This whole game is founded on the overzealousness of Doctor Neo Cortex and his coworker Nitrus Brio—two mad scientists that have decided to take over the world and dominate it with a mutant animal army. The game is set near to Australia, and hence most of the animals in the game are mutated creatures from that area of the world, thus why Crash is a bandicoot (Just looked up a picture of bandicoots, and they are actually pretty g-dang adorable). Crash, when put into the machine that the two scientists use to modify these animals, was rejected, and able to escape from the castle where the experiments were going down. This, then, leads to the plot of the game. Without Crash to test on, the two doctors are required to make another creature: a female bandicoot named Tawna who subsequently becomes Crash's love interest. The gameplay then centers around Crash traversing three islands where Neo Cortex is conducting experiments while trying to save his girlfriend and clear the world of the scientists' deadly pollution and mutant war creatures. Sounds pretty engaging thus far right?
This is where I think it gets good, though. First off, I'm a sucker for levels—individual stages in a game help me to consume the content more readily and have a better understanding of where I am supposed to be going. I think that this is probably why I loved Mario for N64 so much as well. Crash travels from stage to stage smashing crates for extra lives, wumpa fruit for points, and even to potential get the option to go into a "bonus stage" of the game. Here is a list of the different types of crates you can collect:
- ! Crate - usually turns outline crates throughout the level solid.
- ? Crate - usually contains wumpa fruit or a one-up.
- Aku Aku Crate - this lets loose the witch doctor Aku Aku who helps Crash by granting him invincibility.
- Arrow Crate - this serves to project Crash in whichever direction the arrow is turned, so, if it is pointing up, it will shoot Crash up.
- Bounce Crate - allows Crash to bounce up and down, and will eventually give him a bunch of wumpa fruit.
- Checkpoint Crate
- Crash Crate - gives Crash an extra life.
- Iron Crates - with the same functionality of their lesser brothers, but indestructible
- Nitro Crate - like TNT crates, but they do not count down. They explode upon contact.
- Nitro Switch Crate - a crate at the end of the level that allows you to explode all nitro crates.
- Outline Crate - these crates only become solid when a ! crate has been hit.
- TNT Crate - like the nitro crate, but counts down before exploding