Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced

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Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
Crash Bandicoot 2 - N-Tranced Coverart.png
Developer(s) Vicarious Visions
Publisher(s) Universal Interactive Studios
Konami (Japan)
Designer(s) Luis Barriga[1]
Chris Degnan[1]
Tem Stellmach[1]
Composer(s) Shin'en Multimedia[1]
Series Crash Bandicoot
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • NA January 7, 2003
  • EU March 14, 2003[2]
  • JP December 4, 2003
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, released in Japan as Crash Bandicoot Advance 2: Gurugurusaimin Dai Panic!? (クラッシュ・バンディクー アドバンス2 ぐるぐるさいみん大パニック!??) is a platform game published by Universal Interactive Studios (along with Konami in the Japanese release) and developed by Vicarious Visions for the Game Boy Advance. It was released in North America on January 7, 2003, in Europe on March 14, 2003 and in Japan on December 4, 2003.[2]

Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is the eighth installment in the Crash Bandicoot video game series and the second Crash Bandicoot game to be released on a handheld console. The game's story centers on the exploits of the main character, Crash Bandicoot, as he rescues his friends from the hypnosis of the main antagonist Doctor Nefarious Tropy and his ally N. Trance.

Gameplay[edit]

An example of gameplay in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced

Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is a platform game in which the player controls Crash Bandicoot, who must free his friends from the hypnosis of the main antagonists of the story. Much of the game takes place in a dimensional bubble that Crash and his mentor Aku Aku are trapped in.[3] The inside of the bubble is displayed as a map littered with portals to different levels. Connecting the portals are dotted lines which Crash can use to travel between portals; initially, only a few dotted lines are visible. The goal of each level is to find and obtain any Crystals and Gems hidden in the area. As more Crystals are retrieved from the levels, more dotted lines will become visible on the map, allowing for further exploration.[4] Gems allow access to special levels necessary for full completion of the game. When the antagonists of the game have been defeated and enough Crystals have been gathered to return to Earth, the game is won.[3]

"Relics" can be won by re-entering a level where the Crystal has already been retrieved. To obtain a Relic, the player must initiate the "Time Trial" mode and race through a level in the pre-designated time displayed before entering a level. To begin a Time Trial run, the player must enter a level and activate the floating stopwatch near the beginning of the level to activate the timer; if the stopwatch is not touched, the level can be played regularly. The player must then race through the level as quickly as possible.[5] Scattered throughout the level are yellow crates with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 on them. When these crates are broken, the timer is frozen for the number of seconds designated by the box.[6] Sapphire, Gold and Platinum Relics can be won depending on how low the player's final time is.[5]

At the beginning of the game, Crash has the ability to jump to navigate ledges, spin in a tornado-like fashion to break open crates and defeat enemies, deliver a body slam to break open tough objects and can either slide across the ground or crouch and crawl to get past low areas.[7] Crash can expand on these abilities by defeating boss characters, often resulting in more powerful attacks or increased jumping and running prowess.[8] Crash starts the game with five lives. Crash loses a life when he is struck by an enemy attack or suffers any other type of damage. More lives can be earned by instructing Crash to collect 100 "Wumpa Fruits" or break open a special crate to collect a life. Crash can be shielded from enemy attack by collecting an Aku Aku mask. Collecting three of these masks allows temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers.[9]

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced introduces the character N. Trance to the series.

Seven returning characters from previous Crash titles star in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced. The protagonist of the game, Crash Bandicoot, is a bandicoot who must rescue his friends from the hypnosis of the main antagonist Doctor Nefarious Tropy and his ally N. Trance. Aiding Crash is Aku Aku, an ancient wooden mask who can temporarily protect Crash from harm. Crash's friends, who have been captured and hypnotized by the main antagonists, consist of Coco Bandicoot, Crash's spirited genius sister and Crunch Bandicoot, a "super-bandicoot" who joined Crash's family after the events of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.[10] The main antagonist of the story, Doctor Nefarious Tropy, is the self-proclaimed master of time who teams up with Aku Aku's evil twin brother Uka Uka. A new character in the series is N. Trance, an egg-like being from the Fifth Dimension who uses his mastery of hypnotism to command Crash's friends. Also aiding the villains is Fake Crash, an imperfect and morally ambiguous duplicate of Crash.[11]

Story[edit]

