What’s more annoying? A game that’s just fundamentally uninteresting and lame from the start (see one of the thousands of mediocre first person shooters that came out this generation) or a game that has a spark in it that’s never fully realised because of cut corners. That’s Crash Twinsanity, there’s a soul in it somewhere, but you’ve got to peel away a lot of the cancerous sores to get a sight of the pink squishy interior.
There’s definitely appeal to the game, the first hour or so especially is wonderful. The graphics for mid PS2 era look great, everything is bright and colourful and Twinsanity sports a catchy a cappella soundtrack and the whole presentation is reminiscent of 90s Nickelodeon cartoons. Which is appropriate as the game is written by ex-Ren and Stimpy team member Jordan Reichek, and it has to be said Twinsanity does have some genuine laugh out loud moments with a standout moment early on featuring a bear chase.
Where Twinsanity falls down though is the whole “game” part of the video game. It’s one of those “the camera hates you” sort of games, and if you’ve played a lot of 3D games from the late 90s to early 2000s you probably already know exactly what that means and the constant analogue stick wrestling that will come with every motion. What makes Twinsanity even worse than a lot of those games though is the shadows, they’re there but there’s something about them that just doesn’t work and they don’t help you place your jumps. And considering there is an excessive amount of precision platforming in this game, especially if you’re going for collectibles, this is pretty much a deal breaker in itself.
Crash Twinsanity also disappoints gameplay wise by failing to deliver on the “Twinsanity” aspect of the game. The story, which certainly has its moments, revolves around Crash and series antagonist Dr Neo Cortex are forced to team together to fight a new enemy (as well as a collection of old ones from when the series was still good) and that leads them into a bunch of comedy situations that require them working together. There are sections where Crash uses Cortex as a snowboard which are surprisingly functional if made frustrating by the occasionally ridiculous level design, bits where they roll into a Looney Tunes combat ball and have to roll around Marble Madness style which are sadly probably among the best moments of the game, other than some extra platforming sections there really isn’t much more than that. Crash and Cortex spend half the time if not more entirely separated, and what’s even more baffling is there’s one insanely long and tedious level where you don’t play as either of them.
The game’s a mess technically as well, glitches are out of control and there’s entire textures you can just walk straight through which includes entire mountains in early sections of the game. There’s also a bunch of cutscenes that run on the in-game engine that you can’t skip and the garbage checkpoint system usually dumps you back right before one of them when you die (which you will, a lot) so you have to watch it ad nauseum. There’s also some unforgivably atrocious sound design too, as previously mentioned the game sports a strong soundtrack but the actual sound effects don’t seem to work half the time, either that or they just aren’t there and it really kills a lot of the comedy segments when there’s no sound effects to support the cartoon nonsense going on. It’s surprising how a seemingly minor technical issue can really suck the life out of the product as a whole.
And that’s the thing about Twinsanity, the sad truth that utterly ruins it and makes it frustrating to play. There’s good in it somewhere, as mentioned the first hour or so is really pleasant and there are sections where there was some creative spark inspiring it, combine that with the strong writing and a good story and we could have had a sixth generation classic on our hands here. But Twinsanity just doesn’t feel like it was finished, all the technical issues mentioned above, the laziness of the bosses which can pretty much all be beaten by running to the left, and the fact that all the sections go on too long and feel disjointed from each other which leads you to believe there was probably a lot more of them planned at some point.
So that’s Crash Twinsanity, it’s not entirely worthless really but it could have been a lot more than it is, and somehow that makes it a lot more irritating than a game that actually is entirely worthless. Crash Bandicoot is dead for a reason, it’s just one of those franchises that hasn’t been able to keep up with the times, Twinsanity could have easily injected some life into it with more linear, 90s cartoon based direction but instead is a frustrating and disappointing waste of potential.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.