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Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

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Aku Aku 1
"It is I, Aku Aku. My duty is to protect you."

Bandipedia contains spoilers for all Crash Bandicoot related media. You have been warned!

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
WrathofcortexNA
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Release date(s) 29 October 2000 (NTSC PS2 release)
23 April 13th, 2001 (PAL PS2 release)
Genre Platformer
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
ELSPA: 3+
Mode(s) Single player
VoiceSymbol
Crash Bandicoot The Wrath of Cortex Theme
Speaker Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Theme SpeakerReverse

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (Japanese: クラッシュ・バンディクー4 さくれつ!魔神パワ Crash Bandicoot 4: Majiin Power) is a Crash Bandicoot platformer. As the sixth Crash Bandicoot game, it's the fourth chronologically, and it was the first game to feature Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. On the 4th of December 2007 the game was released onto the Xbox Live Marketplace as a downloadable game on the Xbox Originals Service.

Development

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was originally intended to be designed by Mark Cerny and(who designed all the games in the series thus far) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was Mark's unnamed PS2 game under development. The game under Cerny's direction was to be a free-roaming title with puzzle elements that would see Crash traveling between different planets. In early 2000, when Universal approached Traveller's Tales to be the development team behind the game, Tales produced a 3-D rendered demo of Crash running through a volcanic level. Development of the game's engine began in mid-2000.On September 21, 2000, Universal Interactive and Konami announced that they had entered an agreement that would enable Konami to publish a Crash Bandicoot game for next-generation game systems, with Universal Interactive handling the production of the games. The agreement served to break the Crash Bandicoot franchise's exclusivity to Sony-produced consoles and effectively made Crash Bandicoot a mascot character for Universal rather than Sony. After Universal fell out with Cerny and Sony, Traveller's Tales was forced to alter the game from a free-roaming title to a standard Crash title. Traveller's Tales had to begin development of the game from scratch and were given only twelve months to complete the game.

The character Crunch Bandicoot was designed by Craig Whittle of Traveller's Tales and Sean Krankel of Universal.The concept of battling mini-bosses within the game's levels was dropped to uphold the fast and frantic pace of the series' gameplay. Multiplayer capability was also considered before being dropped. An earlier draft of the story featured an alternate version of the game's climax and ending, which involved Crash battling Crunch in a mechanical robot suit. At the end of the fight, Crunch would destroy Crash's suit with a bolt of electricity. The resulting debris would render Cortex unconscious, destroy the remote control device controlling Crunch and start an electrical fire in the space station. As the Bandicoots escape to resume their beach-going vacation, the ruins of the space station would crash-land onto the island of Cortex's original settlement, conveniently allowing Cortex and Uka Uka to resume their world domination bids.

The majority of the characters and vehicles in the game were built and textured by Nicola Daly and animated by Jeremy Pardon. The main game systems and game code as a whole were coded by John Hodskinson.The game's music is composed by Andy Blythe and Marten Joustra of Swallow Studios. A rearranged version of the original Crash Bandicoot theme by Mutato Muzika also appears in the game. The game's sound effects were created by Ron Horwitz, Tom Jaeger, John Robinson and Harry Woolway of Universal Sound Studios. The game's voice actors were cast and directed by Margaret Tang. Only two of the series' original voice actors reprised their roles for the game: Clancy Brown voices the dual role of Doctor Neo Cortex and Uka Uka, while Mel Winkler provides the voice of Aku Aku. Debi Derryberry inherited the role of Coco Bandicoot from Hynden Walch, while Corey Burton voices the returning villains Doctor N. Gin and Doctor Nefarious Tropy, taking over for Brendan O'Brien and Michael Ensign respectively.Kevin Michael Richardson provides the voice of new character Crunch Bandicoot, while the Elementals, consisting of Rok-Ko, Wa-Wa, Py-Ro and Lo-Lo, are voiced by Thomas F. Wilson, R. Lee ErmeyMark Hamill  and Jess Harnell respectively.

The Xbox version of the game was announced by Universal Interactive on January 31, 2002. The Xbox version features reduced loading times and improved graphics that take advantage of the Xbox's console's more powerful hardware.

Gameplay

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is a platform game in which the player controls Crash and his younger sister Coco, who must gather 25 Crystals and defeat the main antagonists of the story: Doctor Neo Cortex, his new super weapon Crunch Bandicoot and Crunch's power sources, the renegade Elementals. Much of the game takes place in a "Virtual Reality (VR) Hub System" created by Coco to help Crash gather the Crystals.

The VR Hub System is split up into five "VR Hubs"; initially, only the first VR Hub is available. Each VR Hub has five teleportation portals to different levels. The goal in each level is to find and obtain the Crystal hidden in the area. In some levels, the Crystal will be located at the end of a level or must be earned by completing a specific challenge. After completing all five levels in a VR Hub, a sixth teleportation portal to a boss level will appear. By defeating the boss, the next VR Hub will become available for play. When all 25 Crystals are collected and Doctor Cortex and Crunch are defeated, the game is won.
Japwoc

Japanese Box Art

Crash and Coco start the game with four lives. Crash and Coco lose a life when they are struck by an enemy attack or suffer any other type of damage. More lives can be earned by instructing Crash or Coco to collect 100 Wumpa Fruit or break open a special crate to collect a life. Crash and Coco can be shielded from enemy attack by collecting an Aku Aku mask. Collecting three of these masks allows temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers such as enemies and Nitro Crates. If Crash or Coco run out of lives, the game is over. However, the game can be continued by selecting "Yes" at the "Continue?" screen.
Cbwoclogo

The Logo for the Game

Each level (except vehicle levels) contains a "Bonus Platform" that leads to a special bonus area, where the player must navigate through a maze and collect everything in sight. Once a bonus area is completed, it cannot be played again.

Besides crystals, gems and colored gems can be collected for 100% completion. Gems are rewarded to the player if all of the crates in a level are broken open or if a secret area is completed. Colored Gems are found in special levels and lead to hidden areas.

Relics can be won by re-entering a level where the Crystal has already been retrieved. To obtain a Relic, the player
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Greatest Hits Cover

must initiate the Time Trial mode and race through a level in the per-designated time displayed before entering a level. To begin a Time Trial run, the player must enter a level and activate the floating stopwatch near the beginning of the level to activate the timer; if the stopwatch is not touched, the level can be played regularly. The player must then race through the level as quickly as possible. Scattered throughout the level are yellow crates with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 on them. When these crates are broken, the timer is frozen for the number of seconds designated by the box.
Chcrashwoc

Crash's Design For TWOC

As no lives are lost in the Time Trial mode, the level can be played through as often as the player desires. Sapphire, Gold and Platinum Relics can be won depending on how low the player's final time is. The first five Relics the player receives unlocks access to a secret level. Every five Relics thereafter open up another level in the Secret Warp Room. The levels in the Secret Warp Room must be won before the game can be 100% completed.

However, the percentage system gives 1% for every boss, crystal, gem, and relic. There are 25 crystals, 30 relics, 46 gems, and 5 bosses, which gives a total of 106%- so a truly 100% game is 106% on the game screen. Once the game has been completed with the true ending, Crunch cannot be fought again.

Story

"Do We Have A Plan?"

The Space Station

Cortex's Base In TWOC

The meeting wide

From left to right: Tiny Tiger, Doctor N. Gin, Doctor Neo Cortex, Dingodile and Dr. Nefarious Tropy.

