Crash Twinsanity

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Crash Twinsanity
Crash Twinsanity Coverart.jpg
Cover art for PAL regions
Developer(s) Traveller's Tales Oxford Studio
Publisher(s) Vivendi Universal Games[a]
Producer(s) Kirk Scott
Writer(s) Jordan Reichek
Composer(s) Spiralmouth
Series Crash Bandicoot
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player

Crash Twinsanity is a platformer video game, developed by Traveller's Tales Oxford Studio and published by Vivendi Universal Games for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The PlayStation 2 version was re-released in the three-disc "Crash Bandicoot Action Pack" compilation (alongside Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing) in the United States on June 12, 2007, and in Europe on July 20, 2007. A GameCube version was planned before being cancelled for undisclosed reasons.[3][4]

Twinsanity is the eleventh installment in the Crash Bandicoot series and the fifth game in the main franchise. The game's story takes place three years after the events of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and follows the main protagonist and main antagonist of the series, Crash Bandicoot and Doctor Neo Cortex, working together to stop "the Evil Twins", a duo of mutant parrots that Cortex owned as a child, from destroying the Wumpa Islands.[5]

Despite receiving mixed critical reviews upon release, Twinsanity garnered a positive reception from fans of the franchise, with praise being particularly directed towards its level design, humor, soundtrack, and Lex Lang's portrayal of Cortex. The game has since developed a dedicated cult following, and it is widely viewed among fans of the series as the best Crash Bandicoot game of the post-Naughty Dog era.

Gameplay[edit]

An example of gameplay in Crash Twinsanity

The gameplay of Crash Twinsanity is in a free-roaming style, although the linear path based gameplay of the previous installments occasionally reappears. The game's plot is pushed forward by going through levels. Gems littered throughout the levels can be collected to unlock extras such as concept art.[6] Crash is occasionally accompanied by a second character, in this case his nemesis Doctor Neo Cortex.

Crash can use Cortex as a hammer,[7] perform a spin attack while holding on to him,[7] throw him across gaps to activate switches,[7] and can even use him as a HumiliSkate.[8] While most of the time Crash could happily swing Cortex to his doom and have him return safely, in other sections of the game, Crash must clear a path for a disoriented Cortex to prevent him from blundering into deadly obstacles.[8] In the earlier levels, Crash and Cortex will get drawn into a RollerBrawl. The player must steer the scrapping pair around obstacles to reach their goal.[8]

In some areas of the game, such as the Academy of Evil, Cortex will go solo, armed with a raygun and a limited amount of ammo.[7] Another controllable character is Cortex's niece, Nina Cortex.[7] She fights through the levels using her mechanical arms and wall-climbing abilities.[7] At the very last part of the game, Crash goes into the robot Mecha-Bandicoot. He is the final playable character and can fire rockets.

Plot[edit]

After Crash destroys Doctor Neo Cortex's space station and rescues Crunch Bandicoot from Cortex's control, Cortex and Uka Uka escape and are preserved in ice in Antarctica. Three years later, the ice that is preserving Cortex and Uka Uka is heading towards the Wumpa Island, home of Crash and his family. Cortex escapes, while Uka Uka is still frozen. As he tries to get his revenge on Crash, he paralyzes Coco Bandicoot. Poorly disguised as Coco, Cortex lures Crash over to a bay, where he attacks Crash with the Mecha-Bandicoot, a gigantic mech. After this fails to defeat Crash, the robot falls in a cave, forcing Cortex into Crash and causing the pair to fall. Cortex, infuriated over losing to Crash again, attacks him, and the duo fight roll all the way to the cave's exit.

After getting out of the cave, Crash and Cortex are confronted by a pair of odd, anthropomorphic turquoise parrots who proclaim themselves as "The Evil Twins", who have come to destroy the Wumpa Islands. When it is learned that they come from the Tenth Dimension, Cortex proposes that he and Crash travel the islands in search of crystals needed to power the Psychetron, a machine that will allow them travel to the Tenth Dimension. Crash and Cortex later face and defeat Uka Uka, and is ultimately convinced by his brother Aku Aku to help him defeat the Twins. However, they are easily defeated by the evil duo. Crash faces and defeats many of his old enemies during his quest, including Doctor N. Gin, Doctor Nitrus Brio and Doctor Nefarious Tropy, all three of which are interested in the treasure that the Evil Twins own (with fellow Universal/Sierra character Spyro the Dragon showing up to briefly torch the villains for stealing his gems).

