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Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant
Company:
Activision
Website: Official Site
Estimated Street Price: $49.99/£39.99
Review By:
Byron Hinson

Crash Bandicoot titles have always been basic fun platform games. Radical Entertainment took over the franchise a year or so ago and with their last release called Crash of the Titans. The strange thing about these last two titles is that you rarely ever play as Crash anymore; you take control of mutants and guide them around the levels, using their special abilities to get past certain sections and “puzzles”.

In Crash Bandicoot: Mind over Mutant, a rejuvenated Neo Cortex is taking over the world one brain at a time! Cortex and N. Brio devise a new kind of evil; a text-messaging, do-anything device which controls both mutant and bandicoot minds. Armed with his quick-wits and lightening agility, Crash must free his friends, the titans and save the day!

  • Monsters on Demand! - 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

  • “Free-Romping” World Design - Wumpa Island is fully realized as a real location, with a “free-romping” design that allows players to travel and explore through intersecting worlds, with different gameplay options available depending on what creature you’ve brought along for the ride

  • Girl Power! - Your co-op partner is Crash’s sister, Coco, playable for the first time in the cooperative mode. Not only does Coco make the game that much more inviting for girls to pick up and play, she also brings with her a new tactile “treasure hunt” ability

  • Roll-and Counter Combat System - Crash will have a fun, agile dodge move and “counter” move which will inflict extra damage on his enemies

  • Digging - Crash can now dig underground as real-life bandicoots really do; this will allow for Crash to unlock bonus items

  • Climbing - Crash can climb vertical surfaces and jump side-to-side to connected areas and dodge hazards

How Does It play

This latest Crash Bandicoot came is basically the same as the previous title. Which isn’t such a bad thing as the game was certainly a decent title even though it didn’t sell as well as hoped. The game as mentioned earlier has Crash take controls of various mutant creatures, thankfully unlike other old school titles this has continued to carry on being a platformer at heart which is a good thing, but it is one that doesn’t quite have the pull or the innovation to reach higher levels of greatness compared to Mario or other titles released over the last year or so.

As is nearly always the case, the developers have most of the old crash enemies and friends back in the game such as Dr. Cortex and many others. The game has some kind of storyline that isn’t really worth writing about, it also has some decent laughs in the game though a lot of the time the attempts at comedy never hit home and misses out on laughs The cutscenes are well designed though with some good animation.

For those of you who didn’t play the previous title you will come across a large world design that tends to be the hub of the game, you begin the game at Crash’s house where you can check out cutscenes, change costumes and such like. The game is not an open-world title despite being able to go to a number of areas right away, this is because a lot of the game is scripted and you need to complete certain tasks before you can get further into the levels and the story.

The game has a fixed camera, which can sometimes be a bit of a pain especially when trying to get across some of the harder jumps. Another poor decision for me is the amount of backtracking there can be in the levels and because of the poor camera you will spend half the time running towards the screen. Because of the backtracking over previously played levels, the game can often seem a lot larger than it actually is.

The controls work quite well with double jumps, kicks and creature control being quite easy to pull off. There are a number of new moves such as dodging which is a welcome addition as it as a pain in the last title to be unable to do so. Another move is being able to dig underground in certain areas to get around sections and problem areas as well as collect up more mojo. Finally you can store your mutants and switch between them when you want to. This is another good addition that makes it a lot easier to navigate the levels.

The mutants themselves vary between each other quite a bit, certain ones are needed to get through various puzzles and this time round each one can get upgrades as you progress through the levels thank to collecting mojo. The worlds in which you play through are quite varied, from green lands to icy sections there is a lot of variety there.

Graphically the game looks decent but will never blow anyone away. What does look good though is the long distances you can see in the game and know that you can always reach those areas that you can see so far in the distance. The game rarely ever has framerate problems, though in some more filled up sections of the game it does drop below the regular 30 fps that is on show in the game.

Sound work is again decent but nothing fantastic again – music is ok too and the voice work while being very good through the game is repeated far too much by enemies when playing the game, so when you have played for more than 20 minutes you will hear the same sayings over and over again.

Final Comments


Byron's Gamertag

A decent platforming title that once again doesn’t do anything new. The game is fun and that is the main thing, though it can get repetitive the more you play it. There have been some good additions to the game this time round though which is welcome. I do wonder how much longer it can be called a Crash Bandicoot title though considering how little of the game he takes part in.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 73%
Version Reviewed Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant (PAL) DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Decent Graphics
Some good platforming
Range of mutants
The Bad Points Repetative
Nothing New
Not really Crash Bandicoot anymore
HD Resolutions 480p
720p
1080i
1080p


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