It’s a shame, then, that some of the level design choices don’t really pair up with the engine Toys for Bob has built this love-letter to 90s platforming games in. Loose and floaty physics, an abundance of different mechanics that often feel part-baked, and some design choices that feel sadistic – rather than simply difficult – leave this approach to Crash Bandicoot feeling less like a true sequel, and more like a licensed spin-off.
If you can break through the more sluggish and unenjoyable moments of the game, you’ll find an absolute gem of an action-RPG shining at the core, a promise of what Square Enix can do with role-playing games in this generation and generations to come.
Building on every aspect of Blind Forest – from art to music right the way through to level design and combat – this is a sequel worthy of celebration. In just two games, Moon Studios have proved itself to be one of the most creative, exciting and invaluable studios in Microsoft's wider roster – worthy of celebration alongside the masters and creators of the Metroidvania genre.