The N64 has Mario Party. The DC will get Sonic Square. And now the PS has Crash Bash, a party-style title that developer Eurocom is readying for a November release. In the game's Battle Mode, one to four players compete in arenas, and you get nine four-player competitive events that test your riding, racing and jumping skills. Crash Bash also offers an Adventure Mode, in which one or two players experience platform-style gameplay similar to that found in the previous Crash games.
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While the N64 has amassed quite a library of awesome party games--Mary Party 1 & 2, Super Smash Bros, and GoldenEye 007 spring immediately to mind--PlayStation fans haven't been quite as lucky. Sony, with a little help from Eurocom and Cerny Games, hopes to remedy this situation with Crash Bash.
Sony calls Crash Bash a "3D arena-based battle" game, but it's basically Mario Party without the board game elements.
Playing as one of eight characters from previous Crash titles--including Crash, Coco, Dingodile, Tiny, Dr. N. Cortex, N. Brio and Koala Kong--gamers face off in more than 28 high-impact events. Among other tasks, you'll drive tanks, bounce on pogo sticks and even ride polar bears--whatever it takes to annihilate the opposition.
Whereas Super Smash Bros, was filled with plenty of Mario-esque butt-bouncing and block-busting, Crash Bash contains plenty of Crash's signature moves, including spinning, jumping, nitro box tossing and animal riding. There are also plenty of familiar pick-ups, which offer speed and health boosts, weapons, etc.
Play modes include Adventure, Battle and Tournament Battle. In Adventure Mode, one or two players compete against computer-controlled opponents and four Bosses. The story line, such as it is, revolves around the rivalry between Aku Aku and Uka Uka, who call a contest to determine whether the forces of light or dark are more powerful.
Battle Mode is playable with up to four players going head-to-head (via the MultiTap) in an arena setting. In the short version of this mode, the game is played until one player wins three times in a single arena. The tournament version of Battle Mode is a succession of short battles in which players accumulate points based on their performance.
Like Mario Party, the game's contests are simple yet addictive. On the down side, you do need a MultiTap if more than a couple of people want to play; however, this is a small price to pay to enjoy what is shaping up to be one of the PlayStation's all-time best party games.
- MANUFACTURER - Eurocom
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
If this is supposed to be Sony's answer to Mario Party and the upcoming Sonic Shuffle, Nintendo and Sega have little to worry about. Developer Eurocom decided to drop the tried-and-true board game formula in favor of turning this into a traditional action game, complete with separate bosses and levels, that just happens to feature nothing but mini-games. I guess it was done in order to keep Crash Bash from looking like a direct rip-off, but it doesn't work at all. Strike one. Then they turned around and made the four-player "Tournament" nothing but a collection of theme-based mini-games. Basically that means there's no diversity at all. Plus, in order to advance the game, one of the four players has to win at least three times on each game board. All of this makes for about 45 minutes of playing what is essentially the same game over and over again, with no hint of fun in sight. Strike two. Finally--and this is the most heinous act of all--none of the mini-games are much fun save one: the pseudo-quad-pong you see in the screenshot above this review, and the seemingly endless incarnations of said game throughout each level. I'm sure Eurocom tried hard to be unique, and bravo for that. But unfortunately in doing so they created a game that never gets above average in any category. I can't recommend Crash Bash as anything more than a rental at best. Strike three, you're out. Better luck next time.
Crash Bash doesn't have the firepower to pose a serious threat to Mario Party, but It's not a total loss either. Some of the mini-games are forced and a bit awkward to control--partly due to the chunky graphics but also the design. Most involve one objective (the way it should be), but an excessive amount of power-ups and general chaos make it tough to concentrate on the task at hand. Stilt others, like the four-way variation on Pong, are great. These particular contests keep the action clean and simple and aren't muddied by too much commotion. Overall CB isn't a bad multiplayer game but a one-night rental may be all you need to get your fill.
CB started out as a pleasantly entertaining surprise in the Mario Party/mini-game vein, but I found the game became less and less fun the longer I played. Some of the mini-games were basically carboncopies of Mario Party contests, just with different characters and in different settings. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but the overall gaming experience seemed quite a bit more shallow than MP, with no larger game to tie all the little ones together. On its own merit, CB is a solid, passable party-style game, but I would only recommend this title to PS owners who don't also have an N64 and have had a jones to play this type of game.