Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Crash Bandicoot - Progress Report III

Hello, and welcome back. I'm afraid you've caught me at a bad time, I seem to have lost something. Maybe you can help! You see, I've lost a city. Have you seen one? Maybe just lying around? No? It should be here somewhere...

Never mind, found it!

The Lost City marks the point where the levels start getting a little bit more challenging.

There are heaps of these little areas filled with goodies, but if this is your first tour of Lost City then you will need whatever they contain. Most enemies here are annoying in their own way, the one you see, for instance, cannot be killed with a spin. You gotta jump on his noggin'.

BATS! Bats make this level annoying as hell. If you see a bat chilling upside down, make sure you're not in the way of the incoming stream of bats. You can try killing them all, but they just respawn. It's best to avoid them. See all the Wumpa? The area below will give you ample space to avoid the bats.

It's not a 3D platformer without something trying to push you into oblivion. They're a common sight in this level and the sibling level, Sunset Vista.

Some just alternate which one is sprung, later on there will be crazy patterns to try and avoid.

Some parts of the level will give you the chance to climb on top of them for extra goodies, usually an extra life. It does require a fair amount of waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Here, we have my favourite, climbing up a level! Except I like this one infinitely better just because the punishment for falling is less severe.

The platforms are those types are you jump off pretty much as you land, or else the platform will disappear from underneath you and send you falling.

This guy is another one of those "jump on me head" kind of guys. He's honestly a bit annoying, especially in this case. He will not budge until you're on the first platform. If you don't jump back to where you were, he will most likely get you.

More platforming standards, they will just retract in sequence, as long as you have even a little sense of timing you should be fine.

With these bridges you have to be careful. Step on one side and it will eventually rotate and throw you so...

You want to immediately jump to the middle, like it settle, then jump to the last section and immediately jump off of that. 

Not long after that we reach the end. That wasn't so bad, but wait until you meet his larger sister...

On my twitter, I complained that I had to record my footage of a level, one of which was among my least three favourite levels. This was the one. And you know what? I like it a lot more now, because I actually beat it without dying. One at a time, ladies, one at a time.

If you just run forward like an idiot (speaking from experience here), you will most likely get speared. They pop out of those pillars that look too small to hold those spears within them.

The level is very platformy, lots of jumps and bottomless pit falls. 

It's very satisfying to link a sequence of jumps together, but the key thing here is patience. Don't do anything fancy and you'll be okay.

BATS! GAH! A couple of times I'll think it's safe to jump ahead and NOPE, bats in my face!

There are crushers here: two big pieces of stone that quickly hit each other in a predetermined pattern to try and crush you like a rotten peach. The developers were kind however, whenever you pass one, instead of it continuously getting in the way of the camera, they just stop banging, knowing they've failed in their job to stop you.

Fire lanterns make an appearance in this level. These are the adult versions of the torches from the 'Gate' levels, they don't make you bounce but they provide a nice platform when not on fire.

There's a few of these as well, the pillars on the outside will orbit the middle one. However, this one (the second one) and the rest afterwards have a little gimmick: they will shake for a second and then fall. They'll come back eventually, but if you're standing on one when it shakes, you gotta move like your life depends on it. Because it does!

These bastards will fall from the sky to try and surprise you. The first time I experienced one, I never even saw it and died. The surprise only works once, so be prepared with a spin. 

They get a bit complicated by the end, but nothing major. Remember, like a great man would say, you gotta have a little patience. That great man was Axl Rose, so you know you can trust those words.

One last set of crushers and we're home free.


UGHHHH. This level is the second most life-costly level in the game, for me at least. All you have to do is travel in a straight line, how hard can it be?

Really hard. It's a series of precise jumps. The dark wooden planks will fall as soon as you touch them, the light ones are stable, and the ones that have holes in them will immediately break, they're there to trick you basically.

Mr. Hog has betrayed us also, and will make several appearances in both this level and the sibling level trying to kill you. I tried apologising for my drunk-hog-driving escapade, but I'm afraid our friendship is over.

