Broken Base: Practically everything about this game tends to incite highly variable reactions, particularly the character redesigns (especially Tiny) and the greater focus on combat. Some people find the game itself pretty good, great even, but not exactly as a Crash Bandicoot title due to how many liberties the game takes with the series.
Critical Dissonance: Extremely polarizing among Crash fans, especially long-timers, but it was one of the better received games critically in some time.
Critical Research Failure: Some fans theorize the reason Radical Entertainment decided to change Tiny from a tazmanian tiger to a siberian tiger is because the studio never actually heard of a tazmanian "thylacine" tiger before, and actually thought Tiny was a siberian tiger. Whether this is actually the case or not is debatable.
Nathan: Eh, no, but I'm sure they don't wear sneakers.
The Scrappy: Tiny's reworking, probably the most drastic one, is also far and away the most hated due to the fact he was changed into a totally different character altogether that many did not find as charming as his old Dumb Muscle appearances. He is the only character in this game that does not physically appear in Crash: Mind Over Mutant, only having a voice role in the credits in that game. Not only is this commonly pointed out when discussing characterization issues in the Radical Entertainment games, even people who like them admit they don't like their take on Tiny.
Scrappy Mechanic: There is one massive problem with the titans - they can't jump. Mind Over Mutant fixed this.
That One Boss: In the console versions, Uka Uka, the second-to-last boss. He fires volleys of shots at Crash, who is usually trying to fight (or run from) Ee-lectrics and Battlers. Combined with his quick healing rate makes it extremely difficult to stun him.
The Woobie: While Crash is usually an Iron Woobie, this is among the few times he's shown visibly distressed, spending the entire game fretting over his captured sister. Surprisingly for a Crash title (and a Radical era one at that) it's not all Played for Laughs either.
YMMV examples for the portable version:
Anti-Climax Boss: The final boss itself. It only has a single attack which can be easily blocked, so the fight usually devolves into holding the Block button and throwing a few punches around until it exposes its weak point.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Each boss fight ends with a cutscene that gives it a satisfying closure. N. Gin's missile activates and sends him flying into the distance, Tiny is knocked off from his Armydillo into the pit below, and Nina glares at Crash before deciding that stopping her uncle should be top priority. And then there's Dingodile, who inexplicably spins around and vanishes like a ghost. This can't even be explained by time constraints or the console's limitations, as making him run away after his defeat would not only be easier to animate but would make MUCH more sense in context.
Cult Classic: The DS version, while not as exposed as the main console version, tends to get less polarising treatment from fans of the series, due to utilising more platformer elements and references to the classic series.
The enemies are fairly non-aggressive, only attacking at regular intervals and rarely ever utilizing their more threatening special moves.
Anything bigger than the Crash-sized Titans can survive a substantial amount of blows and stun opponents before they themselves can be taken down. Even if they are injured, Crash can simply jack into another Titan or use an item to restore their health to full and continue the onslaught.
Crash himself is a Glass Cannon, but can make up for his shortcomings by obtaining healing items and upgrading his health and defense at Coco's shop.
The game comes packed with cheats that can be obtained at the Pachinko minigame. Every single one of these breaks an already easy game in half.
It's Short, So It Sucks!: The DS version has a total of 9 levels and 4 bosses. A player who does not care about 100% Completion can breeze through it in under 2 hours.
The levels where Crash rides the Pandebra are entirely optional, but also one of the most fun parts of the game. It helps that it acts as a throwback to the Polar levels from Cortex Strikes Back.
The Pachinko minigame is almost always a waste of the Mojo that would be better spent upgrading Crash's skills, but this doesn't stop it from being really addicting.
Special Effect Failure: While the game's graphics are fairly solid for a DS title, the same cannot be said for the cutscenes. Characters keep cycling through the same two poses when delivering their lines and the animation looks really choppy. Nowhere is this more evident than in the cutscene where Cortex escapes Nina, as he activates a trap door into a room below, but falls in his standard, hands on hips pose, in an unrealistically slow manner.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The DS version is the first Crash game on a Nintendo handheld since the reviled Crash Boom Bang, but has been fairly well-received. It got better scores from professional critics than its console counterpart, and fans claim that, despite the heavier emphasis on combat, it still holds true to Crash's platforming roots.
That One Boss: After two fairly straightforward bosses, Tiny Tiger can be a surprising challenge. His gimmick is that both him and Crash fight by riding Armydillos and try to push each other out of the arena. Tiny will chase Crash for a bit, then retreat into a corner, giving the player the chance to build up momentum and knock him into the pit below. Problem is, he can and will position himself in one of the corners behind the camera, forcing the player to guess where he is hiding and hope they can guide their own Armydillo to it. Miss and Crash will fall into the pit below, leading to a Game Over. This fight's two saving graces are that Tiny's placement during vulnerability periods is randomized at every attempt, and you only need to knock him out once to end the battle.