Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

|genre = Platform |modes = Single-player |ratings = |media = CD-ROM |requirements = |input = PlayStation controller }} Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platform game and the sequel to Crash Bandicoot. It was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation video game console and released in the United States on the Halloween of 1997.

Taking place in and around the fictional N. Sanity Island, Crash Bandicoot 2 follows the adventures of the anthropomorphic bandicoot Crash. Crash is abducted by series villain Dr. Neo Cortex, who has seemingly turned over a new leaf and now wants to save the world. Crash is then thrust into several parts of N. Sanity Island in order to gather Crystals and allow Cortex to contain the power of the upcoming planetary alignment and keep the planet from being destroyed. Crash is joined by his sister Coco, who is suspicious of Cortex's true intentions, and partially by Dr. Nitrus Brio, who tries to persuade Crash to gather Gems instead of Crystals.

On July 26, 2007, the game became available for download on the European PlayStation Network, making it playable for both the PSP and PS3. However, like MediEvil and Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! it was removed a week later due to technical problems. Even though Crash 2 didn't suffer any major problems, the game was removed for precautionary measures. It was released on the North American PlayStation Network on January 10, 2008.

Gameplay

Design

Crash Bandicoot 2's [[gameplay]] is similar to that of its predecessor, though it introduced a number of significant new elements which would go on to become series staples. Instead of choosing stages from a 3D level map, players must utilise five main Warp Rooms, plus a hidden sixth Warp Room. The five main Warp Rooms contain five levels (which can be visited in any order) The main goal of each level is to obtain the pink, glowing crystal located within. Collection of all five crystals in a given Warp Room will activate the corresponding boss battle, and once the boss is defeated, Crash can travel to the next Warp Room using an elevator system in the centre of each Warp Room. There is also a secret sixth Warp Room that contains two secret levels (Totally Bear and Totally Fly, which contain clear gems but not crystals) and three secondary exits to regular levels. These exits are accessed by touching trigger points which the player must find via unorthodox level exploration. For example, the player may have to climb a staircase of Nitro crates that suspiciously do not explode when touched, or jump into a pit that seemingly leads to their death. Unlike the other warp rooms, each level in the sixth warp room must be unlocked individually. The sixth warp room also cannot be accessed via the in-game elevator (the player instead must rediscover a secret exit). Similar to the first game, players make their way through two distinct level types, a limited 3D environment and a 2D sidescrolling environment, periodically switching the player's perspective. In addition, the classic "chase" stages from the original game, where a player must outrun a boulder rolling towards the camera, return, as well as a similar level featuring a gigantic polar bear. ===Mechanics=== [[Image:Crash2snow.JPG|thumb|right|250px|One of the arctic stages. The standard incarnation of the Aku Aku mask seen here will guard Crash against a single hazard, except falling into holes.]] Players are confronted by numerous hazards (such as pits, spikes, TNT crates and hostile wildlife). Crash can defeat enemies either by jumping on top of them, sliding into them or performing a spin attack. Later in the game, enemies are often protected against one or more of the three methods of dispatch, and in some cases are immune to every attack. A number of new moves are also available to Crash in the game, including the ability to crouch, crawl, and perform a body slam. A special high jump can be performed by jumping immediately after sliding or crouching. Also new to the game are bright green Nitro crates which explode upon contact. Players travel mostly on foot, but can also ride jetpacks, jetskis and polar bears. Breakable crates are dotted around each stage and contain either wumpa fruit, an extra life, a checkpoint or a protective Aku Aku mask. If the player succeeds in collecting 100 wumpa fruit, they gain an extra life. Every level contains one clear gem earned by breaking all the crates. A [[bonus stage|bonus level]] is also located in each stage, and can be attempted if Crash steps onto a platform or trap door marked with a '?' sign. Bonus levels are often more challenging than the environment in which they are situated, but they invariably offer substantial rewards upon completion, and also count towards the player's in-level box total. Boss fights in between warp zones are a mixture of brand-new enemies and returning bosses from the first game. As in most games, these fights revolve around memorizing attack patterns and abusing specific weak points. An additional 10 clear gems and 5 coloured gems are also available, usually in hard-to-reach locations, and