Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure - Overview

The Huge Adventure (known as XS in Europe and a few other territories) is Crash's first portable experience. It was developed by Vicarious Visions and released on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. The developers tried their best to adapt the Crash Bandicoot gameplay to a more limited hardware than usual, but did they succeed?

The gameplay and graphics are faithfully recreated on the weaker hardware.

This portable outing sticks to side-scrolling levels only, and it uses pre-rendered graphics to mimic the visual style associated with previous Crash games. In fact, the animations on many objects and characters are directly lifted from the original PlayStation games, including Crash himself. Though the animation looks a bit choppy sometimes (or fuzzy due to the handheld's low resolution), this trick works for the most part.

The music is all borrowed from the PlayStation games too, but while the recreations sound pretty decent, this move was decidedly less justified than reusing graphics. Another weird thing is that most of the bosses' themes are switched with each other for some reason, which becomes pretty dissonant for long-time players. Cutscenes are solely comprised of still images accompanied by text dialogue, with some reused graphics here as well.

Underwater levels make a return from previous games.

As for the gameplay? It's Crash. He has the same abilities and unlockable super powers as usual (minus the fruit bazooka), and he plays just like in every other game before this one. The Huge Adventure is a bit of a misnomer, as it only has 20 levels and 4 bosses, making it the shortest entry in the series up to this point.

The game may have lost the third dimension, but everything's been faithfully recreated. On the other hand, it feels like a chunk of the game is missing without any 3D levels, and there isn't anything new to make up for it. If you've played WARPED, you already know everything this game has to offer.

Some auto-scrolling segments are played in a 3D perspective.

Most levels are regular platforming, some are underwater, and a few have you flying with the jet-pack while shooting in pseudo-3D autoscrolling segments. You'll also occasionally be chased by a yeti as you run towards the screen. The crates and collectibles are the same as usual, and Time Trials are back too.

Despite being a decent game on its own, The Huge Adventure's only real merit when it came out was the novelty of playing Crash Bandicoot on the go. Now you can just play the original PlayStation games on Sony's handhelds, which this game owes everything to. You could do a lot worse, but it's a game best left for collectors.

The good

  • Graphical style, music and gameplay faithfully adapted to the Game Boy Advance

The bad

  • Only 20 levels
  • It offers nothing that hasn't been seen in previous games

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