After the events of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, somewhere outside of Earth's orbit, Uka Uka holds a "bad guy convention" in a new space station that currently acts as the base for Doctor Neo Cortex and his friends Doctor N. Gin, Doctor Nefarious Tropy, Tiny Tiger and Dingodile. Uka Uka denounces the group as "imbeciles, fools," and "nincompoops" and questions their ability to do anything right. Unveiling a line graph moving heavily downward, Uka Uka announces that the group's track record for spreading evil is "pathetic". Doctor Cortex proclaims their innocence and that Crash Bandicoot is really at fault. Irritated, Uka Uka declares that he will not let anything stand in the way of evil, especially not a "brainless orange marsupial". He concludes that Crash must be eliminated. As he speaks, Tiny attempts to clutch a hologram of Crash Bandicoot that has appeared over the middle of the table, only to have it disappear in his hand. Doctor N. Gin nervously reminds Uka Uka that Crash always finds a way to defeat them and contemplates the possibility that Crash may be just too good for them. However, Uka Uka at this point will not take excuses and threatens the group into thinking of one good plan on the spot. As Doctor Cortex disgustedly laments his situation, Doctor Nefarious Tropy recalls a secret weapon Cortex has been working on in his laboratory. Although Cortex denies anything of that sort, Doctor N. Gin doesn't catch on and reminds Cortex that Tropy is referring to the super-secret weapon Cortex has been laboring over day and night since the last time Crash defeated him, ignoring all of Cortex's non-vocal attempts to tell him to keep quiet on the subject. Uka Uka impatiently ends the discussion and asks the group what they have planned. With no choice at hand, Cortex decides to reveal the existence of his genetically-engineered weapon, which he claims possesses unbelievable strength. However he reports that the weapon is missing a power source. In a scene only present in the instruction manual for the game, Uka Uka tells the group a story about a battle that happened thousands of years ago between the Ancient Ancestors and the Elementals, a group of renegade masks who controlled the natural elements of earth, water, fire and air and used their powers to ravage the globe. The Ancient Ancestors were able to imprison the Elementals through the use of the Crystals, putting the Elementals in a state of hibernation. Cortex deduces that if they unleash the Elementals' destructive energy, they'd have enough power to bring the secret weapon to life. The weapon would be capable of crushing mountains, demolishing entire cities and, as Uka Uka hopes, wiping Crash Bandicoot off the face of the Earth forever. Cortex laughs sinisterly as he prepares for Crash Bandicoot for his wrath.

Climate Changes

The Tidal Wave Attacked wide

From left to right: Aku Aku, Pura, Coco Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot.

Meanwhile, Crash and Coco are jet-skiing near N. Sanity Beach as Pura and Aku Aku soak up the sun's rays. Suddenly, they are all startled by a loud rumble, which draws their attention to an erupting volcano in the distance (Py-Ro and Rok-Ko). Clouds begin to flood the sky (Wa-Wa and Lo-Lo), and Aku Aku seems to suspect something. Coco warns Crash about an incoming tidal wave (Wa-Wa attacks), which sweeps them both onto the shore with the others. Aku Aku immediately blames Uka Uka for the strange weather occurrences and disappears to find out what he is planning.

Meet The Elementals

Aku Aku arrives at a temple in the middle of hyperspace, where Uka Uka has been waiting for him. Aku Aku demands him to reveal his schemes, but Uka Uka claims "just some old familiar faces dropping by for a visit," at which point Rok-Ko, Wa-Wa, Py-Ro and Lo-Lo appear, right in front of Aku Aku. Aku Aku is shocked and reminds him of the chaos the masks are capable of, telling him that their release could spell disaster for them all. Py-Ro orders an attack on Aku Aku, who manages to escape to tell Crash and Coco.

Coco's VR HUB System

Elsewhere, Crash is drying off after his encounter with the tidal wave while Coco is on her laptop. Aku Aku suddenly bursts inside and tells them about the Elementals, instructing them to collect the crystals to imprison the masks and save the Earth. Coco delivers a status update on her VR HUB System she'd been working on, announcing that it is nearly complete. Aku Aku happily decides that it is time to test it out in order to retrieve the crystals. The group enters a workshop where Coco's device is located, and with a tap of a few keys on her laptop, Coco activates the VR HUB System, allowing Crash to collect the first five crystals.

The End?

Cortex moans over his defeat then Uka Uka comes up and tells him Crash may have collected the crystals but he doesn't have the gems and with the gems they can bring The Elementals back once again.

The True Ending

Cortex moans over his defeat. Then Uka Uka furiously attempts to attack Cortex, but misses and inadvertently releases Crunch from his mind control by damaging the machinery in the space station. Crunch wakes up dazed, but has no time to get his revenge on Cortex as Uka Uka's blunder causes a critical power overload that could destroy them all. Cortex suggests that they use the escape pods, but Uka Uka is angry at Cortex for ducking out of the way. Meanwhile, Coco arrives in a spaceship just in time to pick up Crash, Aku Aku and Crunch. Later, Crunch expresses his gratitude to Crash, Coco and Aku Aku for believing in him. Coco then wonders if that was the last time they'll see Cortex and Uka Uka, which Aku Aku has a hard time believing. Elsewhere, having blasted off in an escape pod and landed in the middle of an icy wasteland, Cortex is chased around an iceberg by Uka Uka, declaring that he will get his revenge on Crash.

