52 Weeks of Canadian Gaming - Week 21
Crash of the Titans
Release Date: October 04, 2007
Developer: Radical Entertainment
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Reviewed by: Brian Wray
I had initially planned on playing Dark Sector this week but…does this sound familiar? For the second week in a row, I opted to change my game of the week for something else. The reason for this is simple, I want to give Dark Sector a full 7 days of gaming and the past two weeks my busy schedule did not allow this. In the place of Dark Sector I played Crash of the Titans by Vancouver based Radical Entertainment.
I may date myself here, but I can remember when Crash Bandicoot was the mascot for the PlayStation brand, competing directly against Sega’s blue hedgehog and Nintendo’s plumber. Master Chief had yet to see the light of day. Oh how times have changed.
Crash of the Titans is the near latest game in the long line of Crash Bandicoot games. Crash is once again trying to fowl up the plans of the evil Doctor Neo Cortex, save his sister Coco and save his home, Wumpa Island. Crash will have the aid of Aku Aku, a magical sentient mask, to assist him to complete his quest. Aku Aku will provide Crash with much needed advise, act as a shield or skateboard depending on the scenario.
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The story may not differ much from previous games, but the gameplay certainly has. Worry not, Crash of the Titans is still a platformer, but this time there is stronger emphasis on fighting. In previous titles Crash always used his jumping and spinning capabilities to defeat enemies. That was fine for regular enemies, but Cortex has created powerful enemies know as titans so Crash will need to use his new ability to “jack” (or take control of) these titans. To jack a titan, Crash needs only weaken it to the point it becomes stunned and then jump on the titan’s back or shoulder (using the B button). With weaker titans, this is easily achieved with a few simple punches, but more powerful titans will require a greater number of punches and some are even be immune to Crash’s basic attack. The solution is to first jack smaller titans and then use their attacks and abilities to weaken larger ones to allow Crash to then jack them in turn. In all, there are 15 different titans in the game to control. The use of the correct titan for a particular situation can be the difference between a walk in the park or a gut wrenching battle for survival.
The game is divided into 20 episodes (levels). Each level will contain a series of challenges for Crash to complete, and items for Crash to find. Once the episode has been completed, Crash will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze voodoo doll for that episode depending on how many challenges he has completed. These dolls will unlock stuff like concept art. Other items to unlocks will be titan skins once a specific amount of particular titan has been jacked.
Crash will start the game with 3 lives and a health meter. Sustaining damage from enemy attacks or from a huge fall will cause his health meter to deplete a little. Once his health meter has been completely depleted, Crash will lose a life. Once all lives has been used up, the player will need to restart the level with only 3 lives. Some levels can be quite difficult to conquer with only 3 lives. To ensure this does not happen, players must ensure that Crash eats plenty of Wumpa fruit to replenish his health bar and collect plenty of mojo as each 25000 mojo will result in another life. Mojo does have another important role as it can be used to purchase upgrades. In the beggining, Crash’s attacks are very weak. As he collects mojo from fallen enemies or broken items, he will be able to upgrade existing skills or purchase new ones.
(Click for larger image)
The graphics in Crash of the Titan are quite nice, not incredible, but nice. It’s easy to tell the game was developed with multiplatform in mind, therefore it was scaled back to accommodate the weaker consoles (you know who you are), but the colourful pallet is always a welcome change from HD browns and grays. The game at time does suffer a bit from a framerate issue, but nothing really significant or even intrusive towards the gameplay.
Crash of the Titans features a fun co-operative gameplay. At any time, a second player can jump in by pressing the start button on another controller. This new player will control Carbon Crash, basically a white version of Crash. Carbon Crash can enter and exit Crash’s backpack at will, unless Crash is in the middle of a jump or climbing a wall. This way, you can have a second player, not as adept at platforming, join in for battles and item collecting. It is unfortunate that the co-op is limited to local play only and does not extend over Live.
In my opinion, the best part about Crash of the Titans is the subtle humour. Get Crash close to a few enemies, but he needs to remain undetected, and then just listen to the conversations between minions. The game is filled with pop-culture references. Some of the references are quite funny while others already felling a bit dated, but it’s a fun addition all the same.
Crash of the Titans is not a game that will haunt your dreams at night, but with plenty of replay value, and easy enough achievements, it will keep you entertained.