However, after retrieving enough power crystals, Cortex is confronted by Coco, who believes he kidnapped Crash. Coco kicks Cortex, jettisoning the crystals onto the Psychetron, destroying it and paralyzing Coco again. In order to fix it, Cortex and Crash travel to Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil in order to fetch Nina Cortex, the only person who could do so.

After defeating Dingodile and Madame Amberly, it is later revealed that the Evil Twins are actually Cortex's former pet parrots Victor and Moritz, mutated by the radiation present in the Tenth Dimension. Once Nina fixes the Psychetron, she, Crash and Cortex travel to the Tenth Dimension, a bizarre and gloomy mirror universe version of Earth, where Evil Crash, the Tenth Dimension's version of Crash, kidnaps Nina. Crash and Cortex escape Evil Crash and rescue Nina, where they defeat the Evil Twins, who are subsequently eaten alive by Evil Crash. The game ends with Cortex trying to use the Psychetron to get rid of Crash; however, it malfunctions and sends Cortex into Crash's mind. Cortex is horrified as he is surrounded by numerous personifications of Crash who start dancing, and Crash smiles at the player as the credits began.

In the NTSC version, if the player completes the game and collects all of the gems, there is a secret cutscene where Crash and Cortex are sent to a psychiatrist (who is offscreen). The psychiatrist tells the two to do a trust exercise: Cortex's job is to fold his arms, close his eyes and fall backwards, while Crash's job is to catch Cortex when he falls. Cortex is reluctant to participate due to his distrust of Crash and his fear of falling, but decides to go with the exercise. Unfortunately, Crash is distracted by an apple that falls on the floor and rolls past his feet and Cortex falls on his back. Crash glances at Cortex, shrugs, and proceeds to eat the apple. The cutscene ends with Cortex grumbling "Oh, how I hate bandicoots".

Development[edit]

After work on The Wrath of Cortex was completed, Traveller's Tales' newly acquired Oxford studio began working on concepts for a Crash Team Racing sequel. Development of this title was transferred to Vicarious Visions early in development and the TT Oxford team began working on a new Crash Bandicoot platform game. The working title of the project was Crash Evolution, as it was intended that the game would move the series away from the linear structure from previous Crash games towards a more free-roaming style that was popular at the time in games such as Jak and Daxter.[9] A lot of effort was initially spent on an unusual sci-fi setting not usually found in platform games, with unusual environments such as a level set in a Gaudí-inspired greenhouse and one on the floor of a dried-up ocean.[10]

At E3 2004 there was a demo disc released with 3 levels of the game on it, Jungle Bungle, Cavern Catastrophe, and Totem Hokum. Each having a Narration by Neo Cortex about what will happen. The Demo Reveals several concepts that were removed from the final game, such as Crash's ability to punch, and seemingly the use of time trail relics as the icon is found on the pause menu.[11]

Development was rebooted after a year and the direction of the game was adjusted to focus more on the humorous relationship between Crash and Cortex, while the setting was moved back towards the more cartoony environments of previous games. Concept art from the early iteration is present in the final version of Twinsanity as a reward for finding the secret gems.

Crash Twinsanity marks the debut of Lex Lang as the voice of series antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex. When Lang was called in for an audition to replace previous voice actor Clancy Brown, the voice director described Doctor Cortex to him and had him listen to signature samples of Brown's performance. When Lang was given the freedom to develop the character with the director, they eventually created a depiction of Cortex that was "master evil with a bit of a childish feminine side that leaks out in his tirades" that had everyone laughing at the lines and the character. As a result, that of Cortex stuck.[12] Other voice roles include Mel Winkler as Aku Aku and a tribesman, Michael Ensign as Doctor Nefarious Tropy and a tribesman, Susan Silo as Madame Amberley and Nina Cortex, Debi Derryberry as Coco Bandicoot and Neo Cortex as an eight-year-old, Alex Fernandez as Uka Uka and Farmer Ernest, Dwight Schultz as Dingodile, Rusty Walrus, a tribesman and Papu Papu, and Quinton Flynn as Doctor N. Gin, Victor, Moritz and a penguin.[13]

The full-motion videos of Crash Twinsanity were created by Red Eye Studios, who previously created the full-motion videos for Crash Nitro Kart.[13] The soundtrack of Crash Twinsanity was composed, performed, arranged and produced by an a cappella band Spiralmouth,[14] while Gabriel Mann recorded and mixed the soundtrack at Asylum Recording Studios in Los Angeles.[14]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings(Xbox) 68.84%[15]
(PS2) 66.20%[16]
Metacritic(Xbox) 66/100[17]
(PS2) 64/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comB[19]
EGM3.5/10[20]
Eurogamer7/10[21]
Game Informer6/10[22]
GamePro7.5/10[23]
GameSpot(Xbox) 7.4/10[24]
(PS2) 7.3/10[25]
GameZone(Xbox) 7.5/10[26]
(PS2) 6.9/10[27]
IGN7.7/10[28]
OPM (US)5/10[29]
OXM (US)7.3/10[30]
PSM6/10[31]
TeamXbox7.5/10[32]
Play Magazine8.3/10[33]

Crash Twinsanity received mixed or average reviews from critics upon release. Play Magazine declared that "Traveller's Tales has delivered a 60 frame/s cartoon epic without sacrificing expanse, dwarfing boss encounters or vivid effects by skillfully balancing model and environment integrity with performance."[33] James B. Pringle of IGN said that "Publisher Vivendi Universal and developer Traveller's Tales have infused so much humor and likeability into the game that you will literally laugh out loud. You'll look forward to defeating each boss not just because you're that much closer to beating the game, but to witness some of the best in-game dialogue and funniest voice acting around."[28][28]

Andrew Wooldridge of 1UP.com said the game "is funny, fun to play, and is a definite improvement on the claustrophobic linear levels of games past".[19] Chris Stead of GamePro described the game as "great fun for our gaming youth and a humorous piece of nostalgia for veterans keen to spank their bandicoots, one last time".[23] Brent Soboleski of TeamXbox crowned the game as "one of the best Crash titles to have been released since its earliest inception on home consoles, and its creative use of combining past enemies as partners is what gives Twinsanity a new lease on life".[32] Nick Valentino of GameZone said that the game "rises above the game's original roots to bring a game that's both refreshingly humorous as well as downright enjoyable".[26]

However, Louis Bedigian of the same site described the game as "double the insanity for all you psychopath-loving gamers out there, but it's half the fun for gamers".[27] Ryan Davis of GameSpot concluded that "it's a little rough around the edges, and it doesn't break new ground for 3D platformers, but it gives the series the shot in the arm that Wrath of Cortex failed to, and what it does, it does pretty well".[24][25] Official Xbox Magazine declared that "even if you're frustrated by dying on a jump for the 50th time, you'll still think it's funny as hell."[30] Kristan Reed of Eurogamer said that "the gameplay variation is there for all to see, and when it hits the mark it — believe it or not — is every bit as enjoyable as the very best the genre has to offer, with some true high points to look back on."[21]

PSM Magazine praised the graphics and controls but criticized the level design, saying that it was "designed to kill the player in as many cheap ways as possible".[31] A reviewer for Game Informer finished with "While it pains me to say this, maybe Crash should make like the entire cast of Blossom and disappear."[22] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine described the game as "a bummer" and "a tragic tale of missed opportunities, as a funny, engaging platformer shines through the me-too muck".[29] Electronic Gaming Monthly decided that "the funny writing (courtesy of an ex-Ren & Stimpy scribe) can't save this uninspired rehash of antiquated Crash antics with lackluster visuals."[20]

