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DS

North America

Crash of the Titans

by Zachary Miller - October 26, 2007, 11:25 am PDT
Total comments: 9

7.5

I guess he's wearing jeans now.

Well, folks, like the mythical phoenix of olden times, Crash Bandicoot has risen from the ashes once again to take the form of "Crash of the Titans," a fully 3D adventure for the DS. I understand that a Wii version is also available. Having not played the console counterpart, however, I cannot comment on the accuracy of its translation to DS. The gist is that Crash of the Titans is a basic platformer with lots of tedious combat and an interesting gimmick. The plot is not entirely clear, but Crash’s old nemesis, Dr. Neo Cortex, has captured the mystical mask spirits of Wumpa Island, and he intends to use their energies to power his giant disco robot, the Cortexbot. Crash isn’t about to let that happen, no sir, and with some help from Coco Bandicoot and Aku Aku, a mask you save during the game’s opening sequence, Crash will bring Cortex down, using the very mutants he’s created to stop you.

I will say right off the bat that I don’t like the storyline, which is not told very well. What, exactly is Neo Cortex going to do with a giant disco robot? Why can’t he just use a couple of D batteries to power it up? Why is there a horrible laugh track during the cut-scenes? And why does that laugh occur in places where no joke has been told? Perhaps I’m simply unfamiliar with the franchise’s sense of humor (the only other Crash game I played was the PSOne Naughty Dog original), but I kept longing for a way to skip the entire cut-scene—not just the spoken dialogue. Yes, by the way, there’s spoken dialogue, and it’s fairly impressive, but it adds nothing to the story.

But it’s really the gameplay that saves "Crash of the Titans." Essentially it’s a collect-a-thon-platformer-brawler, and that’s a good thing. Crash can double-jump, punch, kick, and dodge (like in God of War!). Whenever Crash stuns an enemy through asskickery, he can "jack" them by slapping Aku Aku on the critter’s face. Crash now controls the enemy, who can do useful things like attack other enemies and, in the case of larger creatures, destroy large boxes and travel through water and/or lava. This gimmick works, thanks to the wide variety of creatures you can overtake. While it’s true that the enemy types boil down into half a dozen wireframes with different skins applied, and, honestly, the small enemies all have basically the same attack while the larger enemies have maybe three different attacks, possessing your attacker is always fun and useful. And while small critters can’t take the pummeling that big bruisers can, it’s always better to let a monster take the hits than Crash, who dies way too quickly from exposure to fists and feet. The same enemies also tend to get stronger later in the game, which feels kind of cheap and, at times, can be extremely frustrating.

Amaze Entertainment, the developers of this game, tried to incorporate the touch screen as much as possible, but because you use the D-pad for movement and the ABXY buttons for jumping, punching, and kicking, actual touch screen interaction is awkward and, happily, not required. Ideally, you would "flick" the Aku Aku icon in the middle of the touch screen toward a stunned enemy in order to jack it. Just press B instead. With many enemy attacks, you can either press a big button on the touch screen (labeled "attack") or just press B. The most compelling attacks, though, come in the form of blowing into the DS microphone, which is actually fun (or you can just press B). When traveling to a different island, you must draw Crash’s destination on the touch screen, sort of like in Phantom Hourglass but without the intuitiveness. The game doesn’t always register your drawn path, so it may take several tries to successfully start Crash on his boat ride.

While "Crash of the Titans" encourages exploration in order to find all doo-dads in every stage, the extremely linear level layouts inhibit that goal. Crash has several goals in each area, aside from merely getting to the end of the course. He must destroy all the crates in a stage, find a required amount of Mojo (wrought from defeated enemies and also found sitting around, like coins in Mario). Should Crash find the time, he can invest in bronze, silver, and gold masks, as well. And after beating a course, Crash can try a special event, which generally involves navigating a course by way of touch screen. Completing all the goals in a level nets you a gem. There are four gems in each level, and I can’t imagine what happens when you collect all the gems in the game. So you collect lots of things in order to collect other things. That’s deep.

