Crash of the TitansDS
Published by: Sierra
Developed by: Amaze Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
One of my favourite action platform games on the Game Boy Advance was Crash Bandicoot XS. The game managed to capture all that was great about the Crash Bandicoot series and it felt right at home on the GBA. Since then the Crash Bandicoot series has gone through a few changes and the games haven’t always been that enjoyable. Recently we looked at Crash of the Titans for the Xbox 360 and it’s fair to say that the game was a disappointment. Here we have Crash of the Titans for the Nintendo DS and whilst it’s still not a classic Crash Bandicoot experience, it’s a slight improvement on the 360 version of the game.
Neo Cortex is once again up to his old tricks and is attempting to turn most of the inhabitants of Crash’s island into strange beasts and he’s even captured Aku-Aku. Naturally, it’s up to Crash to sort the whole mess out. Fortunately, Crash has a few tricks up his sleeve. In addition to a kick and punch attack, he can hijack and control some of the more powerful enemies in the game. Essentially Crash will have to hit one of these powerful enemies many times in quick succession. Doing this will cause a star meter to fill and once this meter is filled the enemy will become dazed. At this point Crash can jump on the creature’s back and control them. Whilst Crash is in possession of one of these creatures you’ll have access to that creature’s attacks. There are around fifteen different powerful enemies in the game that you can hijack. Making use of each creature’s abilities helps to prevent any sense of monotony creeping into the combat and for this reason alone, it’s a welcome inclusion.
Of course with this being the DS version you may be wondering how the touch screen has been utilised. Each of the enemies that you can hijack has special abilities. These special abilities are performed by performing various actions on the touch screen (such as using sliders, performing circular motions or simply pressing large buttons) or blowing into the microphone (which blows fire and ice at enemies). During the game you’ll collect various ‘On-Demand Items’ and you’ll use your stylus to select which of these items to use when the need arises. You’ll also use the touch screen to interact with the Evolution Kiosk where Crash can purchase upgrades with the Mojo he’s collected from plants and fallen enemies. There’s even a pachinko-style mini game that can be played using the stylus.
Crash of the Titans is quite an enjoyable game but there are some aspects of it that will disappoint. The game is too short and it’s a fair bet that inside five hours you’ll have seen all the game has to offer. To encourage replay value there are various challenges for you to complete such as collecting all of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Tiki Masks in a level and collecting the specified amount of Mojo in each level but even if you do go out of your way to complete these challenges it’s still over far too quickly. There are certain points in the game where you play as Nina, Neo Cortex’s evil niece. The Nina levels are rather dull and not up to the same standard as the rest of the game.
Unlike the GBA Crash Bandicoot titles, Crash of the Titans is a 3D action platform game. To a certain degree it works quite well and at times is reminiscent of the early games in the series that appeared on the PlayStation. There are a few issues however. The camera isn’t as tight as it should have been and at times your view is not completely behind Crash. You’ll also notice a fair bit of graphical pop-up which looks rather unsightly. Whilst the frame rate is constant, it’s not that high to begin with and you get the feeling the game’s been capped at fewer than 30 frames per second as the pace is quite laboured.
Unlike the 360 version of the game, the DS version of Crash of the Titans is subtitled. Essentially this means that you’ll be able to follow the game’s storyline without any hassles. There aren’t any captions in the game (probably to be expected in a DS game) so you won’t hear the Aku-Aku sound effects or be aware of the canned audience laughter that occurs during cutscenes. The game won’t give deaf gamers any cause for concern however.
Crash of the Titans is a decent 3D action platform game. Fans of the previous games might not be too happy with the greater emphasis that’s been placed on the combat but the combat is actually rather easy and won’t cause any problems at all. Even the boss fights are surprisingly easy. It’s definitely not vintage stuff but it is still an enjoyable game. It’s just a shame that Crash of the Titans doesn’t last a whole lot longer.