Ah, Crash Bash. The PlayStation’s attempt to rival Mario Party. This was the fifth game in the Crash Bandicoot series and the first to not be made by Naughty Dog. It needed to do well in order to prove that Crash could in fact survive without Naughty Dog, which ultimately it didn’t but Crash Bash itself did a damn good job at convincing us otherwise.
Unlike other Crash games, Crash Bash was intended as a party game. While it’s true that you could play through the whole campaign in single player, the game is much easier and enjoyable with two or more players.
The basic gist of the storyline is Aku Aku and Uka Uka are arguing and decide to compete in a tournament using their chosen representatives. The end goal, therefore, simply being to beat the other team through a series of competitions. All well and good except for one thing:
WHO THE HELL IS THE MONKEY?!
So many reviewers and players have talked about this and now I’m going to do it too. The Crash universe has so many characters to choose from that didn’t make the cut as playable characters: N.Trophy, N.Gin, Pinstripe, Ripper Roo, Komodo Joe, heck even Polar or Puma would’ve been acceptable. But for some reason the developers decided to throw in this completely new and random character that is clearly just a monkey version of Dingodile.
But, moving on, the game itself is very well made. You have the warp room setup as usual but this time each platform takes you to a party game. The games vary greatly, from games where you have to colour in squares and earn more points than the other team, to tank battles, to riding on polar bears and whacking the other team off of the ice. There is a very wide variety of games, that is hard to fault and are highly amusing. The levels do repeat themselves from warp room to warp room but are kept feeling fresh by a change of map, more abilities and a significant increase in AI difficulty.
One negative, which is unlike any other Crash game, is the boss battles. They don’t really fit in with the general theme of the game and seem more like they were just thrown in because it’s a Crash game and so it has to have them. But really they could have very easily gotten away with not having them.
The bosses are the now series classics. For example, Papu Papu has once again solidified his place in being the easy first boss. But like I said, they don’t really fit and to be honest, they’re not particularly challenging. There are some entertaining bosses, but overall they’re pretty forgettable.
To sum up, Crash Bash is a highly entertaining party game that still holds up and is enjoyable today. I should know, some of my friends’ kids played it while visiting just a few weeks ago and didn’t want to stop playing!