|System: PS2, XBOX, GC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: A2M||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: E 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
When Batman's away, the Teen Titans will play.
Teen Titans may no longer be on television, but you can relive the adventures on your Xbox with Teen Titans, a budget-priced fighting game that gives you bang for your buck.
If you liked the Teen Titans cartoon series, if you love fighting games, and if you're a little low on funds, then Teen Titans for the Xbox will fit the bill nicely. It's not a fantastic game by any means as there are some technical issues such as annoying slowdown and occasionally poor camera angles, but I've reviewed a lot of full-priced games that weren't even this good technically. The gameplay is redundant but fairly solid. And this version is not much different from the PS2 or Cube version, although it does support a higher resolution.
First and foremost, Teen Titans is a button masher. There is a little bit of extra depth added with super moves and the ability to switch characters, but the gameplay does get repetitive. It's best played in small doses and the budget price makes this affordable enough to amortize your gaming over a few weeks. You'll probably get really bored if you rent it and spend the entire weekend trying to complete it. I know this may sound crazy, but the less time you spend playing it (at one time) the more you'll enjoy it. It's got plenty of features, which is surprising for a game in this price range, including a variety of modes including two multiplayer modes and more than 35 playable characters.
The Teen Titans consist of superhero teenagers Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven. Collectively, they hang out and do what most teenagers do with the exception that they have special powers and/or abilities (remember, Robin is just a human). This recently cancelled WB show was aimed at younger viewers. While it always involved some form of combat, the focus of the show was more lighthearted and fun. The characters always remained in "character," which is to say that they never revealed their alter egos. We see them only as superheroes, ready to uphold truth and justice while always in search of the next slice of pizza.
You can switch to any of the five playable characters at any time with the aid of the D-pad. Each character exhibits some unique moves including a super move which can be pulled off with the aid of collectible power-ups. Each character has a quick, strong, and ranged attack which can be made more powerful by charging them before releasing them. When you're controlling one of the characters, the CPU takes command of the other four. It does a good job maintaining some sense of realism, but the leadership defaults to the character being played at the time. It's entirely possible to go through the game using only one character, but then you'd be missing out on a lot of the fun. It's great to experiment with the different abilities and moves. Since these are all mapped to the same control configurations, controlling any particular character is not made any more difficult.
Items lying around in the environment such as blocks, barrels, and even defeated enemies can be picked up and used against your foes. There are even group attacks in which the entire group takes part in smacking or tossing an enemy around. This further consolidates the team concept. But for the ultimate team experience, there is a four-player co-op mode in which each player will control one of the five main characters. This mode works well, but it's also subject to some obscure camera angles that are sure to hinder you. You'll also experience some slowdown as more characters enter the picture. The bigger the TV screen, the better you'll be able to see everyone.
Moving from room to room in the story mode, you'll also unlock various arenas which you can use in the Master of Games mode. This is essentially a Vs. mode where you battle it out with different characters within a confined area. There are more than 35 characters you can play as, including the villains such as Gizmo and Jinx. Aside from the original five playable Titans, there are also a handful of secondary characters from the TV series available. Once you run through the character list and explore the new moves, there's little else to hold your attention. Since the combat is all button mashing, there is little technique involved. The controls are responsive and tight but there's not a lot of variety or depth. Just as soon as you start to get good with the controls, you can rest assure that you've reached the peak. After that, it's all just a matter of luck and timing. Master of the Games can be played in the single or multiplayer mode.
There are so few differences with this Xbox version that it makes me wonder why it took so long for it to be released on this system. If you've already played either the PS2 or Cube version, then by proxy you've already played this version. It's good looking and features some good character modeling and animation. The actors from the cartoon provide the voiceovers for the game for that extra bit of credibility. The music is Japop but it's fun and catchy.
With the cancellation of the cartoon series and with this Xbox version arriving almost a half-year after the other console versions, Teen Titans for the Xbox may seem like too-little too-late but such is not the case. It will give fans of the series a chance to spend a little more time with their favorite heroes before having to say goodbye.
CCC Senior Writer
Life has never been too easy for young Dick Grayson. When we were first introduced to him as young Robin, the poor kid was referred to as a "Boy Wonder". He could easily have been picked out of a crowd by the green hot pants he wore, along with a tiny little yellow cape and little green booties upon his feet. Let's not forget the giant R on his chest, resembling the Scarlet Letter.
As fate would have it, one day the little snot nosed brat would turn into a want to be badass. He lost the Luke Skywalker comb over, got a real cape and some steel-toed boots. He then ditched the shadow of Batman and found himself a young gang of teenaged superheroes. Say hello to the Teen Titans.
With Robin moving on up in the world, it's only natural that he and his team of Titans star in their own videogame.
Most videogames based of a comic book series or movie adaptation all boiling down to just one thing; beat 'em up. Unfortunately Teen Titans doesn't look like it's going to offer up much more than button mashing action adventure.
Teen Titans does prove to possess a very slick presentation, with fairly spacious 3D levels and an UI that resembles the animation found in the popular WB hit cartoon.
Unfortunately that's not where the similarities end for the Teen Titans. Titans looks as though it is going to play much like Gauntlet or even X-men Legends, with 4 players on screen at a time. And since the Teen Titans feature a roster of five superheroes, which means you'll have one character waiting on deck. You'll actually be able to use this in your strategy. If one of your super cohorts tires out, you can switch him or her up with a rested hero with a simple press of a button.
And just like every other videogame based off a comic, each hero has his or her own special abilities that, yes you yourself can wield and abuse to your discretion. For example, Beast Boy will have the abilities to, yes, change into a creature of power! Through out the game your characters will also learn new abilities. Unfortunately you have no control over what abilities you learn as your characters as the computer controls the advancement.
Slated for a 2006 release, Teen Titans looks like it will be a for sure hit for fans of the cartoon.
CCC Freelance Writer
Warner Brothers Interactive has given publisher Majesco video game rights to its popular animation series Teen Titans, based on the adventures of teenage versions of DC comic superheroes.
The games will allow players to switch between characters on the fly to take advantage of their unique super powers.
"We are excited to introduce these young superheroes to the video game audience," said Ken Gold, vice president of marketing at Majesco. "We are confident that Teen Titans will appeal to video game players of all ages."
A Game Boy Advance title based on the license will be released before the end of 2005, with GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox versions following in 2006.
CCC Freelance Writer