Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, released in Europe as Crash Bandicoot XS and in Japan as Crash Bandicoot Advance, is a platform game published by Universal Interactive Studios (along with Konami in the Japanese release) and developed by Vicarious Visions for the Game Boy Advance. It was released in North America on February 25, 2002, in Europe on March 15, 2002 and in Japan on July 18, 2002.
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure is the seventh installment in the Crash Bandicoot video game series and the first Crash Bandicoot game to be released on a handheld console. The game acts as alternate sequel to the first four games, along with N-Tranced for the same platform. The game's story centers on a plot to shrink the Earth by the main antagonist, Doctor Neo Cortex, through the use of a gigantic weapon named the "Planetary Minimizer". The protagonist of the story, Crash Bandicoot, must gather Crystals in order to power a device that will return the Earth to its proper size, defeating Doctor Cortex and his minions along the way.
The game stemmed from an agreement between Universal Interactive Studios and Konami that enabled them to produce and publish (respectively) a Crash Bandicoot game for next-generation handheld game systems, ending the franchise's exclusivity to Sony-produced consoles. Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure received generally favorable reviews from critics. The game was praised for its graphics and overall design, but critics noted the game's lack of innovation.
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure is a platform game in which the player controls Crash Bandicoot, who must gather 20 Crystals and reverse the shrinkage of the Earth at the hands of Doctor Neo Cortex, the main antagonist of the story. Much of the game takes place in a series of hubs, from which Crash can teleport to various areas of the Earth. Initially, only the first of four hubs is available for play. Each hub features five levels and a boss level. The goal in each level is to find and obtain a hidden Crystal
After completing all five levels in a hub, the boss level must be completed, in which Crash must defeat the boss character guarding the area. By defeating the boss, a new hub will be accessible for play. When all 20 Crystals are collected and the Earth has been enlarged to its proper size, the game is won.
Besides Crystals, Gems and Colored Gems can be collected for extra accomplishment. 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 must initiate the "Time Trial" mode and race through a level in the pre-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 is 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.Sapphire, Gold and Platinum Relics can be won depending on the player's final time.
At the beginning of the game, Crash has the ability to jump to navigate ledges, spin in a tornado-like fashion to break open crates and defeat enemies, deliver a body slam to break open tough objects and can either slide across the ground or crouch and crawl to get past low areas. Crash can expand on these abilities by defeating boss characters, often resulting in more powerful attacks or increased jumping and running prowess.
Crash starts the game with five lives. Crash loses a life when he is struck by an enemy attack or suffers any other type of damage. More lives can be earned by instructing Crash to collect 100 "Wumpa Fruits" or break open a special crate to collect a life. Crash can be shielded from enemy attack by collecting an Aku Aku mask. Collecting three of these masks allows temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers.