Crash Bandicoot Fusion (GBA)
Imagine for a moment that you make games for a living. You work in an office with an artist and a sound guy, and along with a few other game enthusiasts you make GameBoy Advance games. Now imagine you're given the job of creating a new update to the Crash Bandicoot legacy, but there's a small problem. Maybe your whole team hates marsupials. Perhaps you've got a ludicrous deadline, or you just got a 90% pay cut. Whatever the reason the team responsible for this game has taken a few shortcuts.

The 'features' of this game read like a checklist from the marketing department. You've got your family friendly merchandisable mascot character, simple goals, a series of mini games, and trading cards 'cause that's what the kids are into these days. It's a travesty from the very beginning - no original thoughts were wasted in the production of this game.

The graphics are dreadful or worse. Horribly pre-rendered sprites have sucked the soul out of Crash, stripping from him the charm and personality we've come to know and love. The backgrounds are often made from a single hue, the platforms you jump on are boring or ugly, and often both.

As in previous Crash games you collect Wumpa Fruit, avoid retracting spikes, and destroy or jump on different kinds of crates. This is standard Crash fare, it hasn't changed since 1996, so the developers spiced up the game with warp pads, each leading to an ugly and boring minigame. There are a half dozen on every level, and most of them ar mandatory. It's in the developer's guidebook: when you haven't got enough good ideas for a game, throw in a series of extra minigames to keep the punters distracted.

You also get to collect cards and trade them with your friends, as if anyone would admit to being your friend if you talked them into buying this crap. Everything about this game is bad. Crash drives tanks, floats on turbo tubes, and shoots RC helicopters. If this sounds like fun we're very sorry - it's not. It's ugly, boring, uninspired and dull.

And it has a sibling, Spyro Fusion. It's the worst case of rushing a crappy game to market, made worse by releasing what is essentially the same game with a different set of sprites and minigames. They're veritable clones. Speaking of Copy and Paste...

Publisher: Vivendi Games
Price: 30 quid
Players: 1-4 (Link)
Rating: 30%