Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant Review
Xbox 360 | Wii | PS2 | DS | PSP
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant box art
System: DS, X360, PSP, PS2, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Radical Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision / Blizzard 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 07, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Platforming as Crash also has some problems, mostly stemming from the game’s controls. As with most platformers, pressing B will allow you to jump and pressing it again once airborne provides you with a double jump. This allows Crash to reach higher platforms and jump larger gaps than would otherwise be possible, or at least it should. Trying to perform a double jump in Mind Over Mutant is sketchy at best, sometimes working like it is supposed to, while other times it feels like the game just completely ignores your second button press. Since much of this game requires precisely timed and executed double jumps, the fact that the game’s inability to register these necessary button presses causes you to fail becomes insanely frustrating.

Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant screenshot

Also falling into the frustrating category are the game’s treasure platforms and boss battles. Players will likely find treasure platforms while exploring levels, each transporting Crash to a timed run for a chance at an extra outfit. These outfits not only change Crash’s look but can also affect gameplay by providing bonuses such as quicker attacks and higher jumps when worn. However, due to their extreme difficulty and the game’s constant double jumping issues, many are next to impossible to finish within their time limits. Boss battles don’t fare much better, as they typically require you to use the most recently found mutant’s special ability to succeed. If your mutant happens to die before you are victorious, you will likely end up dead and need to replay through earlier levels to grab another mutant before giving it another go. Oh, and did I mention that the bosses are often cheap and typically deal massive amounts of damage with each attack.

For a DS title, Mind Over Mutant does an admirable job graphically. Similar to the style found in New Super Mario Bros., the game is a 2D platformer with fully polygonal character models. The mutants, Crash, and his many foes all look good even though their animations are extremely repetitive. Unfortunately, the choice to go with 3D characters frequently results in the game chugging a bit when there are a few on screen, which can also contribute to making jumps and attacks all the more impossible to time properly.

Advertisement

All these problems detract greatly from what would otherwise be a fairly enjoyable platformer. Most of the game’s levels are well designed, with plenty of hidden routes, treasures, and shortcuts to be found. The game even includes a few tacked on mini-games that are somewhat entertaining distractions and can be played with up to three friends, provided they all have a copy of the game as well. But in the end, Mind Over Mutant gets more wrong than it gets right, leaving anyone who picks up the game with nothing more than the aching feeling of buyer’s remorse. While I want Crash to recapture his glory days as much as any fan, his latest DS outing feels more like a missed opportunity than a return to form. If you like Crash, I would suggest avoiding this portable version and checking out Mind Over Mutant on a console instead.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
While the polygonal character models look good, the game slows down when there are more than three on the screen at the same time, which happens frequently.
2.0
Control
In a game that requires very precisely timed jumps, it is unforgivable having your double jump work maybe half the time.
1.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Expect to hear the same few sound effects and voice clips more times than you’ll care to count.
2.4

Play Value
There are a lot of levels and hidden things to find throughout that will make you want to keep playing, but the botched jumping controls, clumsy combat, and repetitive nature of the game manage to ensure that you won’t.

2.3
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Mutant in Your Pocket!: Not only does Crash keep the ability to control his enemies when he jacks them – now he can store his favorite monsters in his pocket, upgrade them, and utilize their powers when they are most advantageous.
  • Explore Wumpa Island’s fun and challenging levels.
  • Compete with up to four friends in three different mini-games using Wireless DS Multi-Card Play.


  • Screenshots / Images

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook