If you’re a Crash Bandicoot veteran, you probably don’t need this. But if you’re approaching the series for the first time with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, you could probably benefit from some pointers. With that said upfront, we’ve been playing Crash 4 and have been paying close attention to what works, what doesn’t, and any other little tidbits that feel important. This is based on early game impressions, but some of these tips should apply as you progress.
Crash Bandicoot Beginner’s Guide
Curate Your Controls
Crash Bandicoot 4 has some accessibility options, such as a colorblind filter and text size options. The controls are also a part of this because you can go into the options and remap things to your comfort. Also, since Crash Bandicoot 4 doesn’t need all the buttons anyway, some functions are mapped to multiple buttons by default. The default controls are what you’d expect from a platformer, but being able to customize to meet individual needs is great.
Goof Around and Hit Stuff
Like the original games, Crash Bandicoot 4 is a mostly linear affair. You’ll be moving through corridors from various camera perspectives, but almost always in tight spaces. But despite that apparent lack of exploration, you can still find secrets. Spinning at various objects and spaces in levels can produce a funny interaction, or sometimes even a silly easter egg. You can pop several achievements/trophies just from doing this.
Hold Jump to Bounce Easier
Figuring out the physics for making different kinds of jump can be tough in Crash games, because of the weird weight and momentum you have to adjust to. In Crash 4, your characters start with all the abilities that may have been unlockable or not present in other games, which can lead to some early fumbling if you’re new. Just remember that you can double jump, jump slightly higher with a slide, and get more air bouncing on boxes with the right button press. It can be finicky, especially since the box-bouncing situations are usually paired with hidden goodies. But if you just hold the jump button while you’re in the air, you’ll get the bounce boost.
Watch the Shadow
There’s another aspect to the weird jumping in Crash Bandicoot games that’s crucial. When you’re making a difficult jump it can be hard to tell exactly where your character will land. But if you follow the shadow you’ll know exactly where you’ll land. And in Crash 4, the shadow will have a little yellow circle around it when you’re in the air. So if you have trouble with your Crash Bandicoot depth perception, you aren’t the only one.
One Gem at a Time
It can be overwhelming to try to get everything all at once in Crash 4. You have six overall goals if you want all the gems, and getting a level all the way perfect in one run is not easy. But if you break it down to one at a time and focus on that, you can get everything after a few runs no problem. And levels are short enough that replaying them doesn’t feel too tedious.
Well, if you can. Crash 4 has things like auto-scrolling levels and other fast-paced challenges, but if you’re up against a nasty-looking challenge and nothing is forcing you to keep moving, just stop and wait for a bit. You can take your time to tackle most jumping puzzles in Crash Bandicoot, and there are many cases in which messing up won’t even set you back much even if you die. There’s really no incentive to rushing unless you’re playing Time Attack.
Follow the Fruit
Speaking of auto-scrolling, seeing one of those for the first time can be pretty wild. But don’t be intimidated, even if you aren’t nailing it on your first try. When you’re running for it, lines of wumpa fruits will generally help you avoid obstacles. The individual ones might be traps, but several in a row means you’ll probably run into something if you don’t go after them. And as an aside, once you hit a checkpoint box, you don’t immediately have to take off. You can hang out there in a second, as the level won’t resume until you move forward.Take a breather!
If you’re a Crash Bandicoot beginner, don’t worry about it. That specific style of game hasn’t really been copied before, and if you haven’t played the N. Sane Trilogy it’s going to take some adjustment. If you’re used to Nintendo or Sega platformers, or even games like Celeste, Crash 4 will still feel a little alien to you. But once you figure out all the quirks and goofy problems that are lovingly, deliberately recreated in Crash 4, you’ll probably have a good time. Especially since you can’t run out of lives.
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