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Overview  

Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure (known as Crash Bandicoot: XS in Europe), the first game in the series to be released on a handheld console, came out on February 25, 2002. The game was developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Universal Interactive. The Huge Adventure is a result of an agreement between Universal Interactive and Konami, making it the first game in the series to not be released on a Sony console. 

Upon the game's initial announcement, the Game Boy Color was included as a platform, but that was dropped in favor of only the next-generation handheld. The Huge Adventure also went through several name changes during its development. Originally, it was titled Crash Bandicoot Advance, then Crash Bandicoot X/S (similar to the European title), as well as Crash Bandicoot: The Big Adventure. The game was praised for being fairly technically impressive for a Game Boy Advance game. Crash's animation alone has over 1000 frames of animation.

The Huge Adventure was a fairly well-received game upon its initial release. The game has an average of 79% according to GameRankings, and an average of 78% according to Metacritic. Critics praised the game's high graphical detail, but criticized the game's difficulty and length.

Plot 

 Cortex uses the Planetary Minimizer.
The Huge Adventure centers around an evil plot by Doctor Neo Cortex (Crash's nemesis) to shrink the Earth using his Planetary Minimizer. When Crash discovers the shrunken planet, he, his sister Coco, and his friend Aku Aku decide to gather several powerful Crystals in order to reverse the effects of the Planetary Minimizer. After beating all of the game's 20 main levels (as well as the game's other three bosses), Crash faces off against Cortex, tricking him into destroying his own Crystals.

However, the real ending doesn't happen unless the player has managed to collect all of the Relics and Gems (secret items hidden in each level). After the player manages to collect all of these, Cortex can be fought again, this time to permanently destroy the Planetary Minimizer, eliminating any threat of planets ever being shrunk again.

Gameplay 

 Crash activates a Bonus zone.
There are three level types in Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure--traditional side-scrolling, side-scrolling underwater levels, and behind the back shooting stages (similar to Space Harrier). Additionally, some sequences of the side-scrolling levels have "chase" sequences, where Crash runs towards the screen away from a large monster.

Each level type has similarities and differences. Both side-scrolling types are nearly identical, save for the absence of Bonus sequences from the underwater level, and the ability to move anywhere throughout the water. The behind the back shooting stages have a slightly different goal. Rather than attempting to reach the end of the level, there are three large airships that Crash must destroy to end the level, appearing at certain intervals depending on the stage.

 Underwater levels give Crash free range of movement.
The equivalent to Mario's coins in Crash Bandicoot are the Wumpa Fruits. Collecting 100 of these grants Crash and extra life. They can be found either floating or inside of crates, of which there are several types. Crates are found in all three of the level varieties, although in slightly different forms depending on the stage. Crates may also contain Aku Aku, who allows Crash to be hit once without dying (multiple Aku Aku masks grant temporary invincibility).

Each section of The Huge Adventure has five levels and one boss level. After finishing the boss level, the player unlocks Crash's next ability. He starts with only a spin attack, but later earns the ability to perform a body slam, a double jump, a tornado spin, and a turbo run. These abilities are required in order to complete later stages, as well as collecting secret items hidden throughout the game.

The central goal of The Huge Adventure is to collect all 20 of the Crystals. Normally appearing near the end of each level (save for the behind the back stages, where they are automatically collected), all 20 Crystals are required in order to finish the game. There are also other secret items and collectibles, some of which are not available until Crash has a certain ability. Players can find Relics (for completing levels in a certain time) and Gems (secret items hidden in almost every level).

Levels 

There are 20 levels in Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure. Initially, only five are available to play, and upon the completion of those another five is unlocked (and so on). Each grouping of five can be played in any order, and upon the completion of that five, a boss level is unlocked.

  • Jungle Jam  
  • Shipwrecked  
  • Temple of Boom  
  • Frostbite Cavern  
  • Just in Slime  
  • Boss Level: Dingodile 

 The shooting stages task Crash with destroying several blimps.
  • Snow Crash  
  • Rocket Racket  
  • Just Hangin'  
  • Shark Attack  
  • Ruined  
  • Boss Level: Doctor N. Gin 

  • Snow Job  
  • Ace of Space  
  • Sunken City  
  • Down the Hole  
  • Blimp Bonanza  
  • Boss Level: Tiny Tiger 

 Some levels have portions similar to this.
  • Star to Finish  
  • Air Supply  
  • No-Fly Zone  
  • Drip, Drip, Drip  
  • Final Countdown  
  • Boss Level: Doctor Neo Cortex 

Crate Types 

  • Normal Crate - These crates are simply crates. They can be broken with any attack, and typically contain Wumpa Fruits.  
  • Mystery Crate - Mystery Crates have a question mark painted on them. They can be broken by any attack, and contain five Wumpa Fruits.  
  • Crash Crate - These crates have a picture of Crash's face on the front of them. They contain extra lives. This is also one of many items that can be found in the Slot Crate.  
  • Checkpoint Crate - This crate has the capital letter C painted on it, signifying a checkpoint. They are found in every type of level.
     A stack of crates.
  • Aku Aku Crate - Similar to Crash Crates, these have Aku Aku's mask on the front. It allows Crash to be hit once without dying.
  • TNT Crate - These crates, once touched, count down from three before exploding and destroying anything within its range.  
  • Nitro Crate - Similar to TNT Crates, Nitro Crates do not have a countdown. They immediately explode upon being touched.  
  • Strong Crate - These crates are similar to Normal Crates, except they can only be destroyed by Crash's body slam move.  
  • Spring Crate - These crates have an upward facing arrow painted on them. They give Crash a higher jump, but they can be destroyed. Another variety, the Bouncy Block, is metal, and cannot be destroyed.  
  • Time Crate - These are found only in time trial levels. Each one has a number painted on it (either one, two, or three), and stops the clock for that amount of time.    

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