Crash Twinsanity was released in 2004 by Traveller’s Tales. It was the first Crash Bandicoot game to step away from the linear, level-based gameplay of the previous games in the series.
Crash Twinsanity brings Crash Bandicoot from an old school 3d platformer to an open world puzzle platforming adventure. There was a lot of humour added and the game was refreshed with a more cartoony style. I personally think this is a great reinvention of the series and it’s a huge shame that it didn’t continue in this direction. It’s a game that’s stuck with me through the years and something I keep going back to.
The game starts out with Cortex zapping Coco with his stun gun. He then puts on a blonde wig and steals her clothes to disguise himself as Coco. Meanwhile, Crash is busy digging a hole and, for some reason, chewing his own shoe. You may notice that there’s a big emphasis on Crash being quite dim in this game. Cortex, in ‘disguise’ as Coco asks Crash to follow him into the jungle. It isn’t really clear what his plan was, I think he just wants to gather his evil friends together to blow crash up with bombs or something. Crash, not being known as the smartest protagonist around, thinks nothing strange of this and follows Cortex/Coco. Throughout the entire game it seems Crash doesn’t really seem to care about anything. He just goes along with it.
Once the gameplay actually starts, it shows off the new setting for the game. It’s a beach on N Sanity Isle leading into a jungle and there is loads to do here before even following Cortex. I like to wander around and gather some gems. In each area of the game there’s 6 gems to gather, so you are rewarded for spending time exploring. Collecting gems gives you some artwork, storyboards and other good stuff and 100% completing the game gives you an alternative ending.
In this game, the gems bring something new to the table as far as Crash games are concerned – there’s actually puzzles to solve. A lot of them are physics based – Crash can push things around like hay bales and bombs. Generally the puzzles are quite fun, especially if you’ve already beaten the game and want something extra to do, but they’re also completely optional, so if you find that kind of thing annoying, you can ignore it! Backtracking to old levels for ‘clean up’ can be a little confusing since the whole world is absolutely huge with 4 hub levels, but it all actually links together quite neatly.
After the first level, Crash has once again defeated Cortex’s evil plans (probably by accident) and then the pair spend some time beating each other up in a cavern. Once you’re done brawling, it’s revealed that the main villain of the game is not the usual antagonist; it’s actually a pair of 10th dimensional parrots who hate Cortex.
This starts the ‘real’ storyline of the game, Cortex has to go and take down the 10th dimensional parrots and Crash, as usual, just goes along with it. This is what makes up the ‘Twinsanity’ part of the game. You’ll often be teamed up with Cortex to go through the game, united together to fight a common evil.
There’s a few play styles throughout the game. In ‘Cavern Catastrophe’ Cortex and Crash form a rolling ball. In some of the more traditional platforming levels, Cortex acts as your partner who you can throw around. Some levels you have to escort Cortex through a level, making a safe route for him, and there are some levels where you use him as a snowboard. Yes, a snowboard.
The whole game is absolutely full of creative ideas, you’ll rarely feel bored with the variety of levels and there’s plenty of exploring to be doing in the hub worlds. There’s some great new characters introduced to the game too, such as Madame Amberly; the extremely large headmistress of the Academy of Evil. There’s also one of Cortex’s relatives – Nina Cortex. Nina is Cortex’s neice, or daughter. He doesn’t seem to know which. Maybe she’s both? I suspect the developers ran out of time to flesh out that part of the story though, so we will never know!
Crash Twinsanity refuses to take itself seriously and every cutscene is filled with humour; from Cortex struggling to pay his penguin minions because of Wrath of Cortex being a financial flop, to Uka Uka getting mad because someone more evil than him is at large.
The final thing I’d like to mention is the soundtrack. I have listened to this soundtrack since it first came out and I do not listen to any other music I was listening to when I was 12. The soundtrack is by an acapella band called Spiralmouth and it’s truly a unique and extremely catchy soundtrack. There’s original songs aplenty and many interpretations of classical music, such as Blue Danube or Flight of the Bumblebee. If you don’t get chance to play the game, I highly recommend the soundtrack alone.
It’s quite well documented that this game has a lot of cut content and has quite a bundle of bugs. The game was quite rushed towards the end to hit it’s release date and it was released into a world of gaming where patches were not common. A lot of things aren’t quite polished up fully and there really are bugs a plenty, but one day I would love to see Twinsanity how it was intended. With all the remakes that have been released lately, it’s possible, but probably not very likely.
- Prototype footage
- Longplay (my screenshots are captured from this, thanks Levan!)
- A petition to get the game remastered
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