crash in any way. The idea was dropped in the actual release of Crash 1.
I can’t put my finger on what it is about the large rolling stones in Crash 1 and Crash 2, but I find the levels really entertaining. Dodging the large rolling stones is just simply a joy, and because “Rolling Stones” has the most in any Crash level, I just find this level a hoot. “Jungle Rollers”, level 2 (which got to #27 in my list) is a very similar level to this, but the main difference is the difficulty. For me, the two levels aren’t particularly that hard, as I find dodging the stones to be quite easy. So because this has more, I definitely like it the most. There’s nothing more else to say really, it’s just a fun level early on in the game!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #12

#12 Eggipus Rex
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 32 (of 32)
Level Type: Prehistoric
Random Fact: This is the only Time Trial level to have Wumpa Fruit, and therefore, you could collect a load of Wumpa Fruit, restart the level, and get even more Wumpa Fruit endlessly to get 99 lives!
Eggipus Rex is actually the only secret level to feature in my Top 30. That’s not to say the other secret levels aren’t good, I just prefer many of the regular levels more. But Eggipus Rex is incredible fun. Riding Baby T in Crash 3 is a really enjoyable experience, and in Dino Might (#19 in my Top 30) you only ride him for a brief part of the level. So when you basically ride Baby T in the entire of Eggipus Rex, the level naturally becomes so much fun. There’s a lovely feeling playing this level, not only because it’s a secret level, but also because you don’t feel under any pressure to deliver the goods, due to a lack of enemies and the fact that it’s actually quite a nice pace too. That’s not to say there’s no difficulty here, there’s some, but it only really plays a big factor in the actual Time Trial mode, when you’re trying to get a fast time.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #13

#13 Castle Machinery
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 27 (of 31)
Level Type: Factory
Random Fact: This level, by a large margin, has the most extra lives that are not in crates in Crash history. There are 27 lives in a secret area all in one place (see the picture below)
Considering how hard Crash Bandicoot 1 is, you’d expect that Level 27 would be one of the hardest in the entire game. And while there are some very tricky parts in the level, the truth is, the level is quite easy. More than that though, this level is so much FUN. All of the platforms and steam machines are great to jump on, it honestly feels at times like a Sonic level. The enemies are few and the difficult obstacles aren’t that hard to get around. This level apparently was one of the last levels Naughty Dog created for the game, so maybe they just thought it’d be a good mercy level for the player. It’s a hoot, that’s for sure!

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #14

#14 Midnight Run
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 10 (of 32)
Level Type: Pura
Random Fact: This is only one of two levels with Pura the tiger in. Despite what many people thought, Pura is a male tiger!
It’s such a shame they only did two Pura levels in Crash 3, they were both so much fun. Of course, the formula had been done before, first with the hog in Crash 1 and Polar in Crash 2. By Crash 3 they got the formula spot on but added the Great Wall of China theme to it instead. So many obstacles to manoeuvre around, and you can even speed Pura up, something you couldn’t do in Crash 1 and 2. And on top of all of this, Pura the tiger is just so damn cute! I always look forward to playing these Coco levels, it almost makes up for the horrible jet ski levels!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #15

#15 Cold Hard Crash
Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 18 (of 27)
Level Type: Snow
Random Fact: This level has the most levels in all of the first three Crash Bandicoot games – a whopping 155!
This is supposedly the longest level in the game, but it’s certainly one of the hardest. Going through the level from start to finish isn’t too bad, but it’s when you try and get the clear gem to get all 155 crates where this level becomes SUPER tough. And I mean, SUPER tough. I pull my (beard) hair out trying to get every single box on this level at times. It’s so easy to miss boxes at many parts of this level, and the only way to get every single box on it is by going through the death route (which is really hard) and then not going on the lift at the end of the section, but turning back round again and using the original lift that you came from. Getting through all of those Nitro boxes not once, but twice is just HELL.

I know I’ve put down that this is my fifteenth favourite level, and it is lots of fun, mainly due to its length, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating too! It’s a brilliant level and very well thought out by Naughty Dog.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #16

#16 Boulders
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 4 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Chase
Random Fact: The level is playable in the game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, also made by Naughty Dog!

This is the first ever chase level in Crash Bandicoot history. It’s legendary, it’s iconic and is the most recycled Crash level of all time. Crash Bandicoot chase levels are simply some of the most fun and exhilarating moments in platform gaming history. That’s not to say that the first one is the best of course. The controls for Crash 1 aren’t the best and it makes for added difficulty in the Chase levels. But it’s still lots of fun, and I remember vividly playing this level for the first time and was completely on edge, running away from this massive boulder, and thinking video games can’t get better than this. It’s just so much fun!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #17

#17 Double Header
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 15 (of 32)
Level Type: Medieval
Random Fact: This is the last level that contains the “slots” crates, and the first level since Level 7.
This is definitely one of the most famous levels of Crash 3, and has been used in a lot of the trailers for the Crash Trilogy Remake. Why? Because of its famous 2 headed enemy, as well as the absolutely hilarious death animation if you get hit by them! Honestly, I remember, as a youngster, playing this level for the first time (I think I was 10) and just intentionally dying on purpose over and over again, laughing my ass off, over the animation of this death animation. It’s just so funny!

