Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is taking all the older Crash games and ramping them up to a whole new level.
From the difficult platforming to breaking a ton of boxes, there is a ton of old and new content to keep fans happy.
When the game was first announced, I was surprised because I didn’t think they would make an entirely new game. I did think that the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy would be the last game we would see featuring this whacky hero.
Thankfully I was wrong.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Time Stamps
- Tawna The Grappling Hook Hero (0:00)
- Stumbling My Way Through the Level as Crash (4:20)
- Dr. Nitrus Brio Trouble Brewing Boss Fight (10:58)
- Unlocking New Gameplay Stuff (15:50)
- Off Beat (16:42)
- Crash Gets N.Verted (29:50)
- VHS Flashback Tapes from 1996 (28:32)
- Coco Gets N.Verted (40:30)
- Is Crash 4: It’s About Time Amazing? (47:20)
Grab an Aku Aku Mask and let’s run through some baddies in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time gameplay!
Tawna The Grappling Hook Hero
We start off playing as Tawna--Crashes girlfriend from the older games.
She is the most interesting character in the game; she has an awesome grappling hook that allows you to traverse the levels in fun ways.
Tawna also talks a lot like CoCo so she can add her flair to any situation.
After playing the N-Sane Trilogy, I realized that I am just not good at Crash-style platformers.
I tend to just play through the main levels to beat them. I am not one to get all the boxes or colored gems.
But this early on the game is giving me trouble, so I decided to kick it into overdrive and go Super Sayian to get through this.
Channeling my inner Saiyan, I can get through the part that was causing me trouble only to immediately die… twice.
The goal of each level is to break all the boxes, collect a ton of wumpa fruit, and not die more than 3 times in a run.
This is easier said than done in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. You can tell that the game ramps the difficulty up.
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, the game makes it hard to get things done in one run.
Each of these adds up to getting 6 crystals at the end of the level, which in turn allows you to get skins. But we will touch more on that detail in a bit.
Stumbling My Way Through the Level as Crash
One of the coolest parts of the game is that when you play as Tawna you get to see the level from a different perspective.
So in Crash’s version of the level, a door explodes open and he doesn’t know why. Well, thanks to the other levels, we learn it was Tawna.
Now we go into playing as Crash and are introduced to one of the masks that players can attach for new powers.
The mask is Akano which allows you to spin attack at super-fast speeds in a flurry of purple. You can even jump higher as well as longer.
I like this game because there are modern or classic options; the difference is that the modern option gives you infinite lives.
So for someone like me--who is self-admittedly bad at this game--, this is a great addition. I like this feature for that very reason and I think it is one of the best add-ins I have seen in a while.
Another cool addition is that there is now a yellow circle at Crash’s feet every time he jumps, this can help you traverse the tricky levels much easier.
The game is filled with so many helpful gameplay options that feel organic and baked in so you can enjoy the game at any skill level. I believe this is an important feature for many games to adopt because everyone deserves to be able to have fun at their own pace.
After using Akano we float over some water and lose the mask to traverse some lily pads.
Another cool aspect is that the core villains of the levels you’re playing will taunt you throughout, keeping it fun and engaging.
Grabbing Akano again, I fail some simple platforming and die several times before finally reaching the end of the level. I told you that I struggle!
I only manage to get 1 out of the 6 gems, but that’s fine! I was just happy to survive. I also miss a ton of boxes and Wumpa, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over it.
Dr. Nitrus Brio Trouble Brewing Boss Fight
Moving right into a boss fight with Dr. Nitrus Brio, we get to see some of the amazing bosses’ that the game goes above and beyond to create fight rounds for.
From the voice acting to the Saturday morning cartoon vibe, the game fires on all cylinders to make everything feel bouncy and alive.
N. Brio is a pretty simple boss fight just run around dodging his potions and then hit the baddie creations back at him to do damage.
That is until the screen gets N. Verted and the fight gets a crazy amount of life in it.
To be honest, all this involves is a color swap but it is a cool play on visuals. I can just enjoy the look and continue the fight.
When you do enough damage, N. Brio drinks one of his potions and becomes a big monster.
Despite the size upgrade, taking him down is pretty easy, just grab the Akano mask and knock him off the stage.
