Whilst the first Crash will never be forgotten, the shear difficulty for it's audience makes this a half hearted attempt
Their is a hub to access each level, split into 3 islands. The controls are simple, directional buttons to move, Square to spin and X to jump. In each level their are boxes that you must break all in a level to obtain a gem, which will unlock a special ending, featuring what all of the boss characters did after the game. Some of the gems are hard to get, as the boxes are hidden in routes that if your too cocky or uncareful, will kill you, thus meaning to get the gem to have to start over from scratch. Pretty damn annoying when your at the end of the level, and you die, especially in Toxic Waste, getting all the boxes untouched is very hard indeed. The bosses are pretty simple really, and luckily you'll get 2 masks (3 hits then your dead) to protect you incase you get hit. Throughout the levels you have to collect whats known as Wumpa Fruit, collection 100 of these will earn you an extra life, much like the coin system in Mario.
The levels are original if not sometimes colourless. The colours aren't very vibrant, sometimes having a dark background or only 6 or 7 colours for the environment, comparing this to the likes of say Spyro and Sonic makes this game look poor.
However, one major thing that puts this game down is it's difficulty. Now to maybe 12 year olds they could probably complete this with little but not help at all, but the fact is you've got to keep in mind the target audience. This was aimed for 3+'s, now while I don't expect a 3 year old to complete it, getting 100% without using the Super Password is fairly taxing, and even comparing this to the later Crash games, like Mind over Mutant, Cortex Strikes Back and even Warped, makes this one feel like Megaman, as in the cheap deaths. I'm 16 at this moment in time, and I only just completed this 100%, couldn't do it even when I was like 13 or so, but I could do DMC, MegaMan X5, Klonoa 100% easily.
The fact is that even though Naughty Dog tried to be original, I think they lost the plot with the difficulty, and bland environments. This will be remembered for it's hard difficulty, inventive bosses and great soundtrack.