CRASH OF THE TITANS XBOX 360 REVIEW

The ever-popular Crash Bandicoot, one of the most beloved mascots throughout the early 2000’s, has now made its way to the Xbox 360 under the heading Crash of the Titans. The latest Crash game features a lot of the old platforming gameplay and charming animation that still attracts the younger crowd. It has been awhile since we played any of the Crash games, but this Crash gave us a sense of rejuvenation of what we were missing since the early days. The game is easy to control and anyone who has played Crash before would definitely feel right at home with this one. There are a number of gameplay features we like about Crash of the Titans. The first is the new platforming moves. You have your latest wall running, rope swinging, and chimney climbing techniques. But if you think that’s impressive, wait until you get a load of this: Crash has another ability that allows him to use his enemy like a skateboard!

Besides the new platforming moves, including some aerial variants, what’s more impressive is the ability to “jack” monsters, or in other words get the monster with some sort of “mind control”. The process is pretty simple: First you stun the bad guy using your standard attacks. Once you see stars hovering over his head, press the B button to latch onto his shoulders. (This nice little exploit happens in bullet time and works nearly on all monsters.) When that’s done, you can control virtually all his mobility including his arsenal of attacks! Some of these monsters are possessed with incredible fighting moves, for instance, the ability to raise spikes from the ground. It’s really nice to be able to utilize those kinds of attacks inherent to that monster, especially against other vicious enemies such as parafox, scorporilla, and shellephant. Crash also has a repertoire of fighting arsenals at his disposal, which include combinations of kicks and punches. He has a powerful charge attack that can break enemy’s block and if that fails, he still has the classic spin move.

One of the best additions to this year’s Crash game is the cooperative play. Bringing a friend to wreak havoc in your heroic adventure is pretty fun. You share the same objectives for each stage but when it comes to solving puzzles, a tag-team effort is needed. Sometimes it may not be about solving puzzles that can hinder your path to completing your individual objective. For example, there are certain levels that involve simultaneous action from both players upon encountering a series of chasms. One character will grab onto the other in alternating manner, to make it across each ridge. Timing is key to pull it off. In terms of individual achievements, developer Radical Entertainment has done a fine job with the prospect of racking up on bonus points by having players perform specific tasks or actions. It is not easy trying to obtain all the Xbox Live achievements–you have to earn them. Needless to say, figuring out these hidden goals and exploring secret areas does extend the game’s replay value.

Graphically, Crash of the Titans looks more polished than any other previous titles that came before it. The game has a much more muscular undertone—that is Crash himself has never been this fit. He is more agile and with his beefier looks, you can definitely tell he’s a lot stronger. As for animation, the characters move quite well. Thanks to the added frames, the game doesn’t “clip” or freeze up when tons of action burst onto the screen. It’s obvious that the developer put a lot of care to make this game as smooth as possible and at the same time maintains a slight humor for attraction. The environment is vivid and colorful, filled with jungle-like creatures and amazing backdrops. While lighting effects are not as rich as we would like to, the overall visual properties more than make up for any graphical shortcomings.

In the audio department, the game uses a mixture of symphonies and instrumental pop, which fit the game’s theme really well. The sound effects are generally subtle but they are enough to promote that magical charm to keep up with your adventure. Since the game is more on the bashing side, you’ll hear mostly kicks and punches, and other socking moves. There are a number of voice-over works in this game but you won’t see Crash and other malevolent monsters talk like humans. Overall, Crash of the Titans is a nice solid platformer that continues to captivate the young audience with its easy gameplay and witty adventure. Compare to other titles in the same genre, Crash of the Titans is not revolutionary, but it’s the best version of Crash to date! It has come a long way since its first debut on the original Playstation console. With the advent of next generation system, Crash is doing so much more. If you have been a fan of the Crash Bandicoot games, you’ll certainly enjoy this one.

FINAL SCORE: 7.5 OUT OF 10