SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
Eurocom

PUBLISHER
Sony

RELEASE DATE
11/00

Crash Bash Review

By: John Doe


Every company's flagship mascot has got to get in on the latest craze and that latest craze was set by none other than Mario. No surprise, he's been setting the standards for the better part of two decades. Crash Bash is Universal's answer to Mario Party, an entertaining and successful multi-player game made up of a series of imaginative mini-games.


Highs:
Lows:

Mario Party is a great social board-style game which you can play with people of all ages and skill levels. Much of the gameplay is easy and not based on a gamer's controller prowess. Crash Bash is basically a variation on this theme and it doesn't cover any new ground. It's like trading in your yellow BMX for a green one. The only problem is that the green BMX will always draw comparisons to the yellow one.

The best way to play Crash is with four players. Hunker down on this one by yourself for an evening and you will quickly find this game lacks any sort of depth whatsoever. Crash Bash needs an audience. Did you ever notice that an average, B-grade, comedy movie seems funnier with a group of people watching it? The same phenomenon applies here. Crash by itself is a series of unchallenging mini-games where through the completion of so-called challenges you unlock levels and open up prizes including golden cups, gems and other precious stones that you collect to hasten your passage through the warp zones.

The graphics are what you would expect in a Toon's world with loads of color and tasteful distortions of reality that would make Dali proud. The tunes are the same bongo-inspired, uplifting cadences of past Bandicoot outings which are short on melody but rife with creating spot-on moods for each environment.

Some of the mini-games include: Beach Ball, a pong style ball bouncing game; Splash Dash, where you avoid getting pushed off a circular platform as you race around it; Space Bash, you throw boxes at your opponents atop a skyscraper while avoiding TNT and nitro; Pogo Padlock, paint blocks on the grid while bouncing on them carefully to avoid landing on your own color, and Dragon Drop, where you do battle on the back of a small dragon. Nothing incredibly innovative, but if you are looking for something fresh and new, you probably wouldn't be buying Crash Bash in the first place.

All the mini-games of the first few levels begin to reappear as variations-on-a-theme as you progress through the game. Although they increase in difficulty it makes you wonder how original Eurocom developers really are. But then again Crash Bandicoot is nothing but an assimilation of other popular figureheads anyway. That's not to say that the early Crash games aren't good, they are among some of my favorite, but it appears as brand loyalty is not a prevalent concept among the hedonistic, pleasure seeking, instant gratificationalist of the video gaming world. What I mean by that is Crash Bandicoot would never had stood a chance if the video game market was aimed at 60s, hippie-type revolutionaries. Or if the copyright laws concerning cartoon characters were a little more refined. Seems that it's been open season on cartoons ever since Warner Bros. allegedly stole the "painted black hole" gag from MGM.

Now if only a company could make a BugMickeyMarioBartSonicPopeyeSpidermanCareBearPowerRanger - with an attitude, there would be eternal peace on earth. Oh yeah.

OVERALL
6.0

GRAPHICS
7.0

CONTROL
5.0

MUSIC/FX
5.0

FRUSTRATION
3.0

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