|System: DS, Wii, PS2, PSP, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Amaze||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 25, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Crash, like a lot of popular, iconic, gaming mascots, has suffered a bit of an image problem as of late. Like Sonic, Spyro, and Pac-Man, Crash just isn't as cool as he once was. It seems the only gaming icon that has stood the test of time is Mario.
Part of problem with these other figureheads is that the genres they represent eventually run their course. Then they are forced into a multitude of different substandard games which eventually tarnishes their cred. That's what happened to Crash. His last party game, Crash!Boom!Bang!, was a dog. And speaking of dog, original developer Naughty Dog is off its leash, having nothing to do with Crash of the Titans. In this case, it appears to be a good thing.
In an effort to compensate for Crash's failing Q-rating, developers Amaze have given him a complete makeover. This time out, Crash is looking sleeker, hipper, and more dangerous than ever. His hair is a little more spiky, and he's sporting tattoos on his arm. The only problem I have is that his attitude is a little ambiguous. He's somewhere in between loveably goofy and maniacally deranged. It's a combination that's not easy to identify with. It doesn't help that Crash is reduced to emitting an annoying stream of inane bleating like a broken squeak toy being run over by a freight train.
Crash of the Titans goes back to the game's roots, but only for inspiration. It manages to come off as fresh and somewhat original, even though it maintains the platform elements that have become associated with the series. There's a lot more to the gameplay than just smashing crates. Many familiar platform elements are incorporated such as platform jumping, collecting items, discovering secret areas, and combat, but these elements are more a means to an end. They are tools that aid you in your task, and not just part of the task itself, providing more depth to the gameplay.
Professional evil antagonist, Dr. Neo Cortex, has mutated all of the inhabitants of the island into bizarre and dangerous creatures. Crash deals with these creatures in unique ways while he attempts to collect all of the mojo-enhanced Tiki masks. While it's abundantly clear that Crash possesses the largest assortment of moves, there are some skills that he doesn't have. At the outset of the game, Crash starts out relatively weak and gradually begins to enhance his skills by collecting tokens. It's not exactly RPG territory, but it works.
The skills that Crash doesn't possess, such as being able to cross bodies of water and lavaor crashing through various obstacles, can be obtained by taking control of the various enemies. By stunning a particular creature, Crash is able to harness its skill by riding atop its back. This is called "Jacking." It adds depth and fun to the gameplay since you can use these creatures for different purposes. You can use them for both transportation and combat. Each creature has a different skill that you can exploit. In many instances, you'll have to change multiple creatures in order to pass a certain section. Hey, it's not RTS territory either, but it works.