|System: X360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Radical Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Vivendi Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As good as the battle system is, I was a little disappointed with the overall control scheme. Using the buttons for basic attacks is fine, but tying Crash's signature spin attack to the left stick (the same one you use to move around) just feels weird and imprecise. Some of the more complicated button combinations are also a little cumbersome to deal with, and the control scheme definitely could have been better.
Another big boon for Crash: Mind Over Mutant is the animated cutscenes. The animation in these scenes is very smooth, and each cutscene is done in a different style. For example, one is done in a cheesy '70s anime style, while another is all in black and white with a grain filter. However, because of all the different styles, the cutscenes do feel a little disconnected from the gameplay. But I find this forgivable, as the quality was very good, and I looked forward to the different genre lampoons.
As entertaining as the cutscenes may be, the best component of Crash: Mind Over Mutant by far has to be the sound. The music in the game is fun, whimsical, and never boring. The voice acting here is also topnotch and includes an A-list voice cast including John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Mark Hamill. Although some of these names might not sound familiar at first, once you listen to them, they are very recognizable. One thing that was truly appreciated here was that the in-game dialogue was never repetitive. Enemies are always talking to each other, and if you listen, they always seem to have something new and funny to say before getting completely wiped out. This title is quite a joy to listen to; you definitely won't be disappointed with the music or the voice acting.
The Crash Bandicoot series has been around for what seems like forever. The franchise began as one of the most groundbreaking titles for the original PlayStation. It's safe to say, however, that the Crash franchise has lost its clout in the video game world, especially as games advance both technically and creatively. Some might argue that the Crash franchise is tired and should go the way of so many other PlayStation-era platformers: quietly into extinction. However, I think it is fair to say that there is a place for retro-inspired games. Even though the type of linear platforming that is prevalent in Crash: Mind Over Mutant is scantly seen in this generation, it is still exciting to play, especially for those of us who have been with the franchise since the beginning. Sure, Crash: Mind Over Mutant doesn't reinvent the wheel, and there's no way it's vintage-inspired gameplay can stand up to modern titles. But, it still manages to be quite fun, and it's worth a spin if you have ever played (and loved) a past Crash game.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor