These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Badass Decay: Crunch is a justified example. He makes his entrance in Wrath of Cortex as a gruff, musclebound and defiant Evil Counterpart to Crash who can change into powerful elemental forms in his debut in Wrath of Cortex. After being broken out of Cortex's mind control and forsaking his powers, Crunch spends the rest of the series attempting to atone for his past villainy by being a positive role model to children. However, his fashion of doing so by way of inserting bits of advice into his own dialogue (i.e. "Eat your greens!" and "Mow the lawn when your parents ask you!") more often than not comes off as awkward and haphazard.
Tiny Tiger. Tiny started out as an angry, roaring monster who talked in Hulk Speak. As time went on, they started showing off his stupidity more for comical moments, such as in Crash Nitro Kart. And then in Crash of the Titans, he somehow transformed into a Bengal Tiger from a Tasmanian Tiger, got his intelligence upped, and began acting like a campy Mike Tyson knock-off who idolizes Crash, and only attacks him because he's hired to do so.
And, of course, Cortex. He goes from creating an army that would destroy the world, to being sacked by Uka Uka and replaced by his own niece. He regained a bit of his reputation in Mind Over Mutant, where he took revenge on them both and claimed the role of Big Bad once again, but still maintains a much more demented disposition throughout it all.
Broken Base: The fandom. Oh, dear God, the fandom. There are the fans who refuse to acknowledge any of the games not made by Naughty Dog and hate the later games, the fans who embrace the series as a whole, and those who only like the newer games and constantly hate on the Naughty Dog games.
And the fans who love the Naughty Dog games, but believe the series steadily declined in quality after it was sold.
Critical Dissonance: Given their poor fan reception, it may be a surprise to hear that Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant were given generally positive reviews from critics, and that the games won industry awards for their writing.
But Wait, There's More!... Josh Mancell has outdone himself more than once, but what may be his greatest Crowning Moment of Awesome is when he composed "more-videogame-like" (as they had to be) tracks for the Japanese version of the first game (these) withinONEeffin' day!
The boss themes in the original Crash Bandicoot were also pretty damn good, especially Papu Papu's. Too bad he's easy as hell.
Demonic Spiders: Bats showed up in later levels of the original Crash Bandicoot game in one of those really tricky, walls coming-in-and-out and floor-disappearing at random moments, side scrolling levels. Fortunately, these enemies were pretty much limited to the game's Scrappy Levels.
Sludges in Crash of the Titans. They are fast, do tons of damage, and do a near-impossible to avoid counterattack nearly every time you hit them, and they usually come in groups.
Battlers are also a pain in the behind, as they constantly block, come in large groups, and have a very powerful special attack which they love to spam.
TKs in Crash: Mind Over Mutant. They have ranged attacks which are impossible to avoid, a annoying melee attack that they are invincible while using and has a large area of effect, and can throw you off your titan.
Die for Our Ship: The moment Pasadena made a cutesy comment at Crash in Crash Tag Team Racing, all hellfire was unleashed in the fandom. Tawna finally reappearing the following game after (officially stated to have a fondness for Pinstripe) didn't help.
Discredited Meme: In Mind over Mutant, Cortex chastizes his minions for forcing "i can haz cheezburger", calling it a stupid meme. Guess he's not fond of Lolcats.
Dingodile is considerably popular thanks to his intro and being one of the few of Cortex's mooks who's not (as much of) an idiot.
Crunch Bandicoot is very popular, despite having no major role in the games since The Wrath of Cortex. The only reason he's even in Crash Twinsanity is because the fans begged for him to be put in.
Cortex is also very popular, and was also due to get his own game, Cortex Chaos, also featuring other villains from the series, but it currently seems to have been put on hold or even canceled altogether. Shame...
Most of the other villains are also incredibly popular, especially Brio, N. Gin and Tropy.
The scriptwriters for the post-Wrath Crash games; while the character has faded from mainstream popularity, the series' later entries actually won several industry awards for writing.