After the failure of Doctor Neo Cortex's previous scheme to shrink the Earth, Uka Uka entrusts Doctor Nefarious Tropy with the task of aiding him in universal domination.[12] Tropy peers into the future and sees himself standing amongst the Bandicoots and concludes that since the Bandicoots keep thwarting them, their only solution is to bring them to their side. With this, he recruits N. Trance, master of hypnotism.[13] Meanwhile, back on N. Sanity Island, Crash Bandicoot sleeps away while his friends, Crunch and Coco, are abducted by a strange vortex. Aku Aku alerts Crash of the situation and tells him to bring him a Power Crystal so that he can see into what's going on.[14] But when he does, Crash begins to be sucked in by the vortex. While Aku Aku tries to rescue Crash, he uses the Power Crystal's power to discover that N. Tropy is behind this. With the last of his power, he rescues Crash. N. Tropy ends up abducting a strange character named Fake Crash, but he doesn't seem to notice and has N. Trance successfully hypnotise the Bandicoots into doing his every whim.[15]

Meanwhile, somewhere else in hyperspace, Crash and Aku Aku plan to collect more Power Crystals so that Aku Aku can open more areas of hyperspace, free Coco and Crunch, and foil N. Tropy's plan.[16] Crash frees Crunch after a battle in the skies of Saudi Arabia and Coco is freed after a battle inside a volcano.[17][18] After Crash defeats Fake Crash inside an Egyptian tomb, N. Tropy and N. Trance realize that they've captured the wrong Crash, but assure themselves that the Bandicoots will never find their hideout.[19] However, with a few more Power Crystals, Crash and Aku Aku enter the hideout. When Crash and Fake Crash defeat N. Trance, N. Tropy flees into one last vortex. Crash defeats N. Tropy after a long and tough battle. With N. Tropy's defeat and capture, Aku Aku decides they should take a picture to celebrate.[20] The Bandicoots group around N. Tropy as Fake Crash takes a picture. This turns out to be the future N. Tropy saw. Meanwhile, Uka Uka, upset over N. Tropy's defeat, promises a real adversary in the future.[21]

Development[edit]

The audio for Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced was composed by Shin'en Multimedia.[1]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 74.81%[33]
Metacritic 75/100[34]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 3.5/5[22]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.5/10[23]
Eurogamer 6/10[24]
Game Informer 7.5/10[26]
GamePro 4/5[25]
GameSpot 7.3/10[27]
GameSpy 78/100[28]
GameZone 8.3/10[29]
IGN 8.5/10[30]
Nintendo Power 8/10[31]
Play Magazine 8/10[32]

Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced received generally positive reviews from critics. IGN said that "the sequel's biggest unique element is its pretty darn fun Atlasphere challenges, inspired by the PS2/GameCube/Xbox "Wrath of Cortex" levels and powered by Vicarious Visions' "Tony Hawk" GBA engine."[30] Eduardo Zacarias of GameZone criticized the low difficulty of the game,[29] while Fennec Fox of GamePro concluded that "the mini-game stages can be disappointing (the hamster ball sections have completely unrealistic physics), but overall Crash is not a bad little platformer at all. Unoriginal but not bad."[25] Play Magazine remarked that "this Bandicoot's got plenty of gas left in his belly. Sometimes it smells, other times, it's fresh as a daisy,"[32] while Nintendo Power noted that "the single-player game covers more than 30 levels with new nonlinear level progression."[31] Avi Fryman of GameSpy called the game "an amusing romp through the bizarre Crash Bandicoot universe. It's not the best game of its kind, but it's certainly worth a visit,"[28] while Game Informer decided that "Crash's latest romp is fun, but does not reinvent the wheel."[26] Frank Provo of GameSpot called the game "a solid effort all around,"[27] while Scott Alan Marriott of Allgame ("All Game Guide" at the time) concluded that "N-Tranced will not hypnotize players with its ambitious design or extensive new features, but the quality of presentation and fast-paced arcade-style action make it easy to recommend."[22] Mark MacDonald of Electronic Gaming Monthly, commending the game for being faithful to the Crash formula and criticizing the 3D stages featuring Coco flying through space as "sloppy" and "annoying", promised that "younger gamers won't be disappointed."[23] Kristan Reed of EuroGamer deduced that "given its high price tag and scant innovation Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is unlikely to win over any new converts by playing it so safe and so young."[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 25. 
  2. ^ a b "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced for Game Boy Advance - Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". GameSpot. Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 8. 
  4. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 7. 
  5. ^ a b Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 11. 
  6. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 19. 
  7. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. pp. 12–13. 
  8. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2002. p. 14. 
  9. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 15. 
  10. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 22. 
  11. ^ Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Instruction Booklet. Universal Interactive. 2003. p. 23. 
  12. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Opening cinematic. Uka Uka: That incompetent Neo Cortex. He cannot do anything right! His last scheme to shrink the Earth failed miserably! You have been a great asset to the cause of evil over the years, N. Tropy. / Doctor Nefarious Tropy: Thank you, my lord. / Uka Uka: That is why I trust you with the task of aiding me in universal domination. 
  13. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Opening cinematic. Doctor Nefarious Tropy: Of course! Since those wretched Bandicoots keep thwarting us, the solution is to get them on our side. And I know just the fellow for the job. / Uka Uka: A new recruit? / Doctor Nefarious Tropy: Indeed. Meet my secret weapon. / N. Trance: I am N. Trance, master of hypnotism! 
  14. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Opening cinematic. Aku Aku: Crash! Wake up! Coco and Crunch have been abducted! Find me a Power Crystal so I can look into what's going on! Hurry! 
  15. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Opening cinematic. Doctor Nefarious Tropy: I finally got all you obnoxious Bandicoots! Would you do the honors, N. Trance?! / N. Trance: With pleasure! 
  16. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Opening cinematic. Aku Aku: That took almost all the power I had, Crash. Good job getting the Power Crystal before you were pulled into the vortex. But I'll need a lot more Crystals if we are to put an end to N. Tropy's plans. That floating island up ahead will allow us to go to different worlds and find Crystals. Hopefully we can find Coco and Crunch and stop N. Tropy! 
  17. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Crunch Bandicoot. Crunch Bandicoot: Oohh man... brainwashed again! Thanks for saving me, Crash. 
  18. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Coco Bandicoot. Coco Bandicoot: Oh, Crash, thank you. How did you break out of N. Trance's hypnosis? 
  19. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Fake Crash. Doctor Nefarious Tropy: N. Trance, you blundering idiot! That was not Crash! It was some sort of... fake Crash! / N. Trance: How was I supposed to know? He fooled you, too. Besides, they will never find our hideout. Not in a million years! 
  20. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Ending sequence. Aku Aku: Congratulations everyone for defeating N. Tropy and capturing him! Let's take a picture to celebrate! 
  21. ^ Vicarious Visions (January 7, 2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Boy Advance. Universal Interactive. Level/area: Ending sequence. Uka Uka: That's it! No more underlings! Next time you will face a real adversary! 
  22. ^ a b Scott Alan Marriott. "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced - Review - allgame". All Game Guide. Retrieved 2009-06-11. N-Tranced will not hypnotize players with its ambitious design or extensive new features, but the quality of presentation and fast-paced arcade-style action make it easy to recommend. 
  23. ^ a b MacDonald, Mark (2003). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Electronic Gaming Monthly 164 (March 2003): 134. Younger gamers won't be disappointed. 
  24. ^ a b Kristan Reed (2003-03-12). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Review // GBA // Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More". EuroGamer. Retrieved 2009-06-11. Given its high price tag and scant innovation Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is unlikely to win over any new converts by playing it so safe and so young. 
  25. ^ a b Fennec Fox (2002-12-27). "Review: Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced [Game Boy Advance] - from GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-06-11. The mini-game stages can be disappointing (the hamster-ball sections have completely unrealistic physics), but overall Crash is not a bad little platformer at all. Unoriginal but not bad. 
  26. ^ a b "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Game Informer (January 2003): 121. 2003. Crash's latest romp is fun, but does not reinvent the wheel. 
  27. ^ a b Frank Provo (2003-01-23). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Review for Game Boy Advance - GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-06-11. A solid effort all around. 
  28. ^ a b Avi Fryman (2003-01-04). "GameSpy.com - Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-06-11. An amusing romp through the bizarre Crash Bandicoot universe. It's not the best game of its kind, but it's certainly worth a visit. 
  29. ^ a b Eduardo Zacarias (2003-01-24). "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Review - Game Boy Advance". GameZone. Retrieved 2009-06-11. The game’s only problem is that the game can be a bit too easy at times. 
  30. ^ a b IGN Staff (2003-01-21). "IGN: Crash Bandicoot 2: N-tranced Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-11. The sequel's biggest unique element is its pretty darn fun Atlasphere challenges, inspired by the PS2/GameCube/Xbox "Wrath of Cortex" levels and powered by Vicarious Visions' "Tony Hawk" GBA engine. 
  31. ^ a b "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Nintendo Power (February 2003): 159. 2003. The single-player game covers more than 30 levels with new nonlinear level progression. 
  32. ^ a b "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced". Play Magazine (January 2003): 87. 2003. This Bandicoot's got plenty of gas left in his belly. Sometimes it smells, other times, it's fresh as a daisy. 
  33. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  34. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (gba: 2003)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

External links[edit]