At any rate, collecting Mojo doo-dads allows Crash to upgrade his move set, health, defense, etc. These are not skills you will need for the game. I shudder to think how utterly powerful Crash’s kick would be at the highest attack level, but it’s pointless to imagine such a scenario, as most of your fighting will done on the back of a gorilla-like creature, whose own moves cannot be upgraded. And really, you can beat all the levels and all the bosses with minimal effort. This is not a difficult game. In fact, I beat it in about three hours. Of course, I didn’t collect every little thing.

At the end of the day, Crash of the Titans is a mediocre game with some interesting ideas. Crash Bandicoot fans should enjoy it, but gamers looking for a decent platformer on their DS should look elsewhere.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 6.5 8 7 7 7.5
Graphics
7

Can’t fault the 3D look, but I would have liked to have seen more varied environments and more distinct enemy type wireframes instead of more skins.

Sound
6.5

Gotta love the hammy voice acting. The music is less than inspiring and fades rather quickly into the background.

Control
8

This score would’ve been much lower, were I forced to use the touch screen instead of the B button during combat. The only place I can really fault the control is when making precarious platform jumps—it’s tough to tell how far I should be jumping.

Gameplay
7

It’s over before you know it, but Crash of the Titans manages to keep you on your toes, and even though you’ll find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, it never seems dull. There’s nothing quite like riding a gigantic sphinx and crushing fools with your giant stone fists.

Lastability
7

If you want to find all the gems, you’ll be playing through stages several times to try to find all the required doohinkies and whatchamacallits. Also, if you have Crash or Spyro GBA games, try sticking them in the DS’s GBA slot before you turn Crash of the Titans on. You might get a bonus or two.

Final
7.5

Crash of the Titans gets the job done well, but the job doesn’t last very long, and the employees tend to get repetitive motion injuries. That is to say, it’s a short game that has very little gameplay variety. Crash fans will eat it up, though, and younger gamers who like to collect ‘em all will certainly get their fill.

Summary

Pros
  • Good looking, genuine 3D graphics that are colorful and distinct
  • "Jacking" is an interesting concept
  • The gameplay is exciting and fast-moving
Cons
  • Crash looks nothing like an actual bandicoot
  • Despite the interesting gameplay, there is very little variety
  • The environments and enemy types all blend together
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

shammackOctober 26, 2007

Crash of the Titans as good as Phantom Hourglass: CONFIRMED

Insane score comparison in the first post, I'm impressed.

shammackOctober 26, 2007

I'm just trying to illustrate the absurdity of the point system.

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
I'm just trying to illustrate the absurdity of the point system.


IAWTP

Look everybody! I just learned a new acronym!

But seriously NWR, are you guys the new IGN?

GoldenPhoenixOctober 26, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
Crash of the Titans as good as Phantom Hourglass: CONFIRMED


The sad thing is that it probably is.

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
Crash of the Titans as good as Phantom Hourglass: CONFIRMED


The sad thing is that it probably is.


I played BOTH games. I can categorically confirm that this is NOT TRUE.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterOctober 26, 2007

Well, you liked Alien Syndrome. SO THERE! :p

GoldenPhoenixOctober 26, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Kairon
Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
Crash of the Titans as good as Phantom Hourglass: CONFIRMED


The sad thing is that it probably is.


I played BOTH games. I can categorically confirm that this is NOT TRUE.


Ok well maybe CB is better.

GoldenPhoenix, look at one of your quotes back from the dead, from the Alien Syndrome thread:

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: Kairon
Ah, but I don't think that therat is using the IGN or NWR game scale now is he?


Yeah he would probably give the best game in the world a 7.5 face-icon-small-smile.gif


I think you were very prescient, but a little misdirected... *looks at NWR's PH score*

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Crash of the Titans Box Art

Genre
Developer

Worldwide Releases

na: Crash of the Titans
Release Oct 02, 2007
PublisherVivendi Games
RatingEveryone

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