Fandom Berserk Button: Calling the wumpa fruits "apples" or "peaches" is the bane of any Crash fan's existence.
Although in Japan they are officially called apples.
Game Breaker: N. Gin in Tag Team Racing has the single most overpowered weapon in the game. It wipes out almost everyone in one or two hits, and is pretty much a guaranteed win if you're doing Rolling Thunder, where it's pretty hard not to go way above the requirement. If you're doing multiplayer and someone picks him, don't expect to do well.
The Lab Assistants. It's revealed in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped that they're all robots, but they look human by Crash standards in the first game. Their only means of attack (apart from standing there) in one level is to run at Crash with arms outstretched, occasionally generating electricity between their hands. It doesn't help that they return in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, some assimilated into Borg-like space warriors, and the only way to beat them is to push them into a fire shield - and their standard cry is eerily cut off as they evaporate.
You like that cute polar bear you get to ride in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back? Play the level Un-Bearable and you get to see what it's like to run away from its older, bigger, stronger pissed-off cousins. For more fun, let one of them crush you and you'll get a close-up view of it grinning with all its teeth showing.
The Mount Grimly theme in Crash: Mind over Mutant is extremely dark compared to the rest of the otherwise cheery and upbeat soundtrack.
(The "Generator Room" level in the first game is particularly Nightmare Fuel-laden. Imagine an enormous, black space with exhaust pipes pumping what appeared to be black gas into the room, metallic platforms hanging over what appeared to be an infinite, dark void, and video screens brandishing a dead-eyed version of Doctor Neo Cortex's face throughout the area. The incredibly eerie and offsetting music does not help at all.)
The in-game theme for "Slippery Climb" may be creepy, but the pre-console version makes things even more eerie.
The ending of Warped: Neo Cortex and N. Tropy are transformed into babies and stranded on a floating chunk of land, with spewing hot gases, in the middle of nowhere... It may look funny the first time you see it (what with them playing tug-of-war with Uka Uka), but when you think about it...
Much of the first game counts, especially the second half where the difficulty level starts ramping up. It's hard to explain in text, but the eerie, minimalistic music, increasingly bizarre enemies, and levels that in many cases look like they were imported from a horror movie (such as the Generator Room level mentioned above) all combine to give the game an oddly creepy feel.
Scrappy Mechanic: While Coco herself is a fairly popular character with fans, her playable appearances (which mostly play as a weaker variant of Crash) tend to be rather underwelming. Fixed somewhat in Mind Over Mutant even if you have to activate (and/or deactivate) the game's co-op mode to play as her, and playing the story makes a lot less sense.
That One Boss: Wa-Wa the Water Elemental in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Doctor Nefarious Tropy in Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Doctor Neo Cortex in ' 'Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Madame Amberly in Crash Twinsanity, Uka Uka in Crash of the Titans''.
No, not Madame Amberly. That One Boss for Crash Twinsanity would be Dingodile. God knows there are enough complaints about it...
Wa-Wa is actually not that hard to defeat, but people probably complain about it because the strategy to beating him can be seen as a Violation of Common Sense: You have to move towards him, avoiding his attacks and spin attack the monster that's three times taller than Crash.
In the Prototype version of the game, Sunset Vista was even longer, bats and those moving blocks that crush you moved more quickly, and there were moving candle/torch platforms that could light up at any moment...
"Fumbling In The Dark", which is basically "Lights Out" if it had the same difficulty as "Sunset Vista." Dozens of pendulums and platforms, various thin platforms you can jump past if you aren't careful, and spiders you have to jump on in order to cross certain gaps. Even "Sunset Vista" was kind enough to give the player no less than five checkpoints; "Fumbling In The Dark" only has three. Even if you know all the traps and tricks to beating the level, chances are you'll die anyway because you jinxed yourself into jumping too soon/too late/too far/not far enough.
Tomb levels in Warped.
