After our adventures in Avalar, Spyro is busy enjoying a much needed vacation over at Dragon Shores. While he's enjoying the carnival games, soaking up sun-rays, and watching films at the theater, we have other allies to return to.
And so we find ourselves in the Australian Outback once more, as the marsupial we know unwittingly embarks on a new trial. This time, Dr. Cortex is an... ally?
Things may not be as they appear as we enter the Warp Room for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
Crash Bandicoot 2 is my favorite game in the N Sane Trilogy, improving dramatically upon it's predecessor without succumbing too strongly to the gimmicks that permeated the third game.
Along with the Jump and Spin moves that defined our list of verbs in the original game, Crash 2 introduced two new moves, one of which will prove a significant part of our repertoire from here on out: The slide and the belly flop.
Not only does sliding allow the designers to introduce new obstacles in the form on walls with small enough gaps, but gives us the ability to cross greater distances with slide jumps. This second function is used throughout the entire game, especially to increase overall movement speed.
In addition, you'll notice a difference in the way levels are designed overall when compared to the first game. While the first game's levels were extremely challenging on their own, before we even think about attempting to acquire the Gems, actually finishing the level with Crystal in hand isn't much of an ask in Cortex Strikes Back.
Instead, any challenging platforming segments are reserved for the Gems and/or the boxes needed to acquire them. If you notice, it's only when I'm going for a Gem that I start losing a lot of lives. And even then nothing has quite compared to some of the worst segments of the first game.
And if you're curious about the exploit I was talking about with the jump combo, you should check out this speedrun here that demonstrates it.
Next time, we'll encounter one of my earliest furry crushes. I hope you're as excited as I am.