Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

What is astonishing is that despite all of its anger-inducing shortcomings, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time cannot be ignored completely. As a testament to the clever ideas it holds and to the seemingly timeless originality of the franchise, there is still some fun to be had by traversing all of its stages. This is a game whose heart is pure and unaltered platforming goodness coming straight out of the sidescrolling era; yet, keeping true to the trilogy that preceded it, that classic approach to the genre is wisely augmented thanks to various possibilities opened up by the added third dimension. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time moves the franchise forward by gifting the marsupial hero with a quartet of gameplay-altering skills and by giving him the helping hand of three new playable characters that get their own stages. These are additions that, by all means, work wonderfully; what does not click, however, is how the game frequently mishandles its elevated difficulty, creating a quest that is a constant struggle between fun and annoyance. The winner of that conflict varies greatly, and the end result is a product that frustrates for what it is and for what it could have been.

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