So, where were we?
Boulders. This level introduces a mechanic that I don't mind (yet), but will probably be the bane of my existence in later levels.
For this level we will be running towards the screen, a change from having to stare at Crash's ass for the whole game. But that's not the main gimmick of the level. Perhaps you can guess by the title of the level?
Hey, Crash! What's your favourite magazine?
Ah, The Rolling Stone? Not a bad choice.
So yeah, throughout the level we will be chased by a giant boulder. However, we also have other traps that we have to avoid, here it's just bottomless pits. The biggest problem is that you don't have much time to react to the next obstacle due to how little ahead you actually see. This isn't much of a problem yet, but I can already guess the next time this level archetype appears, it's going to kill me a lot.
There are a few 'safe zones' in the level, the boulder will not be able to fit in. Usually they're filled with Wumpa and occasionally an extra life.
So, Crash? What's your favourite Bob Dylan song?
Oh...it's Mr. Tambourine Man? Fair enough, I guess.
The next obstacle are these wooden fences, if you forget to jump over them they will likely delay you enough for the boulder to catch up with you. And if the boulder catches up with you, then you're dead. Simple as that, you will be flattened like a pancake. Sure, you may finally be thin enough to fit into that dress you bought a year ago, but you'll also be dead, so it's not really worth it.
The level starts getting a little tricky with these sections. It's just a case of jumping from pillar to pillar, but you have barely any time to register where you need to land before you have to jump. Luckily you can control him pretty well while he's in the air.
These wooden, er, things are rather annoying to navigate...or they would be if Naughty Dog weren't kind enough to give us a path of Wumpa Fruit to help us navigate. Thanks guys!
Eventually we get to the finish and without dying! (I missed just the one box).
Why yes, a nice relaxing swim would be nice after all that running.
Except bandicoots, apparently, cannot swim. Water is death.
Lilypads act as the main source of platforms in this level. Those jumping fish can be rather annoying in certain spots, especially those that have more than one timed aspects at the same time.
These venus fly traps are not so bad, just jump and then immediately jump off. This level has some excellent parts with being able to string together continuous jumps and that's why I enjoy these levels.
Notice I have 14 lives. That's plenty, some of you might say. But no, by giving you so many lives, Naughty Dog are effectively saying "You will die. A lot." (also, lives do not carry over if you turn off your console, so that'll be another reason why they give you so much).
Leaves float back and forth. Standard platforming fare.
These venus fly traps (hereby referred to as 'Dark Venus Fly Traps') do not chomp at you when you're standing on them, they will continuously chomp away at the air. Just a little timing is needed here, but this plus the jumping fish, together make a rather deadly combo if you're not careful.
These logs don't really like you, if you stand on them you will start sliding down. Very slowly. But you shouldn't be standing still anyway you silly person.
We get through the bonus round, get a couple of extra lives and reach the warp point. However, now it's time to meet our first boss of Crash Bandicoot.
YOU'RE ASLEEP? Dude, you knew you were expecting visitors, you lazy piece of--
HEY! That's no way to treat your guests! We gotta teach you some manners.
Papu x2 will try to attack you with his staff, he'll smash it against the ground then spin in circles, doing a whole sweep of the ground. It's just a case of jumping over it if he comes near you. Now, unfortunately, I just came off playing a bunch of games that require you to jump on the head of enemies to destroy them, so I had no clue how to defeat this guy.
You jump on his head.
I've played up to this boss before, twice, and I completely forgot. But this does make the boss very easy to exploit, you can jump on his head at any time. Every time you do, he recoils a little and that resets his attack pattern. Time it well and you can defeat him in no time at all.
And that's a wrap for Part I of Crash Bandicoot.
Next time: More jungle boogying, more rivers and we say hello to a deranged kangaroo.