are obtained simply by guiding Crash into them. The goals for acquiring these gems vary from level to level: for example, players may have to beat a level under a strict time limit, find a secret path, or survive a “death route” (a pad with a skull-and-crossbones) which disappears if the player dies before reaching it. Sometimes secondary “gem paths” with additional crates counting towards the required clear-gem total become available when the player has acquired a specific coloured gem. If every gem in the game is collected, a secret ending is unlocked after beating the game. ==Plot== ===Setting=== The environments in ''Crash Bandicoot 2'' are varied, ranging from the [[forest]]/[[jungle]]/[[beach]] levels of ''Crash Bandicoot'' and the snow-filled Second Island, to the catwalk-filled insides of Cortex's space station, in which a jetpack must be used to navigate through some areas of the station. Much of the game is set on the very islands that Crash navigated through in the last game, while the last fifth of the game takes place in Cortex's space station.{{cite web |title=''Crash Bandicoot 2'' Gallery |url=http://www.naughtydog.com/crash/crash/images/gallery/production/crash2/crash2map.jpg |accessdate=2007-06-23}} The jungle levels were originally to have featured ground fog, but this was abandoned when magazines and the public began to brutalize other developers for using fog to hide polygon count.{{cite web |title=Setting |url=http://www.naughtydog.com/crash/crash/c2-background.htm |accessdate=2007-06-23}} The snow levels have become one of the more memorable locales among fans due to their plentiful effects, such as falling snow and reflective ice. ===Characters=== {{main|Major characters of Crash Bandicoot|Minor characters of Crash Bandicoot}} While traveling on his adventure alone, Crash receives messages in the Warp Room from Doctor Cortex, his younger sister Coco, and the deranged scientist Doctor Nitrus Brio, Cortex's former right-hand man. The game also introduces Doctor N. Gin as Cortex's new right-hand man, while also marking the return of the insane kangaroo [[Minor characters of Crash Bandicoot#Ripper Roo|Ripper Roo]] and the introduction of three new enemies: the [[Minor characters of Crash Bandicoot#Komodo Brothers|Komodo Brothers]] Joe and Moe, and the musclebound, unintelligent tiger, [[Major characters of Crash Bandicoot#Tiny Tiger|Tiny]]. ===Story=== The original ''Crash Bandicoot'' largely took place in the [[Wumpa Islands]] off the coast of southeast [[Australia]]. During an experiment, Neo Cortex and his assistant, Nitrus Brio, created Crash Bandicoot in an attempt to create a general for Neo's "Cortex Commandoes", but when Crash was inserted into the unfinished Cortex Vortex, he was deemed a failure, and escaped from Cortex's castle. Before a female bandicoot named Tawna could be experimented on, Crash returned to the castle, rescued Tawna, and attempted to escape on Cortex's airship. When Cortex tries to destroy Crash, he ends up plummeting to his supposed doom, leaving Crash to escape. At the start of the game, Cortex is seen having survived his fall and landed in a damp cave, where he finds a large Crystal that proves to be useful for his upcoming plans. But to obtain the full power needed for these plans, he will also need 25 additional Crystals scattered throughout the Wumpa Islands. Without any comrades of his own, he captures Crash Bandicoot and takes him into a dark room. There, Cortex convinces him to gather the Crystals for him, with the promise of the use of the Crystals for good. He tells Crash that soon the planets will align and this will create a catastrophic solar flux and that the Crystals are the only means of contatining this force. His true intentions are inevitably revealed to Crash by his sister Coco once all of the Crystals have been gathered, and Cortex is defeated just in time. In the game's epilogue, Doctor Cortex's space station, along with the Cortex Vortex, is destroyed by Doctor Nitrus Brio using the laser beam powered by the gems Crash collected for him, setting the stage for the next game. ==Reception==

{| class="wikitable" !Publication !Score |- |
[[GameSpot]] |
8.6 out of 10 |- |
[[IGN]] |
8.5 out of 10 |- |
''[[Electronic Gaming Monthly]]'' |
8.5 out of 10 |- |
''[[Official PlayStation Magazine]]'' |
4 out of 5 |- |
[[Game Revolution]] |
B |- |
''[[PSM Magazine]]'' |
5 out of 5 |- |
''[[The Electric Playground]]'' |
9.5 out of 10 |- !colspan=3|Compilations of multiple reviews |- |
[[GameRankings]] |
88.5% (based on 13 reviews) |}
''Crash Bandicoot 2'''s public reception has been overall positive in terms of critical reviews and acclaim, with an average rating of 89% on Game Rankings. GameSpot stated the game was a major improvement over its predecessor, praising the game's graphics and soundtrack, rating the game 8.6 out of 10 in comparison to their rating of the original Crash Bandicoot as 6.8 out of 10. IGN, which rated it 8.5 out of 10, praised its graphics and controls but criticised its repetitive level design. Over three million copies of the game have been sold.

References

See also

External links

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