Crash of the Titans Xbox 360
Published by: Sierra
Developed by: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
It’s rather strange to see the one time Sony mascot appearing on all formats. The Crash Bandicoot series has definitely gone through some changes since the first title, Crash Bandicoot, was released back in 1996. The series has also had different developers working on it over the years. Originally Naughty Dog, then Traveller’s Tales and the latest game in the series, Crash of the Titans, is developed by Radical Entertainment. The change in developers has definitely had an effect on the series to the extent where the games just don’t feel like they used to. Crash of the Titans is still a 3D platform game but there’s a bigger emphasis on combat than in previous games in the series.
Crash of the Titans sees Crash and his archrival Dr. Neo Cortex once again at loggerheads. Neo Cortex has turned most of the inhabitants of Crash’s island into strange beasts and to make matters worse he captures Coco and Aku-Aku. As Cortex’s airship speeds away Crash throws a piece of machinery toward the dangling cages that contain Coco and Aku-Aku and this manages to hit the chain that holds Aku-Aku’s cage, causing his cage to fall. Unfortunately though Cortex manages to make-off with Coco and Crash has to set off in an attempt to rescue her.
Whilst the game contains platform and action game elements in equal measure, it’s the action elements that stand out in Crash of the Titans. This is partly because the platform game elements are actually very simple and don’t pose much of a challenge and also because this time around, Crash has a few tricks up his sleeve. In addition to his famous spin attack he can now perform combo moves and the amount of combo moves he has increases throughout the course of the game (collecting Mojo orbs from plants and fallen enemies will earn Crash additional combos). His most interesting ability however is to 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 (you can press the Back button to find out what the creature’s combo moves are). 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.
Crash of the Titans isn’t very long. You’re probably looking at around seven hours in total to finish the game on the normal difficulty setting (there are three difficulty settings in total) as the combat is pretty straightforward. At certain points in the game though, it can be a little frustrating as you have masses of enemies thrown at you. To add a little extra challenge you’re given a certain number of minions (that look like mini scientists) and Spybots to defeat as well as a number of combo moves to tie together. To add replay value to the game you can also play in two-player co-op mode.
Crash of the Titans doesn’t look good enough for an Xbox 360 title. In fact, even when playing the game on a HD display, the game simply looks like a high-resolution Xbox game. The graphical quality is adequate for a game of this nature but what is annoying is the camera, which just doesn’t seem right. At times the camera angle seems to be slightly off-centre and often leaves you with a less than ideal view of the proceedings. You can only alter the camera angle ever so slightly with the right analogue stick so you have to put up with the slightly awkward view that you are given. The frame rate remains fairly constant throughout (there are minor dips on occasion) but given the lack of quality visuals this is the least you would expect.
Unfortunately, Crash of the Titans isn’t subtitled. This means that you’ll miss out on the game’s storyline. Whilst the storyline isn’t anything special, the fact that you won’t have any access to it at all is still disappointing. The lack of subtitles also robs you of one of the game’s best elements, its humour. The minions in particular make a fair few humorous quips throughout the game that deaf gamers will be completely unaware of. The tutorial messages are also not subtitled. Some basic tutorial information is shown in text and the new combos you’ll acquire are also shown in text and through the use of button icons. Deaf gamers will be able to play Crash of the Titans without any real problems but it’s a shame that the developers didn’t see fit to subtitle the game.
Crash of the Titans is quite an enjoyable game that has action and platform elements in equal measure. It disappoints in that it isn’t subtitled and it just doesn’t feel much like a Crash Bandicoot game but taking the game on its own merits, it’s a solid effort. The ability to hijack an assortment of different powerful enemies and take on their abilities adds variation to the game and keeps things interesting. Those looking for game to adhere to the formula of the original Crash Bandicoot titles might be disappointed at how things have changed however and it would be impossible to argue against the fact that Crash of the Titans just doesn’t have the personality of those Crash Bandicoot games of old.