Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, known as Crash Bandicoot XS in Europe, is the first portable installment in the Crash Bandicoot series, developed by Vicarious Visions for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. While pared down and almost entirely a 2D platformer compared to the console series, the game was generally critically acclaimed, and is the highest rated original Crash Bandicoot game on Metacritic that wasn't developed by Naughty Dog.
Following Uka Uka's disappointment for Cortex having failed him again, Cortex promises he has a new plan that will not fail. He builds a Shrink Ray that minimizes the Earth down to the size of his hand, and it's up to Crash to try and stop him by collecting Crystals to power up Coco's machine that can reverse the shrinking effects.
Vicarious Visions followed The Huge Adventure with two sequels with the same basic gameplay: 2003's Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (basically a Mission-Pack Sequel with additional features such as gem shards and different levels), and 2004's Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage (a Spyro the Dragon Crossover with more mini-games), plus a handheld version of Crash Nitro Kart in between.
Tropes used in this game:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewer levels from Cortex Strikes Back are featured in this game.
- Advancing Wall of Doom:
- The snow levels have you outrunning a giant yeti; not only are you running towards the camera in this game like all the others, the camera is the farthest zoomed in it's ever been for these segments, making it quite difficult to react to things coming at you.
- The true final 'fight' against Mega-Mix requires you to use the Crash Dash (here called Turbo Run) in order to escape its clutches.
- Anachronism Stew: The enemies and song from Warped's future levels make a return in the space station levels, but no longer make any sense because this game isn't about Time Travel.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Just like in past games, this game will supply you with a free Aku Aku mask after enough failures. Unlike the past games, this game requires you to die a lot more before it gives you one.
- Backtracking: One of the space levels requires you to skip a life crate situated above some nitro crates barricaded by two walls, hit the green exclamation box at the end of the level, and backtrack to get the life crate. However, you can avoid having to do this if you sacrifice an Aku Aku mask on the nitros.
- Bag of Spilling: Crash retains absolutely none of the powers he obtained in Warped for this game. This would make it the second time this happened after Wrath of Cortex.
- Bears Are Bad News: Averted with Polar, who once again appears as a Power-Up Mount for Crash in the ice levels, but played straight with the bigger polar bears, who went from an Advancing Wall of Doom in the second game to a minor enemy in this one.
- Bonus Stage: The bonus stages from Cortex Strikes Back and Warped return here, with the difficulty of them ramped up pretty significantly.
- Camera Screw: The game is heavily accused of suffering from this, with the camera being way too zoomed in to see what is coming up.
- Crate Expectations: It's a Crash game, what did you expect?
- Cut-and-Paste Environments: All of the game's set pieces are taken from either Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back or Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, which you probably figured out by reading just up to this point. The game makes a heavier use of 2's environments, but Crash 3 elements still crop up here and there.
- Demoted to Extra: Despite having been previously playable in Warped and Wrath of Cortex, Crash's sister Coco gets downgraded to an NPC in this game.
- Fusion Dance: Mega-Mix, an accidental example.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The bosses are significantly easier than the levels that surround them, mostly sticking to very predictable and easy to dodge patterns.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: More like Incredible Shrinking Planet. This of course means that practically all of the gameplay stays in proportion with Crash.
- Jet Pack: Particularly unusually, this game not only brings back the jet pack from Crash 2, it uses it in a Crash 3 set piece (that is, the airplane levels).
- Jungle Japes: The jungle levels from Cortex Strikes Back appear here.
- The Many Deaths of You: Keeping in par with the Crash tradition.
- Market-Based Title: As mentioned, this game is called Crash Bandicoot XS in Europe(which stands for "Xtra Small").
- Power-Up Mount: Polar makes a return in this game.
- Put on a Bus: Dr. Nefarious Tropy is the only major character from Warped to be absent. The sequel uses this as part of its setup.
- Recycled Soundtrack: As with the Cut-and-Paste Environments, all of this game's music is recycled from 2 and 3.
- Shrink Ray: What sets the plot in motion.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The ice levels from Cortex Strikes Back are featured here.
- Sprint Shoes: This becomes an obtainable power after beating the final boss. Again.
- Time Trial: The relics return yet again for this game.
- True Final Boss: Mega-Mix, an accidental Fusion Dance consisting of all 4 bosses in the game. Though it's more of a chase than a boss fight.
- Under the Sea: The underwater levels from Warped make an appearance here.