Crash Twinsanity is a 2004 platforming game developed by Traveller's Tales Oxford Studio and published by Vivendi Universal Games in North America and Japan and Sierra in Europe and Oceania for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 consoles. Released in North America on North America on September 28, 2004, Europe on October 8, 2004, Australia on October 26, 2004 and Japan on December 9, 2004.
This was Traveller's Tales second Crash Bandicoot game after The Wrath of Cortex, and their last game of the same franchise.
After a three years long hibernation, Cortex paralyses Coco and lurs Crash into a trap and tries to kill him by using the Mecha Bandicoot piloted by N-Gin. This goes wrong and, after going out of his mind, Cortex assaults Crash and, after a brawl in a cavern filled with explosives, Cortex finds a crystal. After fighting weird ant-like creatures, Crash and Cortex reach the surface and they meet the Evil Twins, Victor and Mortiz, who want to destroy the island. Cortex gets rescued by Crash after getting kidnapped by natives and they fight a monstrous totem with four arms, Tikimon. They arrive at Cortex's ice lab but they have to take the long route and, after being awaken, Uka-Uka agrees to join forces with Aku-Aku in order to take down the Evil Twins, but they both fail. Cortex's plan is to use the Psychetron to travel to the 10th dimension but it needs crystals in order to work. Crash uses cortex as a sled to slide down a snowy mountain and after crashing on Dingodile's cabin he infiltrates in N-Gin's battleship, gets two crystals and defeats N-gin, N-Tropy and N-Brio. After returning to the lab Coco messes up the Psychetron and resulting in her getting paralyzed again, so Cortex and Crash travel to the academy of evil to find the only person who can fix the Psychetron: Cortex's niece, Nina. After causing mayhem and fighting the academy's director Madame Amberley, Cortex remembers the Evil Twins. They were his parrots that he used as guinea pigs for his Evolvo Ray and teleporting them to the 10th dimension by accident. After returning to the lab and arriving to the 10th dimension, Nina gets kidnapped by Evil Crash. After rescuing her, they reach the Evil Twins' fortress where they were wainting for them in the throne room. After an exhausting battle against the Death Bot and Victor and Mortiz getting devoured by Evil Crash. Nina, Cortex and Crash get back to the lab. Cortex betrays Crash and tries to teleport him to another dimension, but the plan backfires and the Psychetron teleports Cortex inside Crash's brain where he's surrounded by copies of Crash.
Why the Game Was Rushed
Executive meddling: Traveller's Tales originally wanted to make a darker and more serious game called Crash Bandicoot Evolution, but the project was scrapped because it was too similar to Ratchet & Clank. They started out a new project under a new division called Traveller's Tales Oxford whose main goal was to only develop games for the franchise, but despite having spent more time on Evolution and Twinsanity being so ambitious, Vivendi Universal still gave Traveller's Tales a deadline for 2004 (in other words, executive meddling). This was made because Universal wanted Twinsanity to come out alongside Spyro: a Hero's Tail to make up for the poor sales of Wrath of Cortex (which also suffered from executive meddling) as well starting to have financial issues which they didn't have a concrete solution in the middle of the uncertain outcome of the game. After having a messy development due to the inexperience of the developers and the underestimation of the PS2 and Xbox capabilities, Traveller's Tales Oxford had to get it together and cut a lot of content from the game with entire music tracks, characters, concept levels, a whole dimension getting the axe and even cancelling the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance versions in the process so the game could just barely making it to the markets. Unfortunately Twinsanity sold even less that Wrath of Cortex (It was the first game released on home consoles who didn't reach to the Greatest Hits/Platinum games mark on the PS2 and Xbox respectively) causing it to be Traveller's Tales Oxford Studio first and last ever game and the last Crash game to have any involvement with Traveller's Tales.
- The game is very much unfinished, because it has a very messy development. The game was incredibly rushed in order to reach a very tight deadline and resulting in it almost getting cancelled. This predictably caused a great amount of problems listed below.
- Despite being advertised as playable characters, Cortex and Nina only get 2 levels each, with the 2nd level being the final boss. This is a side effect of the cut content.
- Coco was originally going to be playable and have an entire level dedicated to her, but due to Executive Meddling from Vivendi Universal, she has absolutely no reason to be in the game aside from filler.
- Mecha Bandicoot was also supposed to be playable, with an entire level dedicated to it, just like Coco, but it would ultimately be playable only during the final boss.
- In an interview, it was revealed that the final product is just 1/3 of the game Traveller's Tales wanted to make!
- Due its crazy nature, Twinsanity constantly jumps the shark and this predictably results in many problems such as mechanics that don't get expanded on, too many gameplay styles at the same time, and some unoriginal ideas like introducing an evil version of Crash, simply called Evil Crash.
- The idea of an evil Crash had essentially already been done with the creation of Crunch in The Wrath of Cortex!
- Because of all the content that had to be cut, the game is very short. If you don't go after collectibles and make little mistakes, you can complete the game in just three hours. If you know where everything is, you can even 100% the game in four hours.
- Also there are only 12 levels in total which is pretty small compared to the 30 that TWOC had.
- If you miss a colored gem in a level, you have no choice but to do a massive amount of backtracking through previous levels until you get that gem.
- Gems are no longer collected by breaking all boxes in a level, instead they are simply found in the level as regular collectibles, meaning there's little incentive to break boxes besides Wumpa Fruits and lives.
- The game is a literal goldmine of glitches and bugs. It's very easy to go out of bounds and skip huge chunks of the levels. The world record speedrun is just about 14 minutes.
- On top of the glitches, there are programming bugs and screwed up hitboxes.
- The natives are hard to kill because of the massive hitbox of their spears.
- Even if Tikimon is defeated, his corpse will still damage Crash if you touch it.
- In some versions (specifically the Xbox version), touching stunned Coco kills Crash.
- In some versions Evil Crash has pathing problems when crashing after Cortex which makes him spin in circles.
- The story has serious plotholes:
- How did Uka Uka end up stuck in a wall of the iceberg lab if he was frozen along with Cortex near N. Sanity beach?
- When did Cortex build a huge lab in the middle of an iceberg?
- It is never explained how Coco found the Iceberg lab or gotten rid of the paralysis at the end of the game (though to be fair this was product of the rushed and unfinished state of the game as the storyboards hinted).
- Why didn't the evil twins use their psycho powers to fight against Evil Crash?
- How did N.Tropy and Brio know that Crash was on the N. Gin ship and why were they working together?
- Cortex remembered that his first experiment was teleporting his pet parrots to the 10th dimension which is illogical since his first experiment was creating Ripper Roo.
- Why does Evil Crash appear out of nowhere in the Lab after entering the 10th dimension?
- In the 3rd phase of the final bossfight, it isn't explained how Crash was able to get Mecha Bandicoot when it was back in his dimension at N. Sanity Island destroyed in a pit.
- Whilst the controls are overall great, the slide jump is terrible because it's not long or high and it locks you in an arc.
- Many sound effects are missing. One of the most jarring examples is N. Brio transforming to a completely silent cutscene after drinking one of his potions.
- The bosses from the other Crash games appear only as cameos in one cutscene. Aside from N. Tropy, N. Brio and Dingodile, none of the other bosses are seen again, which just further emphasizes what we could have got if only the game was actually finished.
- Also for some reason, Nitros Oxide is present which hints that Traveller's Tales probably didn't know CTR was supposed to be a spin-off.
- Speaking of bosses, N. Gin, N. Brio & N. Tropy and the Evil Twins are the worst boss fights in the game. The N-scientists are just pathetic and not challenging in the slightest, while the Evil Twins fight is really tedious, long and boring, in fact all the bosses are easy to defeat.
- If you head the wrong way in the Academy of Evil, it's possible that you'll be forced to replay the entire sewers level until you exit and find the right path.
- If you die and don't hit a checkpoint crate you'll be forced to rewatch cutscenes you just witnessed, and by the way, the in-game cutscenes are unskippable!
- What's worse is that on the Gamehut YouTube channel there is footage of beta versions showing that it was originally possible to skip those cutscenes, but the developers feared that the game would be prone to freeze if the player tried to skip them, another example of the game's troubled development.
- Crash lacks a lot in expressions; he's constantly smiling, unlike the other games where he was more expressive. Hell, even in Wrath of Cortex he was more expressive (at least the CGI cutscenes are okay in that front). But the most puzzling thing is that Crash doesn't say anything in this game, not even short exclamations like his famous “Woah!”. This makes Twinsanity one of very few games where Crash is completely mute.
- For unknown reasons, the therapy session clip reward for collecting every gem was replaced with a montage of random animation tests in the PAL versions, thus killing such an efficient incentive to 100% the game and making for a really disappointing reward.
- Although good, the level design quickly overstays its welcome. When it's not making you deal with fun platforming sections, the game bombards you with NITRO crates.
- Aku-Aku and Uka-Uka are borderline useless in this game. They do not protect you from NITRO and TNT crates and their invincibility doesn't kill enemies to the touch, destroy the crates, or make you go any faster, not even having the iconic drum beat! At least the invincibility worked in Wrath of Cortex and it had its music, even if it was a boring synth track! No wonder Victor and Moritz defeated them so easily...
- Nina's playstyle isn't really unique, she just plays like a worse version of Crash and the level design doesn't do much other than finding some uses for Nina's bionic arms.
- There are some very inappropriate scenes for a E/3+ rated game, like Crash staring maliciously at Cortex's butt in the cutscenes before the humiliskate sections, the fact that Cortex owns a brothel, Rusty Walrus wanting to cook Crash and Cortex's infamous line “My daughte-eeerr n-niece!”. It would be understandable but in that same year the 10+ rating arrived in America and the PEGI 7+ rating already existed in Europe.
- The Evil Twins (Victor and Mortiz) are bad and unfunny villains. Their backstory is also lacking and rushed; they were Cortex's pet parrots that he accidentally teleported to the 10th dimension with a machine that would become the Evolvo Ray later on... and that's about it.
- Although it does have better texture quality, the Xbox version has next to no lighting which makes the character models look darker.
- The game is notoriously difficult to emulate as the PS2 version constantly crashes when played on a PS3 and the Xbox version, as seen in Caddicarus' review, has massive slowdowns that make some levels painful to sit through if played on an Xbox 360.
- Despite being here, it's good enough to be in Awesome Games Wiki.