Sunday, 28 October 2012

Crash Bandicoot - Progress Report V

We're almost there, folks. Just seven levels and two bosses before we can strike Crash Bandicoot off of our list. So let's delay no longer!

Hey, who got the road stoned?

Yeah, it's this level. They're kind enough to give you two extra lives immediately, and you know I'd need them. However I did much better on this level than I did on the first. It's almost pretty much identical to the first, except for one thing:

So much more turtle shells to bounce on. I actually found bouncing on these much easier than a series of precise jumps. I still lost too many lives, but that wasn't purely because of the level, no, it's because I wanted to show something off...

Ignore the VLC "Pause" and "Play" signs, I wasn't thinking straight when I took these screenshots apparently. But yeah, if you're skilled enough you can just jump on the ropes and skip most of the level that way. It's a very precise jump and it does like to slide you off to your doom. I don't like using it, but it's always an option!

Now, the next level I ended up with nearly an hour of footage for. The amount of images I have does not reflect this, because I tried watching this back properly and I just suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To get back to sanity will be a...

This level beat me. It beat me. Sure, I eventually finished it, but it won. It left me crushed, lying in a pool of my own blood to die. I HATE THIS LEVEL.

These arms will try and swipe at you, but rarely will they actually get you. Just spin or jump on them to put them away.

There are times you'll have to jump on an enemy in order to get to another platform, but again that's not really a challenge especially if you've played the likes of Donkey Kong Country and what not where this thing is common.

This is what gives the level its name, right now it's just a ramp that you will immediately slip off. But wait a couple of seconds and...

TA-DAH, it is stairs. These can get tricky later on, but this one it's just a case of get to that elevator before it retracts.

This one did give me problems when I wasn't being patient, just wait for it to become stairs as you're at the top of your elevator journey and you should get to the stone steps with enough time.

That is followed by another elevator, jumping on a bird to get on another elevator, then a series of retracting platforms. This is where the level starts saying mean stuff about my mother as it kicks me in the gut. Still, after so long I do finally get that saving grace...

Oh, Checkpoint, I will never stop loving you for the remainder of my life.

These platforms have slightly weird timing (unless that's just me), just make sure you jump where it's going to go or else you'll hit those spikes.

So, a new enemy here. He just throws test tubes at you that explode on contact. Just wait for one to land, run and spin him.

...there are still a few minutes of gameplay I've not shown but I was actually getting a little frustrated watching myself play this. I died for some stupid reasons, I died for reasons that barely look like my fault (but probably was). I even got to an N. Brio bonus stage and failed it almost immediately. By the time I got here, I was ready to punch Crash in the face and hearing the noise of the warp gate was like a soothing lullaby in the end. For the level I missed, just imagine everything I've talked about, but increasingly getting harder. I've not shown a lot of where I died either, but I died close to 40 times in total throughout three separate playthroughs. Hopefully you can forgive me for not really wanting to revisit this. It's the low point of the game for me...luckily it's all uphill from here.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Nope, because Aku Aku will light the way! And he will! Aku Aku is a little different in this level...

He lights up the room for a fair amount of time, usually enough time to get to the next Aku x2 mask. It does also act as an extra hit, but get hit and you lose the mask.

While it is theoretically possible to complete this without Aku Squared, stuff like this is why you don't want to, one wrong jump and it's death. Being able to see the platform and differentiate between ground and bottomless pit is rather useful.

And it is really hard to see much ahead of you. If you consider yourself a Crash expert, try a "blind" run to add a more challenging flavour!

I've made the picture bigger so you can see those red eyes. Those are rats, they act in the same way as the skunks from the first level, in that they come groups of three and are really to kill.

Pendulums make an appearance in this level, and luckily nowhere else for the rest of the game. Take a few seconds to study them and proceed when you think you can.

I did die a few times, but compared to the Slippery Climb it was a damn breeze.

Hey, it's one of these! It's a nice enough level, though there's not much new I can talk about. I mean...

...the cobra's back...

...the spider's still just hanging out...

...everything is back! Even the bats! (who the hell invited the bats to our reunion?). I like the level though, it's a nice stroll in the park compared to the previous two.

I hate you Checkpoint. I will never stop hating you. (if you can't tell, I jumped onto the checkpoint and it bounced me off into the pit of never ending doom).

Still, after some crushers and bats, we finish the level. I have to apologise if this doesn't seem thorough, but that's the problem with 'sibling levels', there's just not much new to talk about.

The same applies here.

Huh? That was hideously easy. Well I'm sure glad that's over, 'cause I have nothing to say about..

Oh, dammit. You got me Naughty Dog! There is plenty of level to do before we can get back.

These bastards are back. Not as bad as there were in the Generator Room however, just a timed jump through the gap will get you past them.

Here is something quite new, if you stay on these elevators for too long they will take you right to a hot pipe. I guess the platforms are sick of us just walking all over them all the time?


NO! I thought we had something special? Ugh, I feel so...used.'re forgiven!

The pipes are more commonplace in this level, but they still move in a set pattern so they pose little actual danger.

Just another 'dodge the obstacles platform ride' later and we reach the end.

N. Brio. Get it? Though I'm going to name my first child Nitrus! It's probably one of many many reasons why I'll never ever have kids.

So, for most of the battle this is what he does, he'll just pour the liquid from one tube to the next. However, at the start of each 'round' he'll throw a number of green tubes (1, then 2, then 3 tubes) and each contains one of these...

It took me a while (and two lives) to realise how to beat the goo. For some reason I had it in my head I had to spin it into Brio, but nope, just bounce on top of it and it will take off some of Brio's health. After that he'll throw some purple tubes to try and get you blown up. If you get too close to him though...


He'll smash the tubes together if you try to physically attack him, causing an explosion in your face.

After the third round, he'll drink his potions and...

Become really easy (ignore the fact I died here...please?).

All you need to do is jump on the stone block that falls from the ceiling, and then jump on his head. The hitbox is rather forgiving and after hitting him three times...

N. Hulkrio is down. Just Cortex to go now...

Next time on Crash Bandicoot: The Main Event - Crash vs Cortex.

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