When it comes to Crash Bandicoot, I've never played the Naughty Dog games. Maybe if I had this would have been a proper Fave Five list. Instead, I enjoyed the spinoffs and always wondered why people were up in arms about the later games in the franchise. Now I've realized that I was lucky enough to play the games that didn't suck. Here are those games.
1) Crash Tag Team Racing
I don't like this guy, and the feelings mutual. But then we see this other jerk out in front of us, we decide to have temporary truce. I clash into him and our cars become one. While my new companion drives, I shoot the jerk out in front, turning his car into scrap metal. Me and my frenemy then go our separate ways..., and I shot in him in the back with a chicken. I've said it before, I'll say it again. When it comes to Clashing, Mario Kart ain't got shit on Crash Tag Team Racing. This frenemy mine-style gameplay is something I've never seen anywhere else in a kart racer and I wish other games would take notes.
However, in other games, I didn't have to spend half the game on a bunch of fetch quests as part of a story that I really don't care about. Normally, in a platformer, you're not supposed to care about the plot; keyword being platformer, this is a racing game! I guess Radical Entertainment forgot what game they're supposed to make. Yeah, did I forget to mention this was their first game?
2) Crash Nitro Kart (GBA)
Now this is more like it. I choose a car, I beat the other racers, I race the champions in the boss battle, and I WIN! This is what you call a racing game! Unfortunately, while Crash Nitro Kart on Game Boy Advance is more straightforward than it's successor, its not as innovative either. The graphics aren't very good and the music, while catchy, can also get repetitive thanks to it's endless looping. Ironically, the GBA game was considered the better version, which would be fine if it were the only version but, as multi-platform release, it's just embarrassing.
3) Crash of the Titans (NDS)
Say what you will about Crash of the Titans, but it's DS version, developed by Amaze Entertainment, is no slouch. By the way, Cortex has a niece, Wumpa Island has mutant creatures, and Aku Aku is a facehugger; shark-jumping bullshit indeed.
This the closest I've got to a console platformer on DS, and it was pretty wild; jacking mutants is the most fun I've had in an action game. I also really like the comedic tone, although it is very depressing how Crash Bandicoot has basically become a sitcom. No, seriously, there's even a laugh track. Unfortunately, the music from the Game Boy version, also developed by Amaze, isn't in this game, which just sucks. Not to mention, out of the twenty million mutants of the DS version, only a few of them are from the GBA version, which is just weird. Why can't they be in both versions? I wanna ride a ratcicle!
Once again, this was considered the superior version but I only wish the rest of the game had more variety and features; it could have been better. Then again, Crash of the Titans, as a whole, wasn't very good to begin with.
4) Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
It's a 3D platformer gone 2D, and it works. Everything about this game, from it's story to it's gameplay, is what I'd expect from a Crash game! This was the first outing by Vicarious Visions, who also developed Nitro Kart on GBA, and it was their best. It really is Crash Bandicoot as a 2D platformer: bashing enemies, collecting wumpa fruit and power crystals, and getting blown up!
The only thing that sucks about this game is that, as a 2D platformer, it doesn't have the same oomph as the other games I've played (*cough*SonicAdvance*cough*). Crash is probably better off as a 3D game. Still, while it's not perfect, THA was the best Crash game I've ever played on a handheld.
This would have been a proper Fave Five list but, as I've said, I never played the Naughty Dog games and the rest of the games I did play were terrible. Give me a HD collection of the first three games and I'll be sure to fix that.