VR HUB System and Levels

There are five chambers in the warp room, twenty-five main levels, five boss arenas and a bonus room with five more. (Boss fights are in bold)

Chamber Character Level Theme Level Items Boxes Enemies/Hazards
Chamber 1

(Earth)

Crash Snow Arctic Antics Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) (Blue) 147 Seal; Penguin; Humpback Whale; Skier Lab Assistant
Crash Farmland/Flying Tornado Alley Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 15 Other Planes, Tornado Generators
Crash

Atlasphere (Jungle)

Bamboozled Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 125 Dangerous Edges
Crash Nightmare Castle/Chase Wizards and Lizards Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) (Green) 129 Knight; Wizard; Bat; Dragon; Fire Pit
Crash Minecart/Mineshaft Factory Compactor Reactor Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) 150 Drills (top); Vial Throwing Lab Assistant; Drills (sides); Radioactive Lab Assistant; Flaming Meteorite; Rotating Gears; Pillar; Green Laser
Crash Boss/Jungle/Atlasphere Rumble in the Roks Tip Toe N/A Crunch's Atlasphere; Flame Rocks
Chamber 2

(Water)

Crash Jungle/Jeep/Chase Jungle Rumble Crystal and Gem 1x (Clear) 150 Archers; Rhinos
Crash Scuba/Submarine Sea Shell Shenanigans Crystal and Gem (Clear) 99 Jellyfish; Charging Fish; Shark; Mine; Scuba Lab Assistant; Diver; Anglerfish
Coco Oriental Banzai Bonsai Crystal, 2x Gems (Clear) and Super Body Slam 165 Stork; Orange Fish; Ninja Lab Assistant; Lizard; Gong Banging Lab Assistant; Fire Flame
Crash Volcanic Island/Flying That Sinking Feeling Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 12 Other Planes; Tier
Crash Submarine/Sunken Base H2 Oh No Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 165 Purple Jellyfish; Mine; Charging Fish; Scuba Lab Assistant; Lionfish; Diver; Vial Throwing Lab Assistant; Electrical Liquid; Radioactive Lab Assistant; Flapping Fish; Green Laser
Crash Boss/Oriental/Pump Station Drain Damage Double Jump N/A Crunch's Water Beams; Water Rays; Sinking Platforms
Chamber 3

(Fire)

Crash Nightmare Castle The Gauntlet Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) (Purple) 136 Trap Door; Knight; Guillotine; Mallet; Flaming Coal; Spiked Wall; Crusher; Torture Devices; Wizard
Coco Oriental/Scooter/Chase Tsunami Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) 101 Bearded Trolley Man; Kart Ninja; Flapping Fish; Ninja Lab Assistant; Tsunami
Crash Desert/Race/Jeep Smokey and the Bandicoot Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 34 Pits, Tiny, Dingodile, N.Tropy, N.Gin
Crash Atlasphere (Snow) Eskimo Roll Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 82 Holes; Tiny; Penguin; Dingodile; Fire Pits; N. Tropy
Crash

Copter/Volcanic Magma Lab

Fahrenheit Frenzy Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 147 Lava; Plasma Cannons; Furnace; Radioactive Lab Assistant; Vial Throwing Lab Assistant; Green Lazer; Pillar; Claw Robot
Crash Boss/Flaming Village/Mech Crashes to Ashes Death Tornado N/A Crunch's Flame Wall; Fire rocks
Chamber 4

(Air)

Coco Snow/Snowboard/Chase Avalanche Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) 113 Penguin; Skier Lab Assistant; Avalanche
Crash Space Station/Mech Droid Void Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) 169 Cyborg Lab Assistant; Rotating Lazer; Claw Robot; Electricity; Green Droid; Hovering Robot; Blown Up Ship; Vial Throwing Lab Assistant
Coco Space/Flying Crashteroids Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 14 Other Ships; Astreroids
Crash Submarine/Scuba Coral Canyon Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 85 Octopus Tentacle; Jellyfish; Mine; Lionfish; Charging Fish; Shark; Anglerfish; Scuba Lab Assistant; Diver
Crash Flying Fortess Weathering Heights Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 141 Radioactive Lab Assistant; Claw Robot; Cyborg Lab Assistant; Vial Throwing Lab Assistant; Sharp Fan; Blown Up Ship; Steam Vent; Green Lazor
Crash Boss/Flying Atmospheric Pressure Fruit Bazooka N/A Crunch's Air Ball; Air Shards; Air Whip; Air Storm
Chamber 5

(Space)