Both Tomb Time and Sphynxinator are somewhat hard, but rather acceptable given your progress: Tomb Time is only a bit harder than the other stages in the second world while Sphynxinator is very hard. However, the real offender is Tomb Wader, that just has to be one of the most difficult levels in the game, even considering the final tomb level, Bug Lite, that is set during nighttime. Simply put, Tomb Wader keeps filling the place with water (and we all know the way Crash deals with it by now) and emptying it back again. That level basically takes the S out of Scrappy Level.
Also, to get the crate gem in Tomb Time, you had to backtrack. We all know how fun that is... The same goes for Diggin' It (and possibly Piston it Away) from Crash 2. In fact, most levels that feature backtracking can be That One Level.
Each of the racing games have theirs:
Crash Team Racing has Papu's Pyramid, N. Gin Labs and Hot Air Skyway (although that is made easier with the shortcut).
Crash Nitro Kart has Clockwork Wumpa and Hyper Spaceway, with an honorable mention to Thunder Struck.
Crash Tag Team Racing has Rings of Uranus, Uranus Mines... in fact, all of Astro Land is irritating. Particularly Rings of Uranus, where the time trial crystal almost requires tool-assist.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The general opinion of the Crash games after Crash Team Racing, although the newer games are gradually getting better reviews.
They Copied It, So It Sucks: Crash Bash and Crash Boom Bang! are considered to be bad Mario Party clones by many. Also, Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex are often seen as watered-down PlayStation 2 versions of Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot: Warped respectively.
They Just Didn't Care: The plot of Crash Tag Team Racing is very much this. Aside from making little sense by itself, the plotline has practically nothing to do with Crash aside from having several returning characters in it . The plot also ignores some things previously established in the series by having several Talking Animal characters running around for no reason whereas all the animal characters in the series are supposed to have been experimented upon and mutated by Cortex and other scientists. Oddly, the game seems to inspire less They Changed It, Now It Sucks complaints than Radical's later games, Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind over Mutant, which are in every way much more faithful to the series.
This is arguably owed to the Radical games following a Rule of Funny depiction much more than the earlier titles. Titans is slightly more story-centric though Mind Over Mutant takes the random comedy Up to Eleven. All three games have met critism for such changes however, especially concerning the redesigns of the cast.
Dr. Neo Cortex in today's games is nowhere near as malicious and sinister as his Naughty Dog depictions were. He and most of the other Doctors (notably N.Gin) are also a lot less intelligent and a lot more comical for a bunch of mad scientists now.
Played with in Mind Over Mutant. He's just as campy and deranged as ever, if not more so, but in terms of role, he takes revenge on his trecherous niece, overthrows and humilates his abusive boss and pulls an effective Not-So-Harmless Villain moment one on one fight with Crash, not to mention, lack of pants aside, makes a clean escape, avoiding his usual end of game Humiliation Conga.
Of all the antagonists from the Naughty Dog trilogy, N. Tropy is one who didn't suffer Villain Decay. And if anything remained enough of a threat as the series went on that Uka Uka chose him to replace Cortex in N-Tranced. Both this and Tropy's characterization through the series as a Knight of Cerebus might have played a part in Tropy's absence in the Radical Entertainment games.
Boring but Practical: The relics from Warped onwards, recycled jewelry game after game. We're introduced to them in Warped. Essentially shaped like ancient Egyptian ankhs, as rewards for the time trials, specifically because of the whole time context of that very game (so the idea of lost Egyptian relics in the past, rewarded for time trials fits). Ok, sure, great. But Wrath of Cortex, XS, CTR, Bash have nothing to do with time within the story (N Tranced may be let off, as it has Warped's levels, and N Tropy is the Dragon-in-Chief), so it doesn't make sense that ancient relics based off Egyptian ankhs keep popping up. But the time trial modes are a great addition to the series, they increase playability, they add new challenges, and provide good use for the speed powerup after beating the final boss, so why not eh?