The Huge Adventure is a great debut for Crash on a handheld console.
Crash has defeated Dr. Neo Cortex again and now Cortex is looking for another way to fulfill his dreams of world domination, and while he's at it get rid of that, "Brainless Bandicoot." The way that's he going to do this is to use his new invention, The Planetary Minimizer, to shrink all of Earth's inhabitants and Earth itself; so it's up to Crash, Coco and Aku Aku to find the power crystals, Re-size the Earth and defeat Cortex. The story is what we've come to expect from a Crash Bandicoot game, a very simple premise which is executed very well with nothing added to make the story more in-depth.
Crash returns with all of his attacks. He has a spin attack, a jump and a belly flop, all the traditional moves. However, as you advance through the game you will encounter various bosses. The bosses are a breath of fresh air and once they are defeated, they unlock new moves for Crash to use such as an extended "Super Spin" and "Dash." The bosses are relatively easy and rarely change their attack pattern which makes them easy to predict and ultimately defeat, although they do split up the game well.
Throughout the game world you will pick up various collectables. In true Crash Bandicoot style you will encounter Power Crystals, Gems and Relics. Power Crystals are the items that will help you save the world and are in every level. Gems are prizes you get for breaking all the crates in a single level and Relics are unlocked after you complete a level, giving you the chance to go back through a level and attempting to complete it in the quickest time possible. The collectibles give the game a great deal of replay value as completing the game with only the Power Crystals gives you about 40% completion while going after the Gems and Relics gives you the chance to extend the ending. Throughout the levels you will find Wumpa crates which when smashed give you Wumpa Fruit, which is the equivalent of coins from a Mario game, giving you a new life for every 100 Wumpa you collect..
The levels you explore are all very unique and provide you with a whole array of different ways of obtaining the Power Crystals. You get the traditional 2D end to end level where you just move from the start point to the finish point. Even though the majority of the game is this type of level, the game makes it interesting with a couple of different designs and new enemies. You also get a various flying and swimming missions, these are a nice break from the 2D levels however these missions are repetitive and aren't as fun as the traditional levels.
Visually, the game is great and all of the character models look nice and aren't pixilated, leaving a smooth finish. The animations are crisp and move well, they don't affect the gameplay in any way. The cutscenes, although still framed look great with artwork which makes the characters look great and like their console counterparts.
From a sound aspect the songs in the game are catchy but do get repetitive. The level songs are catchy at first but then when you get half way through the game they end up getting repetitive and you'll find yourself turning the sound down. Crash is silent and the only sound you'll get out of him is an annoying yelp when he dies. When enemies die you get a dull sounding puff sound which tends to get tedious and is another reason to turn the sound down.
Overall, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure is a great debut for Crash on a handheld console. It features clear, crisp graphics with tried and tested gameplay which works well for the format and is only let down in terms of its sound quality and difficulty. If you can get past the minor faults you will find a lengthy and enjoyable experience even if you're not a big fan of the genre.