After a pretty humorous cutscene, we open up the next world and move on to some Marde Grade action. But first, let’s take a look around the gameplay.
Unlocking New Gameplay Stuff
First, we unlock the N.Verted mode in which we replay a level in that cool color swap style.
You unlock the skins by collecting the gems from beating the levels. It is a nice little addition that adds some replay value to an already content-overstuffed game.
But enough of that, let’s get to the festival in Off Beat!
This level is incredible from the music to the overall drive as you go through.
The enemies attack you in time with the music, the background is filled with fireworks, floats, and just so much eye candy any player would want to stop and stare.
It is levels like this that make me think that a new Sly Cooper has to be in the works. Cartoony games are coming across better and better; that one would be a perfect homage.
We push forward through a side-scrolling section and manage to pass a lot of pit-falls, TNT crates, and colored death vents.
After this we get thrown into the background and onto the floats, forcing us to platform our way through the float parade.
It’s pretty cool that you can play music by interacting with the level, from a trumpet to drums and even a keyboard you get to walk on. I can already hear my sister saying, “It’s just like Toon Town!”.
It all adds up to a lot of fun music being created through gameplay; a small touch to keep players entertained and immersed.
After a while, we get to a bonus section and are introduced to another new mask: Lani-Loli. They have the power to bring things in and out of existence.
It adds a lot of dynamic gameplay and pushes your dexterity to the limit.
After barely surviving the bonus stage, we continue forward on the path of death, but we have super fun music!
We grab the hidden Gem in the level and take a cannon to the final stretch of Off-Beats.
This involves some more musical platforming which ends on a nice rail grind section. This reminds me of a lot of Ratchet and Clank.
We manage to get 4 gems this time around and call this level.
Crash Gets N.Verted
Now let’s take a step back and jump into an older level using the N. Verted take on it.
I decided to choose Hit the Road since it has a nice case sequence and is all around a really fun level.
To be honest, the N. Verted take on the level is only a colored skin over the existing level. From what I could tell the only thing that changes is the box placement and the level’s color scheme.
After some bad jokes and several deaths, I manage to claw my way to a bonus stage where I barely get through, but I do manage to get all the boxes, which is a great feeling.
Back onto the level, it goes just about how it went originally, just platforming through the fire, swinging death balls, jumping on ropes, and so forth.
The fun comes in when Crash runs in front of a giant truck looking to squash him, thankfully there is a rollerball to get us to safety.
After some sick jumps and blindly running away on a road, we can call this a level and move onward to 1996!
VHS Flashback Tapes from 1996
Taking a step back in time allows us to dive into some retro fun.
The Flashback tapes in Crash 4: It’s About Time are small trials to complete. A Flashback tape is rewarded for getting far enough into certain levels and not dying once.
They can be extremely challenging to get but I jump into “Bandicoot VS WOMBAT EVAL” to give it a try.
The puzzle aspect of the level makes it very challenging and after several failures, I decided to jump out and into a different level to end the episode with.
Coco Gets N.Verted
I decide to change to Coco to finish out the episode and jump into one final N. Verted level.
In this level, the N Verted aspect is that everything is black and white until you spin or break boxes. It is a pretty cool take on adding visual interest to the level. Plus, you don’t get stuck in a completely monotone world.
Again, it doesn’t change the build of the level, just the box placement. But, man… it looks so good and plays so well you can overlook it to just experience the colors.
The music is the highlight of this level; it has a nice pirate vibe which coincides nicely with the atmosphere.
Combine that with the color palette, great controls, smooth gameplay and you’ve got something truly special.
By getting to the end, I manage to get a new skin and decide to call this an episode!
Is Crash 4: It’s About Time Amazing?
Crash 4: It’s About Time is a game that I never thought would exist but I’m so glad it does.
It is a mix of all the previous Crash games rolled up into a creation that equals each game’s strengths.
Ramping up the platforming, the presentation, and the cartoony style is what it is all about.
Crash got the love and care he deserved. I would say that it is definitely worth your time, as it is the complete Bandicoot package. I highly recommend Crash 4: It’s About Time. It’s fun, fast, and frantic enough to keep you entertained for hours.