A good portable Crash Bandicoot experience

User Rating: 8 | Crash Bandicoot XS GBA
The Crash Bandicoot series is one of my favourite platforming games and this game is a great platforming game albeit a simplified Crash Bandicoot experience. Initially, Crash can jump, and perform his spin attack, but as you progress you unlock his body slam, double jump, an upgraded tornado spin and sprint. The aim is initially to collect the purple gem amongst the 20 levels and defeat Dr Cortex, but there are some other secret gems to collect, time trial scores and crates to smash which means you have to replay the levels to get 100% completion since you will require the upgraded abilities. The levels are grouped in 4 sets of 5 and ends in a boss stage. Each section contains a variety of levels rather than sticking to a set theme. The themes that are re-used over the course of the game are forest, ice, underwater, flying, and space. The graphics are very good, and the usual Crash sounds are in there too but the levels are pretty straightforward. Impressively, there are the chase sequences where Crash travels towards the screen, riding a small polar bear whilst being chased. The standard game-play is to move from left to right, jumping over gaps and hazards, collecting the Wumpa Fruit, smashing crates and spin attacking enemies. In the underwater levels, Crash dons Scuba diving gear and swims round the snaking caverns. The flying levels see Crash wear a jet pack and shoot down planes and blimps. Overall, Crash Bandicoot XS is a great platforming game and it provides variety and has replay value. Although it doesn't live up to the console expectations; it does provide a fun portable experience.