Is that why it’s one of my favourite levels? Absolutely! It’s not just that of course, the enemy itself, the 2 headed lab assistant, is a fun enemy to deal with, and using the double jump to defeat them takes technique. Bouncing on their bellies when they’re knocked down is fun too. On top of that it’s just a fun level, the bonus stage is great, and, because it’s the most difficult of the “easiest” levels in the game, I find the balance in its difficulty just right. I love this level!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #18

#18 Native Fortress
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 9 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Native Village Wall
Random Fact: If you take the Red Gem path all the way up, you can see the other two islands in the distance!
The two Native Village Wall levels (the other one being The Great Gate, level 3), are both fun levels with a level of difficulty in the respect that the high jumps can be very frustrating at times. When you have to spin the vertical logs to stand on them, if you miss one and have to start again - that can be very irritating. However generally, they're really fun, but what stands out more about the Native Fortress level for me in comparison to its predecessor is the Red Gem path - seeing the other two islands in the distance and the gorgeous sky almost feels like an Easter egg in its appearance! Back in 1996 the graphics and scenery were considered to be stunning at the time!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #19

#19 Dino Might
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 11 (of 32)
Level Type: Prehistoric
Random Fact: This is the first (of only 2) levels in the game where you can ride the baby dinosaur. His name? It’s Baby T!
Riding Baby T is so much fun. And he’s so adorable. What is it with Crash Bandicoot making just the cutest animals in their video games?? Riding him in this and also the secret level, Eggipus Rex, is great because he’s very fast, jumps very high, makes the cutest noises and tramples down tall grass. Of course if he gets hit then he disappears, which makes that section of the game a bit more difficult. Yes that is the main reason why Dino Might is included this high in the list! Simply because Baby T is just so cute and makes this level very entertaining.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #20

#20 N. Sanity Beach
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 1 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: Being the first level in the history of the series, this is the first time the player sees almost every type of crate available, bar TNT crates really! Nitro crates came into the games in Crash 2.
I’ve put down that this level is a “Jungle” level but it starts off at the beach, and goes into the Jungle, so in theory you could say it’s the only “beach” level in the game to do so.

Ah, the first level. It’s a classic really. It’s not on the level of, say, Green Hill Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog or World 1-1 in Super Mario, but for so many gamers, this was the gateway into the Crash Bandicoot series. Overall, it’s not the best level, it’s not the best designed level either, and for a first level of a video game it isn’t terribly easy. That bridge of see-through boxes still gets me at times! But it’s still an iconic level, and just hearing the music and seeing Crash wake up from the shore, is a classic moment no avid Crash Bandicoot fan will ever forget.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #21

#21 Crash Dash
Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 5 (of 27)
Level Type: Chase
Random Fact: Crash Dash was also the name of the final unlockable ability in “Crash 3”, as well as the name of one of the levels in the party game “Crash Bash”.

For me, the chase levels had a massive upgrade from Crash 1 to Crash 2. I think because the controls were slicker in Crash 2, it makes running away from the boulder a bit easier, but to make the levels that much more difficult the inclusion of the fences and speed pads add a lot too. Crash Dash was the first chase level from Crash 2, so for a lot of Crash fans it was the first one they had played. I’ve always thought the chase levels in Crash 2 were better than Crash 1, and Crash 3 (with the dinosaur). And this is hella fun!

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Friday, June 09, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #22

#22 Road Crash
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 14 (of 32)
Level Type: Race
Random Fact: This track is actually a full lap, rather than one straight road. Want proof? Miss the first box and go to the end of the level and you’ll see it in front of you again!Another random fact is that this is the only level in the entire game where EVERY crate in Time Trial mode has seconds, rather than be a blank crate.

We all love the motorbike levels in the Crash games, but, to be fair, the harder they get, the less fun they become. Area 51 isn’t one of my favourite levels mainly because driving in the dark is a pain in the ass. But Road Crash balances the difficulty just right, it’s actually quite a tough track, but catching up with the other drivers isn’t too hard. There’s lots of good opportunities for turbo here as well. It’s just a cracking level, simple as!


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Thursday, June 08, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #23

#23 Night Fight
Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 23 (of 27)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: This is the first level in the series to feature fireflies (unless you unlock Level 27 beforehand!)

You’d think, based on the fact that most Jungle levels in the Crash series are easy and near the start of the games that this one would be easy but as soon as you start taking the lights away, it makes it one of the hardest levels in the game. It’s a little creepy actually, if your firefly runs off and you’re stuck in the dark, and you hear noises. It throws you off. Despite that, it’s still lots of fun. The idea is simply to just run through the level as fast as you can, something that’s not easy if you have to Body Slam boxes if you want to get the clear gem!


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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #24

#24 High Time
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 13 (of 32)
Level Type: Arabian Town
Random Fact: At 2 minutes 12 seconds, this is the second longest set time to get a Sapphire Relic in the game. The longest is Tomb Wader.

The second Arabian Town level in the game is a lot of fun, specifically on the Time Trial I find. The third one wasn’t as good as the previous two unfortunately. I don’t know what it is specifically that I love about this level, perhaps it’s the bouncing on the, erm, bed sheets? Whatever those white things are! Anyway, they’re lots of fun, I love the animation of the knife guys, too, I love climbing on the roofs too. It’s just a fun level, and despite the slow time on the Time Trial, getting a Platinum on this level is a tough but pleasurable challenge too.


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