Crash Volcano Crash and Burn Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) (Red) 138 Boxing Crab; Monkey; Lizard; Suicidal Bird; Lava; Rock
Crash Desert Gold Rush Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) (Yellow) 209 Inflating Cactus; Swooping Vulture; Kicking Horse; Scorpion; Dynamite Explosion
Crash Atlasphere (Castle) Medieval Madness Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 166 Fire Pits; Giant Wheels; Tiny; Pushing Obstical; Dingodile; N. Tropy
Crash Space Station/Chase/Mech Crate Balls of Fire Crystal and 1x Gem (Clear) 110 Claw Robot; Hovering Robot; Radiation Rays; Green Droid; Blown Up Ship; Anti-Plasma
Crash Space Station/Generator Cortex Vortex Crystal and 2x Gems (Clear) 155 Harmful Gate; Hovering Robot; Door Pushing Lab Assistant; Electric ceiling; Vial Throwing Lab Assistant; Electric Floor; Cyborg Lab Assistant
Crash Boss/Space Station Crunch Time Speed Shoes N/A Rok-Ko's Rock Showers; Wa-Wa's Ice Blocks; Py-Ro's Fire Panels; Lo-Lo's Electric Grid
Chamber 6

(Secret)

Coco Nightmare Castle Knight Time 2x Gems (Clear) 112 Trap Door; Knight; Mallet; Spiked Wall; Crusher; Torture Devices; Wizard
Crash Desert/Race/Minecart Ghost Town 2x Gems (Clear) 65 Crunch
Crash Race/Copter Ice Station Bandicoot 2x Gems (Clear) 20 Unknown Polar Bear
Crash Atlasphere (Space) Solar Bowler 2x Gems (Clear) 86 Tiny; N. Tropy
Coco Snowboard Force of Nature 2x Gems (Clear) 111 Skier Lab Assistant;

Sales

Despite mixed to positive reviews, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex sold quite well especially the PS2 version which made the Greatest Hits and sold over 3 million copies. The Gamecube and Xbox versions sold fairly well too but not as much as the PS2.

Boss fights

  • Crunch & Rok-Ko: In a style of the atlasphere levels with Crunch in a much larger atlasphere made of rock.
  • Crunch & Wa-Wa: Crunch is in water form and can attack using power beams.
  • Crunch & Py-Ro: In a style of chase and mech levels with Crunch throwing flaming boulders at Crash, he needs to 'cool' down.
  • Crunch & Lo-Lo: Crunch is a tornado and has a lot of power moves Crash is in his glider.
  • Dr. Neo Cortex, Crunch & the Elementals: Cortex does not attack you, but, Crunch jumps on four buttons of an Elementals color sending their powers: Rok-Ko sends flaming rocks raining down, Wa-Wa just sends a few ice cubes that freeze Crash for a second, Py-Ro sets the floor on fire so watch your feet, Lo-Lo uses electricity that come from the front and back.

Vehicles

This game has more vehicles than before, in fact, most of the levels in the game involve riding vehicles, and there are lots of variants;

  • "Crash-Glider/Coco-Ship": The glider is playable in Tornado Alley and the boss Atmospheric Pressure while the Ship is only playable in Crashteroids. Both can Barrel Roll like planes from Warped but the Ship can shoot lasers where as the Glider can shoot Flaming Wumpa Fruit in Tornado Alley and lasers in Atmospheric Pressure repetitively.
  • "Atlasphere": A large blue hamster ball big enough to fit Crash, this vehicle only can move and it has no attacks but is strong enough to break crates and fling away small enemies (like penguins) , just by simply running over them.
  • "Minecart": This is used in Compactor Reactor and for the race in Ghost Town, its moves from side to side to smash crates on those sides, down to go slower and up to go faster.
  • "Jeep": A camo colored jeep which is driven in to escape a herd of rhinos in Jungle Rumble and and to race in Smokey and the Bandicoot, the Jeep can't stop in the chase in Jungle Rumble, but can oddly stop in Smokey and the Bandicoot. Also the Jeep has no attacks.
  • "Submarine": A yellow sub is used to navigate the depths of the sea in Seashell Shenanigans, H2 Oh No, and Coral Canyon, the sub can drop mines and shoot Torpedoes.
  • "Firefly": This flying firefly-like plane is only playable in That Sinking Feeling, the firefly has a lock on target missile system.
  • "Scooter/Snow Board: The scooter is only used in Tsunami, it has no attacks. The snowboard controls just like the scooter and is used in Avalanche and Forces of Nature. Both are only used by Coco.
  • "Heli-Pak": A helicopter pack which control just like the jet pack from Crash Bandicoot 2 used maneuver the volcano in Fahrenheit Frenzy and race through rings Ice Station Bandicoot just like Rings of Power from Warped only there's 10 more rings in this course, Crash can spin while using this.
  • "Mech": There are two mechs; a red one only used in the boss Crashes to Ashes and the yellow one that is playable in Droid Void and Crate Balls of Fire, the red one can spray water, and the yellow one can shoot Wumpa Fruit.