Lex Lang's portrayal of Doctor Cortex in Crash Twinsanity was singled out for praise among reviewers. James B. Pringle of IGN noted that the game "shows a side of the evil doctor that we haven't seen before" and, while describing the game's dialogue as "solid," said that "Cortex is the one you want to keep listening to."[34] Ryan Davis of GameSpot analyzed "Cortex's constant creeping and sniveling" as "a great showcase of the kinds of neuroses that might cause one to gain an interest in evil science," and added that "the strained grandeur of Cortex's speech" was the most "accomplished" voice work in the game.[25] Gordy Wheeler of Worth Playing considered Cortex "having abuse heaped on him like a classic Warner Brothers character" to be "the most fun part of this game," and went on to heavily praise Lang's vocal performance, writing that "just about all of the game's best lines come from Cortex, and his voice actor brings it home solidly. He may be on the way to being my favorite mad scientist ever and that's a heck of a feat. Someone get his voice actor into another role RIGHT NOW. I want more of him."[35] Brent Soboleski of TeamXbox believed that Cortex was "probably the best and most entertaining character of the game since players get a completely different look at his personality this time through," and felt that he was "very funny and his sarcasm and evil attitude are a perfect match for his personality."[36] Nick Valentino of GameZone felt that "the biggest laughs, believe it or not, come from Doctor Neo Cortex who comes off as nutty in the best possible way. He's filled with witty observations and often pokes fun of his past encounters with Crash." He later remarked that "the twisted Doctor is one hilarious bloke and his dialogue just makes him all the more likeable."[37]

Future[edit]

According to Keith Webb, one of the main artists for Crash Twinsanity, after the development of the game, Traveller's Tales Oxford studio had plans for a sequel, which was intimately not accepted by Vivendi Universal. The plot would have centered around Crash getting sucked into various TV shows (such as a wild west show, or an old black-and-white cartoon) by an invention created by Dr. Cortex, similar to the Gex series. The game was going to have over 25 levels, one of them being a hospital drama level that would have had enemies holding needles and Crash would ride through the hospital halls on a stretcher. Webb also mentioned a level with Rusty Walrus hosting a cooking show, ending up with a chase sequence, similar to Crash's last encounter with him. This idea for a sequel was cancelled alongside the studio's closure, and development of further Crash Bandicoot games was transferred to Radical Entertainment, leading to Crash of the Titans. Webb would later state in an interview in 2012[38] that given his own game studio, Tanukii Studios Limited!, becomes larger, he would approach Activision and seek the rights towards creating a proper sequel.

On August 3, 2017, following the release of N. Sane Trilogy, Webb sent an open letter to Vicarious Visions,[39] congratulating them on the large success of the game. In the letter, Webb stated that if they would ever be interested in developing a Twinsanity remake, he and a handful of previous developers would gladly return to work on it. As a bonus, he added a heartfelt piece of artwork containing all the characters within the Crash Bandicoot series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crash Twinsanity whirls into stores". GameSpot. Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Crash Twinsanity Review". IGN. Retrieved October 27, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Crash Bandicoot Action Pack Related Games". GameSpot. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Crash Twinsanity: About This Game". IGN. 
  5. ^ Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 9. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 7. 
  8. ^ a b c Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 8. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Developers". Eurogamer. September 22, 2004. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Concept art from artist Richard Albon". Crashmania. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Crash Twinsanity E3 2004 Demo". YouTube. 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Lex Lang". Crash Mania. March 10, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 11. 
  14. ^ a b Crash Twinsanity Instruction Manual. Vivendi Universal Games. 2004. p. 10. 
  15. ^ "Crash Twinsanity for Xbox - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Crash Twinsanity for PlayStation 2 - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Crash Twinsanity (xbx: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Crash Twinsanity (ps2: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  19. ^ a b Andrew Wooldridge (October 14, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review from 1UP.com". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2005. Retrieved June 27, 2009. This game is funny, fun to play, and is a definite improvement on the claustrophobic linear levels of games past. 
  20. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 185 (December 2004): 170. 2004. Funny writing (courtesy of an ex-"Ren & Stimpy" scribe) can't save this uninspired rehash of antiquated Crash antics with lackluster visuals. 
  21. ^ a b Kristan Reed (October 6, 2004). "Crash Bandicoot: Twinsanity Review // PS2 /// Eurogamer - Game Reviews, News and More". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 14, 2008. The gameplay variation is there for all to see, and when it hits the mark it — believe it or not — is every bit as enjoyable as the very best the genre has to offer, with some true high points to look back on. 
  22. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". Game Informer (November 2004): 146. 2004. While it pains me to say this, maybe Crash should make like the entire cast of "Blossom" and disappear. 
  23. ^ a b Chris Stead (July 12, 2004). "GamePro | Crash Twinsanity - Australian Review". GamePro. Retrieved June 27, 2009. Great fun for our gaming youth and a humorous piece of nostalgia for veterans keen to spank their bandicoots, one last time. 
  24. ^ a b Ryan Davis (October 5, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review for Xbox - GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved June 27, 2009. It's a little rough around the edges, and it doesn't break new ground for 3D platformers, but it gives the series the shot in the arm that Wrath of Cortex failed to, and what it does, it does pretty well. 
  25. ^ a b c Ryan Davis (October 5, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review for PlayStation 2 - GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved June 27, 2009. It's a little rough around the edges, and it doesn't break new ground for 3D platformers, but it gives the series the shot in the arm that Wrath of Cortex failed to, and what it does, it does pretty well. 
  26. ^ a b Nick Valentino (October 8, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review - Xbox". GameZone. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009. Rises above the game's original roots to bring a game that's both refreshingly humorous as well as downright enjoyable. 
  27. ^ a b Louis Bedigian (October 10, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review - PlayStation 2". GameZone. Retrieved June 27, 2009. It's double the insanity for all you psychopath-loving gamers out there, but it's half the fun for gamers. 
  28. ^ a b c James B. Pringle (October 5, 2004). "IGN: Crash Twinsanity Review". IGN. Retrieved June 25, 2009. Publisher Vivendi Universal and developer Traveller's Tales have infused so much humor and likeability into the game that you will literally laugh out loud. You'll look forward to defeating each boss not just because you're that much closer to beating the game, but to witness some of the best in-game dialogue and funniest voice acting around. 
  29. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (November 2004): 124. 2004. A bummer - it's a tragic tale of missed opportunities, as a funny, engaging platformer shines through the me-too muck. 
  30. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". Official Xbox Magazine (December 2004): 73. 2004. Even if you're frustrated by dying on a jump for the 50th time, you'll still think it's funny as hell. 
  31. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". PSM Magazine (December 2004): 78. 2004. Though the game looks and controls well, levels appear to be designed to kill the player in as many cheap ways as possible. 
  32. ^ a b Brent Soboleski (October 7, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review (Xbox)". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009. One of the best Crash titles to have been released since its earliest inception on home consoles, and its creative use of combining past enemies as partners is what gives Twinsanity a new lease on life. 
  33. ^ a b "Crash Twinsanity". Play Magazine (October 2004): 69. 2004. Creating a gamer's game through and through, Traveller's Tales has delivered a 60 frame/s cartoon epic without sacrificing expanse, dwarfing boss encounters or vivid effects by skillfully balancing model and environment integrity with performance. 
  34. ^ James B. Pringle (October 5, 2004). "IGN: Crash Twinsanity Review". IGN. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  35. ^ Gordy Wheeler (October 11, 2004). "PS2/Xbox Review - Crash Twinsanity". Worth Playing. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  36. ^ Brent Soboleski (October 7, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review (Xbox)". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  37. ^ Nick Valentino (October 8, 2004). "Crash Twinsanity Review - Xbox". GameZone. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  38. ^ {{cite web|title=https://www.crashmania.net/en/backstage/interviews/keith-webb/
  39. ^ "Twinsanity Remaster - An Open Letter by Keith Webb". Crash Mania. August 3, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Released in PAL regions under the Sierra Entertainment brand name. It was originally going to be released under the Coktel brand name there.