Crash Twinsanity Hands-On

We get hands-on with a number of different levels from Crash Bandicoot's next adventure.

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During a visit to VU Games' booth at GameStars Live today we were able to check out both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of Crash Twinsanity. The game was running on a large number of consoles at the event, and, by switching between them, we were able to get a look at a number of surprisingly varied levels.

The first level we saw was also the first level from the game, and it required us to follow Dr. Cortex (who was wearing a clever disguise--a long, blonde wig) through a forest training level. Cortex, who teams up with Crash in Twinsanity, was shouting instructions on how to perform jumps, double-jumps, spins, and slides--basically the same stuff that Crash Bandicoot has been doing for years. This particular level could actually have come straight out of the original PlayStation game, but some of the other levels we played were quite different.

One level, for example, saw Crash and Cortex fighting with each other in such a way that they collectively formed a rolling ball--a ball that we were required to navigate through a series of tunnels and caves (with alternate routes) while avoiding explosive crates. Another particularly memorable level saw Crash using Cortex as a snowboard as we navigated hazardous slopes headed both toward and away from the screen. This level was memorable not only because it was fun to play, but because the work of writer Jordan Reichek (whose previous work includes the TV cartoon Ren & Stimpy) was clearly evident throughout. Before the level even gets under way, for example, there's a somewhat disturbing cutscene in which Crash makes eyes at Cortex's posterior before deciding that, yes, he'd make a perfectly good snowboard. The humor continues on the slopes as well, and when you grind along rails you'll notice that Cortex is no longer laid flat but is, in fact, straddling said rails with a pained look on his face.

The most intriguing level by far was one in which Cortex was walking from left to right across the screen in some kind of trance, blissfully unaware of the numerous traps and pitfalls that were ahead. As Crash, we had to stay ahead of Cortex at all times (occasionally taking a different route) so that we could set off the traps safely before he walked right into them. The level was actually quite tricky in places, but should make for a welcome change of pace when played as part of the finished game.

In the last level of Crash Twinsanity that we tried, we went up against what will be the game's first boss character--a large robot with a rocket launcher on one hand, a chain saw for the other, and a single eye that fired green projectiles at us. The boss was located in the center of the screen and was surrounded by a circular pathway that represented our entire range of movement for the duration of the battle. The only way to defeat the boss, it seemed, was to avoid the missile and chain saw attacks and then, when it resorted to using its green projectile attacks, spin at exactly the right moment to deflect them back.

Crash Twinsanity is currently scheduled for release toward the end of this month. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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