Crush PSP Review - 26/07/2007

Few truly original gems shine when one takes a glance at the titles available for Sony’s handheld and these are buried underneath the numerous, mindless PS2 ports. Fortunately, with the arrival of Crush, PSP owners have a reason to rejoice as another truly innovative title emerges to challenge the likes of LocoRoco and Lumines for the title of “The best game on PSP”.

Crush is perfectly poised for handheld gaming with the controls being mapped perfectly, taking into account the lack of a second stick and overcoming it, as well as adding bite sized levels, great for on the go gaming. The idea behind Crush is that the main character is suffering from insomnia and consults a doctor to cure him. The doctor then introduces him to a machine called C.R.U.S.H, which will allow him to enter his dreams so as to cure his insomnia. Upon entering his dreams, the objective of the game is to collect a number of marbles so as to open the exit so that you can progress to the next level.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well it isn’t! The levels are completely spread out and some platforms are completely detached from each other, making it impossible to get to them. This is where “crushing” comes into play. Depending on what angle the camera is facing (this can be manipulated by pressing the directional buttons) you press the L button and the level is suddenly “crushed”, changing the game from 3D to 2D perspective, allowing you to reach the previously impossible areas of the level. This idea is brilliant and is fun to experiment with, however simple it might sound.

Apart from the challenge of having to “crush” the level to get to all the marbles, you also have giant cockroaches to deal with in the latter levels that you can squash by “crushing” the level in a certain way. As well as that the levels will become more and more complex as you progress through the game, with the addition of movable balls and giant rubbish bins that you have to move to get to certain areas. As well as the marbles that you have to collect there is also a piece of a puzzle in each level that you can collect to unlock things like concept art, and a trophy in each level which you can collect to unlock trophy mode for that level.

As far as longevity goes, Crush isn’t a mammoth game but it isn’t short either. With all the things to collect, the different levels and the trophy mode to contend with, it will keep you going for quite a while. Furthermore, some of the levels are truly challenging and will take quite a while to get through. This might make the game better for some people if they like a challenge, but for others it might put them off because they will get frustrated with not being able to solve the level and just give up.

Crush is a beacon of light and originality in the sea of uninspiring PS2 ports, and although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I would recommend trying it as it definitely is a great game. Time to dust off your PSP as Crush is definitely worth a look at and ranks up there with the best games on the console, pure fun and teeming with originality.

- Alex Goodenough



Zoe Mode