PlayStation plus does like to treat gamers with some gems here and there, but this month we got treated to more gems than we could ever hope to want. If you don’t get that joke, then you will if you play the now available Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s about time on PS plus.
Long-time fans of the orange rat will be over the moon with this news, as this was both a surprise to fans who were used to knock-off games and poor ports. What many were not expecting, however, was that this new entry would rival the difficulty of a Dark soul’s boss when you’re naked and using a stick. With that graphic reality now in your head, I’ve thrown together some tips and tricks from my time with the game, in hopes I save you from ripping your hair out and buying wigs for several months!
1 . Stick to the basics
We’re well into the adventures of Crash Bandicoot at this point and having 4 previous entries means that we have some go-to platforming tricks that still exist in this entry. A few of these are quick-fire tips so we’ll just pop all these in 1 entry.
Use the directional buttons for side-scrolling areas to stop yourself from walking forward or back off platforms.
Collect everything as you move through an area, if you can pull some gems out from collecting everything, you’ll save yourself effort later if your aim is completion.
Finally, utilise all the basic controls and skills like the double jump to carefully navigate areas you’re unfamiliar with. This is how I got through all the previous entries and although a lot of new features are here, these old and gold tips can make certain areas easier.
2 . Modern is best
When entering the adventure for the first time you’ll be given the option of 2 game modes to start with. These two modes are Classic mode and Modern mode. Classic mode brings back the 'lives system', allowing certain crates to award lives and giving you a set number of deaths. This adds an extra layer of challenge to the already difficult challenges you’ll be facing on your adventure through time.
Although this doesn’t prove anything, for those who like to boast that they rarely die, this is the mode to prove your point.
Modern mode however allows you to die as many times as you like, just adding the tally when you die on each level so you can keep track. No pressure and you can throw crash into a messy demise as much as you’d like.
3 . Take it slow
Needless to say that with a vast to-do list that now comes with each level there is also an increase in difficulty. With some gems requiring to be physically found, some require fruit to be collected and 1 requires less than 3 deaths, there’s a lot to unpack for every level.
What will ultimately get you all the gems for yourself is not rushing. Completionists especially will find themselves resetting so much due to error that comes with not taking it slow and attempting to rush through an area. Pace yourself as much as possible and you just might make it out with some sanity.
4 . Follow the yellow ring fall
Low and behold, as much as we have many additions of what the developers call features and I call bullshit, there is a saving grace. Platforming has always been the point of these games, and that is no different in Crash 4.
What’s always been a struggle to many players has been sticking the landing on those pesky rushed jumps during time trials. The coordination can feel off at times and can lead to some stress for you and some death from Crash. The birth of the small yellow circle that highlights where you’ll land when you jump, could arguably be one of the best things ever added to a videogame. It’s silly to say, but knowing where you’ll land gives you some sense of control over where you’re going, and when used correctly can allow you to navigate levels with ease and control.
5 . Bonus for more than one reason
The bonus levels that accompany every world are crucial for completion and can be some of the trickier sections of a level due to them being optional for finishing. There can be a lot of trial and error in these sections which will, unfortunately, lead to (like everything else) a lot of deaths.
The silver lining to this is that when you enter a bonus area death resets you back to before you entered, but the death doesn’t count. For completionists, this can be a life saver and for normal players…well it's just as frustrating.
6 . The Golden rule of slide jump
The slide jump is known to some and has been mastered by very few, but to do so can make navigating these levels a cakewalk. By doing exactly as the name suggests, making Crash slide and then instantly jump. You can actually make Crash slide over a cliff and travel further with the jump.
This can be a life saver in some areas or allow you to obtain gems or items that you normally can’t reach. Etch that move into your brain because it’ll save some real headaches down the road.
7 . Completionists prep list
Okay so if you made it this far then well done, appreciate you, love you. But this last one is for those who plan on completing this game, getting everything that can possibly be gotten. This is a task as it’s probably one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever seen a videogame try to put someone through. But for those who wish to go through this fresh hell, you’ll need everything I’ve said above and some extra bits as well.
Aside from the levels, the N.Verted levels will require you to collect their own set of gems which will be obtainable in the same way, apart from the hidden Gem which will be placed elsewhere now. For the relics, you’ll need to be quick to get the platinum relics, which can be helped by the slide spin. The slide spin works the same as the slide jump but serves to speed you up instead of getting you high.
Finally, attempt to slowly make your way through a level and collect as many of the gems in 1 attempt where possible. The more you repeat these levels the more you begin to lose your sanity.
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PLAY, OBEY, CONSUME.