Bonus Unlockable Mini-Game

A mini-game called Crash Blast can be unlocked by these doing these steps. This is only unlockable in the GameCube version.

What is needed:

  • The GameCube version of The Wrath of Cortex 
  • A GameCube to Game Boy Advance Link Cable
  • A Game Boy Advance and GameCube

What players need to do:

  1. At the title Screen, select load Crash Blast
  2. Connect the link cable to the Game Boy Advance
  3. Select Load and let the game load up

To learn more about the minigame, see the Crash Bandicoot Blast page.

Reception

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex received generally mixed to positive reviews, with some critics criticizing the game for making little changes to the formula established by its predecessors. Louis Bedigian of GameZone wrote a positive review, saying that "any Crash Bandicoot fan would be a fool not to go out and buy this game. I started playing at 2am one night and did not stop until three in the afternoon!" Doug Perry of IGN described the game as "a decent playing and pretty looking Crash Bandicoot game. It's nothing terribly special, but it's not bad, not bad at all."Official U.S. Playstation Magazine  felt that "when the strongest feeling I get from a game is the desire to play its predecessors, something's not quite right." Game Informer criticized the "outrageously bad load times", saying that they "keep the game from being average."  Shane Satterfield of GameSpot concluded that the game "maintains the status quo and fails to deliver a fresh, compelling experience." Star Dingo of GamePro cautioned that "if you were hoping the new management would give Crash a big kick in the pants, however, this is one pair of pants you will find quite unkicked." Electronic Gaming Monthly criticized the trial-and-error gameplay, saying that "when forced to blindly jump, die, then discover what you missed, where I come from, that’s just cheating."

Play Magazine noted that "they've caressed the music to great effect, made the bosses a bit more challenging, [and] adhered to a massive replayability standard that would drive any developer to drink." Game Informer felt that "every little morsel of platforming goodness in The Wrath of Cortex has already been done to death on the Playstation." Carlos McElfish of GameZone warned that "if you are looking for an innovative and original experience that does justice to the series you’ll have to look elsewhere." Official Xbox Magazine concluded that "this is a game for those who want what Crash has always had to offer – good graphics, jump-and-spin gameplay, and tons of collectible items. Nothing more, nothing less." Hilary Goldstein felt that while Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was "a fun game for the most part," "it fails in some areas, like proper game balance and correct use of surround sound." Shane Satterfield of GameSpot passed off the game as "a slightly updated version of the orange marsupial's 1998 debut on the PlayStation." Star Dingo of GamePro concluded that "love it or hate it, Wrath of Cortex Xbox is more of more of the same."Electronic Gaming Monthly felt that "save for a few additions to WOC, like some cool hamster-ball levels, it's almost identical to its predecessors."

The GameCube version rated the lowest among critics out of the three versions. Ben Kosmina of Nintendo World Report promised that "gamers experiencing the wacky mascot for the first time may enjoy it." Michael Lafferty of GameZone described the game as "safe, sterile and redundant." Matt Casamassina on IGN concluded that "at the end of the day this is the same Crash game I played so many years ago without any real innovations or evolutions."Nintendo Power praised the "sheer variety" of the gameplay. Kilo Watt of GamePro said that "graphically, this version is slightly below the recent Xbox release but in line with the competent PlayStation 2 iteration." Electronic Gaming Monthly agreed that "Wrath on the GC is much more polished here than on the PS2," while Play Magazine denounced the GameCube version as "a shell of the other two console versions, so I beg you to pass."

