Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex - GameCube

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Traveller's Tales Soft. Co.: Universal
Publishers: Vivendi (GB)
Released: 1 Nov 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


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The Australian marsupial was once a well known mascot for Sony's elderly PlayStation, but with Sony unable to hold the Bandicoot license for the next generation of console gaming, Crash is making his debut on other consoles, and notably on GameCube.

The Wrath of Cortex sees the return of many popular characters from the famous Naughty Dog creation, and includes Crash's arch-enemy, Dr Neo Cortex (hence the title). Yes, the unstable yellow-headed scientist is up to his old tricks and a few new ones, seeking revenge for the losses Crash inflicted upon him in the previous three games.

Although Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex still manages to avoid the fully 3D free-roaming environments that so many ardent gamers crave, the game retains the linear approach and solid visuals that made the originals appealing to the younger player. It's a game that lacks great complexity and benefits as a result. The developers seem to have cleverly reached a sound compromise with the two conflicting consumer points of view. The game is now less restricted than its predecessors, albeit still linear, and certain spin-off sections of the game offer complete freedom of movement.

The Wrath of Cortex boasts a generous 30 colourful levels that pose a variety of life-threatening obstacles. Quite simply, your challenge will be to reach the end of each level without loss of life to progress the next. And while the concept appears a little too easy, mastering a level of The Wrath of Cortex to perfection takes an admirable amount of skill. The previous games were notorious for their fiendish platform elements and tough bosses, and the fourth instalment is no different.

Veterans of the series looking for a tougher experience can take it upon themselves to revisit earlier levels and collect missing crates and gems for hidden valuables and contributions to the completion percentage of the game. Such an addition adds greatly to the longevity and challenge of The Wrath of Cortex.

All in all, Wrath of Cortex, whichever platform it's played on, retains that winning formula and adds several inspired touches that will make it appeal to everyone.