There is something amazing about how Naughty Dog managed to achieve creating an amazing jump n' run game two times in a row. Not only did they manage to offer the exact same experience, but they even improved upon it by adding such things as the crouch ability, which at first seemed useless, but in fact adds the always trusty crouch jump. Crash evolved as a character effectively throughout both games, but somehow the developer did not just sit around idly and managed to top even their last instalment. Crash Bandicoot: Warped took everything we loved about the franchise and gave it a time-bending spin with brand new moves.
The first major change from previous games is the stories background. Instead of exploring the Wumpa island or navigating through the different floors of Cortex's Warp Room, this time we are exploring the Time-Twisting Machine created by the newest villain, Doctor Nefarious Tropy. This time the game allows players to explore the land before time, as one is being chased by a Triceratops rather than the usual boulder or ice bear, the Medieval ages or even a futuristic city. The new direction gave the developers much more creative freedom.
Production of the last game made by Naughty Dog started in January of 1998, as they only had about 10 months to produce a third instalment. Their budget was a small $2.2 million, which just shows how much the budgets have risen over the years. Andy Gavin, Greg Omi and Stephen White went out of their way to establish three new gameplay engines, which would become the airplane, jet-ski levels and motorcycle levels. The latter would be the inspiration that would lead to the creation of the spin-off Crash Team Racing.
Artist Charles Zembillas from American Exitus returned for Warped after having worked on the previous two games. He put a lot of work into make Uka Uka a fearful presence that would even cause Cortex to cower in fear. Him cowering in fear would later be the inspiration for the game's cinematic introductory sequence. It was only after they decided on a time travel-direction for the game, Tropy was even created as an additional villain for the game. Another rather colorful addition was in the creation of Dingodile, who Joe Labbe requested to be a mixture of a dingo and a crocodile, hence the naming of the character.
This game also was the first to introduce the loveable tiger cub, Pura, and Crash's sister, who was returning from Cortex Strikes Back, as a playable character. She got her time to shine during the Pura and jet-ski settings of the game, which allowed them not only to give her a bit more time in the limelight, but also build upon her introduction in the second game. This lead to a personal favorite moment, as Crash jumps into the portal only to fall through it and see Coco take over.
Many basic elements return to the game, such as the jump n' run gameplay that everyone is use to. The goal of the game ist still to collect the 25 crystals that are scattered across time and place, finish time trials and destroy all crates in a level to gather the white crystals. After defeating five levels of a stage, one can then unlock the boss stage where you would face against the previously-mentioned Dingodile, the returning Tiny the Tiger, Tropy and many others. Even the abilities of the characters were evolved, as Crash now has the option to use the amazing wumpa-loaded bazooka, a double jump or a stronger belly flop. Once again, Naughty Dog evolved the basic gameplay from one sequel into another, which they perfected with the final game in the main franchise, Warped, before they would create the racing game that would end their involvement with the franchise.
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Source: Internet Archive
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