Despite the less-than-stellar reviews, the PlayStation 2 version sold over 1.95 million units in North America. As a result, the game was re-released for the Platinum Range on October 11, 2002, for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on October 15, 2002 and for the tBest line-up on October 17, 2002. The "Greatest Hits" version of the game features quicker load times than those of the original version. The Xbox version was re-released for the Xbox Classics line-up on April 11, 2003. The GameCube version was re-released for the Player's Choice line-up in Europe on October 22, 2004

Gallery

Trivia

  • Players can finish the game 106% by making a new game and typing in the name, Wombat (Xbox and GameCube versions only).
  • This is the only game in the Crash series that makes players battle the same exact boss over and over again.
  • This is also the only game in the main continuity that introduces masks other than Aku Aku and Uka Uka.
  • This is also the only main Crash game in which a cheat code (In form of the Wombat code mentioned above) can be entered or utilized. (The racing games are not main continuity games and therefore, don't count.)
  • If Crash is left alone for long enough, he will start to juggle a wumpa fruit, or pull one out of his ear.
  • Switch Crates and Nitro Switch Crates now count towards the crate count.
  • In the Atlasphere levels, players can see the bosses of the PS1 games as the obstacles.
  • On the back of the case, it says that Coco is playable for the "first time ever on foot", but she was playable on foot in Warped before riding Pura and was playable on foot in Crash Bash while in the Warp Room and the Crate Crush games.
  • In Arctic Antics and all other snow-themed levels, whenever Crash stands on the moving Bonus Platform, he will start shivering after a few seconds.
  • Wa-Wa is voiced by R. Lee Ermey, who is known for playing Gunnery Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket and Sergeant from Toy Story.
  • Py-Ro is voiced by Mark Hamill. Hamill is best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise and the voice of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, marking the first celebrity voice role of a character in Crash history.
  • Mark Hamill and Clancy Brown have also worked together as Joker and Lex Luthor respectively in several shows in the DC Animated Universe.
  • Lo-Lo was voiced by Jess Harnell who was once the voice of rival mascot Spyro the Dragon in Spyro: A Hero's Tail and Spyro: Shadow Legacy and is now the voice of Crash Bandicoot.
  • In Twinsanity, Cortex breaks the 4th wall by saying: "Well the past few year were rather slow, Wrath of Cortex didn't do as well as we'd hoped."
  • Coco is voiced by Debi Derryberry who also voices Jimmy Neutron in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the Little Green Men in the original Toy Story, and Pam in Cow and Chicken.
  • In Crash's house during the opening cutscene to the game, a ringtone-esque recording of the Wrath of Cortex theme plays in the GameCube version before Aku Aku makes his appearance. In the PS2 American version, the music does not play, however, it does in the European PS2 one.
  • In Tornado Alley, Coco can be heard saying "Looks like Neo's using them to make the tornadoes!" this marks the first and only time that Dr. Neo Cortex is mentioned by his first name.
  • This is the first Crash Bandicoot game ever to verbally mention Aku Aku's name.
  • The music published in the game does not loop smoothly. It only has a track with an end that loops. This is different from most video games who have the music loop in time with the beginning and the end.
  • On the NTSC PS2 version of the game, pressing SELECT as Crash grabs the stopwatch on Wizards and Lizards will teleport him to the end of the level. This does not work on any other level on the X-Box/GameCube versions or PAL PS2 versions of the game.
  • Many returning characters received a dramatic makeover; Pura has whiskers; Uka Uka and Cortex are shorter; Tiny's eyes show only pupils; Aku Aku got more feathers on the top of his head and is shaped like a trapezoid, instead of a rectangle.
  • Error: When Aku Aku arrives at Crash's house in the introduction, he opens the door, but players hear the door open about one second later.
  • In Crash Tag Team Racing, the first battle arena is called Jungle Rumble, possibly a reference to level 6 from this game.
  • Every chamber except the fifth and the hidden one has one level with a laboratory theme that represents the element of the boss. Compactor Reactor is a lab inside a cave and represents Rok-koH2 Oh No is an underwater lab and represents Wa-wa. Fahrenheit Frenzy is a lab inside a volcano and represents Py-roWeathering Heights is a lab inside a plane and represents Lo-lo.
  • Level 13 is titled Smokey and the Bandicoot. This is a reference to the movie Smokey and the Bandit.
  • Level 28 is titled Ice Station Bandicoot, which is a reference to the movie Ice Station Zebra.
  • Polar was originally going to have an appearance this game, but was cut for unknown reasons.
  • The game was originally going to be a free roam game. But the concept was scrapped but the free roam concept was put in Crash Twinsanity.

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