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Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage - Overview

Vicarious Visions' last entry in the series is yet another Game Boy Advance title, which sets itself apart from the rest by featuring a cheesy crossover with Spyro the Dragon, alongside mixing mini-games with card collecting and the usual platforming.

Crash jumps over the flames coming out of a lab assistant's flamethrower. They're on a volcanic area at night and the crescent moon is visible in the starry sky.The platforming is similar to previous games in the franchise, but a bit simplified.

Crash Bandicoot: Purple is one half of a crossover completed by Spyro: Orange (each one has the "Fusion" moniker in most regions outside North America). Both games are side-scrollers, which means that not much has changed for Crash in comparison to the previous Game Boy Advance games. In fact, the controls are almost identical, though the level design and platforming segments are a tad more simplistic than usual.

The story is the same in both games, but it's told from different perspectives depending on which one you're playing. While Spyro is venturing through Crash's levels in Orange, Purple lets you play as Crash in Spyro's realm. The difference is purely aesthetical and the crossover never actually results in anything interesting.

A red card depicting Fake Crash.Virtual trading cards can be found in hub worlds or acquired by beating some mini-games.

New to both Purple and Orange are in-game trading cards that you can find scattered throughout the levels or win by beating mini-games. Cards have no effect on the game at all, so they're only there for completionists. There is a total of 200 cards (100 for each franchise) to collect, and on the off chance that you can link both titles to each other (requiring an additional Game Boy Advance and a link cable), you can get some instantly in both games.

Here's where this crossover gets extremely shameless: it's evident that the biggest reason for these games' existence was to cash in on 2 franchises at the same time. However, each game has 1 card that is literally impossible to get unless you link it to a second copy of the same game. That's right: they wanted you to buy the game and convince one of your friends to buy a second copy, and again if you wanted all cards in Spyro Orange as well (for some reason). This vile marketing choice obviously had limited success, but the intention was despicable either way.

Crash tries to lift a barbell with large blocks of ice as weights, while Crunch watches over him. They're standing inside an icy cave, and a goat and a polar bear can be seen frozen nearby.There are several short mini-games to complete throughout the adventure.

Let's talk about the gameplay proper. For the first time in the series, there isn't a lives system. This means that you never have to worry about getting a Game Over. Let's be honest here: lives are pointless anyway. They're remnants from old arcade games that do nothing but add a fake layer of longevity for inexperienced players. Getting a Game Over implies losing progress, which can be either frustrating or pointless depending on who's playing. If you can simply try again anyway, it's pointless to have lives in the first place. Thankfully, Purple (of all games) is the first one in the series to understand that. Because of this, Wumpa fruits now act as currency that you can use to buy trading cards from greedy bear Moneybags, or participate in bonus games for a chance to win more fruits.

Purple is more of a mini-game collection than it is a platformer, so there are only five levels - or rather, hubs - where you get to do the usual running, jumping and crate busting. These are less linear than usual and contain entrances to said mini-games, which you'll have to beat in order to advance. Some mini-games are borrowed from Crash Bash, along with their main issue: Purple gets pretty dull when you're playing by yourself. Given the complicated nature of the Game Boy Advance's multiplayer, this easily becomes aggravating. Another reason for the game's dullness is its lack of challenge and short length. You can beat the entire game in one morning, leaving you with little incentive to pick it up again unless you really want those trading cards (good luck with that last one, though).

In the end, Crash Bandicoot Purple boils down to a generic, short, and boring crossover. Finding all the trading cards may be its own reward for a few players out there, but completing the entire set is more trouble than it's worth.

The good

  • Removal of the archaic lives system

The bad

  • Cheesy crossover that does nothing interesting for either franchise
  • Dull mini-games
  • Too short and easy.

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