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Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Universal Interactive
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Until a year ago, Crash Bandicoot was synonymous with the PlayStation console. Then, Universal Interactive released a Crash title that broke all barriers. Released for the Game Boy Advance, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure became a sudden success. Universal Interactive is at it again, releasing Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced for the GBA. N-Tranced builds upon The Huge Adventure's success, stealing much of the same graphical modes as its predecessor. Though they are not overwhelming, the graphics in N-Tranced feature smooth character animations that rival that of any other previously released GBA title. N-Tranced also utilizes the two-dimensional world well with layers and art that make Crash Bandicoot appear almost like 3D polygons instead of 2 dimensional sprites. Different modes of visuals keep N-Tranced visually stimulating as players see Crash in basic side-scroller views, traditional Crash-like front view scenes, and a new Atlasphere level that has Crash constantly rotating inside of a ball.

The attention to audio adds just the right amount of color to N-Tranced to keep it upbeat and exciting, matching events to different effects and sounds.


Variety is the key to Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced's gameplay. Traditional action titles for the GBA resort to simple side scrolling tactics that require no thought, and hardly delve past a superficial level. N-Tranced doesn't resort to standard tactics, making the game deeper and more intriguing as it progresses. The evil Dr. N. Tropy has kidnapped the other bandicoots and hypnotized them into doing his evil tasks. As Crash Bandicoot, you must rescue the others and stop N. Tropy's plans. All of Crash's abilities can be upgraded into faster, more powerful versions of themselves. Skills such as leaping, running, and sliding are affected by such upgrades. Levels contain simple gimmicks to differentiate themselves from similar action titles. Many levels feature helicopters or flying carpets that Crash can control through passageways. Also many levels entail standard side scrolling activity. These levels feature stages such as water-ski obstacle courses. The perspective shift is a welcomed addition to the gameplay.

At the end of each stage, Crash is expected to collect crystals which allow him to venture further into his journey. To motivate gamers into replaying earlier levels, there are relics Crash can seek out in timed runs of previously completed levels.

N-Tranced also makes good use of the GBA's link cable. You can play Time Attack modes and Atlasphere matches against another player, assuming you both have the game pack. Owners of The Huge Adventure can also link their old saved data into N-Tranced to unlock bonus stages and additional multiplayer characters.


Early in, Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced seems frivolous. Levels move along quickly without much thought or difficulty put on the player. However, nitro boxes and lava floors, which tend to be the doom of unsuspecting players, become more prevalent in later stages. Navigating around them could prove tedious to even the most concentration-minded player. Nevertheless, the abundance of extra lives and helpers tends to offset the madness, and levels the game out nicely.

Game Mechanics:

Though Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced has added features into the traditional action genre, it still plays very much like a standard side-scroller. Controls are simple and easy to become accustomed to. You run through levels, collect items, and jump on enemies or items to get rid of them. Crash's special abilities come very fluidly and almost seem second nature after just a few short sessions. With 24 different levels, packed with bonus stages, originality, and intrigue, N-Tranced solidifies Crash's presence on the Game Boy Advance. N-Tranced is a welcomed alternative to Mario and Sonic. People who enjoyed the first game will enjoy the new environments and settings Crash engages himself in for N-Tranced, while gamers who long for a change to traditional side-scrolling action titles should find the creativity found in N-Tranced to be right up their alley.

-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

Nintendo GameBoy Advance Chessmaster Nintendo GameBoy Advance Disney Sports: Motocross

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated