previews\ Apr 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm

CRASH of the Titans - WII - Preview

He made his debut more than 10 years ago, a character created for a PlayStation game by Naughty Dog. His enemy was Dr. Neo Cortex and Crash Bandicoot was tasked with not only saving his girlfriend but marsupials and other species from the nefarious schemes of the evil doctor.

To say that the years leading up to 2007 have been kind to Crash would be a slight error. Crash has seen some successful video-game forays and some not as successful. Come October, though, Crash will head for another adventure, one that takes a step backwards to the roots of fun and entertainment, in Crash of the Titans.

Sierra/Vivendi showed off the title during the Sierra Spring Event in San Francisco recently. GameZone was invited for a look-see of the lineup and Crash of the Titans was one of the games featured.

The story goes something like this – Cortex and Nina Cortex, have mutated the creatures of the Crash’s island into monsters. Crash has to stop them and can hijack the monsters (take over the monsters and ride them into battle to use their powers against other monsters) en route to the boss battles.

The game was shown on the Wii system during the meeting, which the development team (Radical) considers to be its baby when it came to injecting a great deal of entertainment into the game. Why? Because of the control scheme. The Wii controller is used to launch some of Crash’s attacks and plays a very physical role in controlling the game.

But Crash of the Titans won’t just appear on the Wii. Radical is developing it for the PS2 and 360. The DS and GBA versions are being developed by Amaze and Supervillain is doing the PSP version.

The game features 15 enemies in a rock-paper-scissors combat model. You will have to ‘jack’ the monsters to fight up the chain to the bosses. The actual breakdown between combat and platforming runs about 70-30 according the Radical reps. And the game does have cooperative play. There are unlockables, like new moves, and every chapter of the game is themed around the monsters that are central to each level.

The game will also have three difficulty settings.

The game itself is bright and colorful and should delight button mashers. It was pointed out that the control scheme was “dumbed down” for other consoles, and the Wii got most of the “love” in that regard. As an example, using the PS2 controller, when you defeat a monster it spills mojo about. With the PS2 controller, you will have to walk over to the sparkly items and move through them to pick them up. With the Wii controller, you merely point the controller at them and they come to you.

The game also sports a vast increase in Crash’s move set with a “super rich” platforming section to the gameplay. While hands on was not available in this alpha build, the game looked to be rather intuitive and a great deal of fun, especially when you start to act out the movement with the Wii controller.

Crash is on his way back to the console systems, and Crash of the Titans looks like it might just be the resurgence the furry orange hero needed.

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