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Crash of the Titans Review

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Developer: Radical Publisher: Sierra
Release Date: October 2, 2007 Also On: PS2, Wii and Xbox 360

With each passing year, there seems to be a new Crash Bandicoot. In fact, there have been. Dating back to 1996, Vivendi has released Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and 3 (96, 97 and 98), Crash Team Racing (99), Crash Bash (00), Wrath of Cortex (01 on PS2, 02 on GCN and Xbox), Crash Nitro Kart (03), Crash Twinsanity (04), Crash Tag Team Racing (05), Crash Boom Bang (06) and finally, Crash of the Titans (07). In case you haven’t noticed by the sales charts, Crash fatigue set in a long time ago.

To the credit of the folks at Sierra, Crash of the Titans is a refreshing reprieve from the kart racing and mini-game shenanigans that we have been putting up with for the past several years. The last respectable Crash platformer, Wrath of the Cortex, was released seven years ago. Since then we have been stuck with what can be described as nothing more than kiddy fare. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that an iconic PlayStation character is being pimped for profit.

Actually, I think it is fair to say the past eight years have been rougher on Crash Bandicoot than even his platforming rival Sonic. As a colleague of mine likes to tell me, no one likes to play a Sonic game only to play half of the game as his “shitty friends”. The same can be said for Crash, and it also extends to the kart racing that has been pushed on us. Leave Mario Kart to Mario Kart.

That said, Sierra did an honorable job of redefining what a Crash Bandicoot game is. In many ways Crash of the Titans returns to the roots of the franchise. No more karts, no more adventuring around for items, no more “shitty friends”. What we are left with is an enjoyable game, yet flawed with a lack of difficulty and variety. Basically you are tasked with rescuing your sister Coco, who was kidnapped by none other than Dr. Neo Cortex. Surprised?

Unlike the past few Crash games, there are not many places to adventure or items to collect. You attack enemies with a few basic attacks (Crash’s traditional spin attack, a light attack and a hard attack). You still bounce on crates (far fewer than in previous games), collect Mojo and Wumpa fruit. The Mojo is used to upgrade your attacks, as well as give you extra lives after every 25,000 collected. Wumpa fruit gives Crash health.

The platforming itself is a lot more reminiscent of Crash of yore. You attack brain-dead varmints, collect Mojo, jump on crates, jump from platforms and follow a linear path. The linear path is a distinction worth noting as it has always been a hallmark of the franchise. The “rail platforming” was in many ways popularized by Crash Bandicoot. Crash of the Titans embraces this with the full splendor of three-dimensional graphics and HD support for Xbox 360 owners.

The catch to Crash of the Titans is that you actually don’t play as Crash the whole time. Instead, you use Crash to control titanic beasts. In order to do this, though, you have to stun them while avoiding their attacks. Most of the time there is a simple button combination that you can repeat over and over to stun them. Many have lethal attacks, though, if you miss. From sharp claws, to projectile attacks, rolling enemies and lava rock titans, you will take control of a slew of different creatures. Best of all, you will bust up a lot of stuff while you do it.

It is undeniable that the amount of destruction you will wreak can be a lot of fun. The downside is that it can get old quick, and the game will end not long after you lose interest, anyway. The platforming is solid enough, a welcome return to an old formula, but it certainly does not stand out with the likes of other major players in the genre. The combat system is nice, if overly simplistic. I like the concept behind the titans, even if it gets stale pretty fast. I have to admit, though, that I enjoyed playing this for a while, something I can’t say for many other Crash games. You can also play with a friend in co-op. As for what I recommend, this would make a great rental. Definitely not worth a purchase.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7
Written by Kyle Review Guide