One more type of plank, the ice ones are stable but they'll slowly move you to your doom. They're there to give you a small period of stability.

A nice turtle shell, just lying on a bridge for some reason, but hey, I never need an excuse to bounce.

And that's all to talk about on this level...except I lost about 15 lives somehow and this wasn't my first attempt. That's the reason I had 19 lives at the beginning, I had replayed the first few level just to get more lives. Even the sibling level I beat in just a handful of lives first time.

Well, I think we all know what to expect here.

Hey, Crash, who's your favourite wrestler?

The Rock? I prefer Stone Cold myself.

Yeah, it's another one of these, but the difficulty is ramped up. Now, you'd expect after my poor performance in 'The Road to Nowhere' that I'd suck at this level. So, I'll be keeping a running total of how many lives I lose in this level.

They introduce moving pillars in these sections, so hopefully you've efficiently practised moving Crash in the air, 'cause otherwise you'll need to learn fast.

This time there are fields of these wooden thingies and they're usually mixed in with the other traps too.

Like that.

Going back in time a little, you want those two ? boxes, they both contain extra lives.

That I didn't need 'cause I beat it first time! Oh yeah, redemption!

Welcome to Sunset Vista, I hope you enjoy your stay in our lovely town. If any of you have come from the Lost City, you will find similar features here on this tour. For instance, if you look to your right...'ll find those annoying lizards you can't spin into. Meanwhile to your left...

You'll find slightly harder versions of the platforming sections from the first level. The stone blocks move in more unpredictable patterns, but they're still patterns so eventually you'll figure it out. Now, as we proceed with the tour please don't claim you've seen any of these pictures before because I can assure you...

...these are from Sunset Vista, they just LOOK exactly the same and it isn't very interesting after a while. Sorry, but I've been doing tour guides of both places for twenty years now, I'm getting a little tired of the same bloody sights.

Here we have a bit of an annoying section, the blocks stay there for way too long making you wait a solid ten or so seconds before you have a chance to get on the platform, which also moves in and out making it matter of knowing when to go ahead and when to wait.

We have a new type of token, the Cortex token, collect three of these token, hand me the tokens and with those tokens I'll let you into the level that can only be access with these tokens.

The only way to get this one is by bouncing off the first box onto the second box and land on top of the block, unfortunately, pictured here is our resident Bandicoot after failing miserably at such a task. He gets it eventually though.

BATS! Get your fried BATS here! Only £2 or 2 for £3!

You want to finish the Cortex levels. There's only two and each one grants you a key. A key to a bonus level. This one is rather short, and I would have finished it if I hadn't spun into a goddamn TNT. I may use a password to show them off at some point.

And that's the end of the level. Although I like Sunset Vista, it's really just a longer version of Lost City and it's not interesting to look at, I deleted most of the pictures I used and at one point almost used a picture from Lost City without realising it. There is one part that is very difficult for me, just after the part where I showed off the Cortex token there is a series of four stone blocks and you're either meant to jump on top of it or jump towards the screen then in again and hope for the best really.

Now it's boss time. One of my favourite animals is the Koala Bear, they're awesome and, I don't want to use the word "cute" because, dude, I'm a man I DON'T DO CUTE. But they are. I don't know what I'd do if Cortex got his hands on one and...oh no...


...OH YES! That is awesome! It's like a Koala Bear mixed with Arnie, I love it! It's also an insanely easy boss fight.

He'll throw boulders of coal at you. My tactic is stay in the corner and spin them as they're about to hit you to break them apart. Eventually, he'll throw a giant one...

Amazed at his own feat of strength, he starts us a chance to spin it into his face. Just beware you don't hit a minecart, it will nullify the attack.

As you go along the fight, TNT blocks will fall from the ceiling. They don't really hurt you from the corner I'm in either. 


We take that steroid monkey koala down.

Next time on Crash Bandicoot: Let's get mechanical, mechanical. 

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