A unique platformer with a barrel of fun and some nice humor to boot.
Presentation - 9.0
Gameplay - 9.5
Value - 8.5
In ways like Spyro, Crash was a big hit during the Playstation era and saw a decline due to developers who didn't take their job seriously in developing good games (In reference to Enter the Dragonfly and A Hero's Tail). With mediocre spin-offs and sequels to the series that weren't as well received as the previous ones, many saw Crash on his last legs. Such a vision wasn't held by Sierra and Radical Entertainment though, as just like Spyro, companies were hoping to bring this once great icon back to popularity. This was the case with the creation of the new Crash sequel, "Crash of the Titans". Brought across just about every platform under the sun, Crash has come back to offer players a new platforming experience. The version on hand now is the Wii version.
Unlike the Legend of Spyro series, using the series to bring the icon back to its roots and create a deeper story, Crash has a simple story of "Neo Cortex is now attempting to take over the world using his next greatest plot". There's not much to boast in terms of plot for Crash of the Titans (despite the part where Nina usurps her uncle to take control), but the characters keep the presentation from being boring. Neo Cortex, Nina, Aku-Aku, and the rest of the gang are all here with fitting voice actors and an amount of humor that gives the game a fitting personality.
In terms of graphics, Crash of the Titans doesn't really have that much to boast, but it doesn't dampen the game on an overall scale. The character models themselves look very well done and express a lot of fluid animations to convey their feelings in the cut scenes and the gameplay in motion. The environments themselves are really nothing to boast about, it all looks like stuff we've seen last gen. Despite the last gen rendition of the stages, they don't cause much of a damper on the gameplay or the eye, and it helps with the presentation values overall.
When it comes to the sound, Crash manages to give a solid presentation for the games feel. The music isn't quite memorable, though it fits in every situation when Crash enters a new area. There are also voiceovers during the cutscenes that may feel a bit overplayed at times, but they fit nonetheless and enhance the humor the game is going for. So the music factor doesn't exactly shine in Crash of the Titans, but the solid voice work will keep you from quickly forgetting much. Crash simply talks in grunts and wild outbursts, Neo Cortex's voice actor is very funny to listen to, Uka-Uka sounds evil and awesome, Greg Eagles gives his talent to Aku-Aku and harkens to his voice role as Grim from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, much of the voice work is just well done and the script helps enhance the atmosphere.
Staying true to the platforming roots, Crash of the Titans makes sure that Crash stays in those noble roots, and good results sure do come out (simply controlled by pressing A, Double A, and moving with the control stick). The setup gives way to some solid but predictable platforming action. In terms of volume, there's not a humongous deal of actual platforming and it's not all that challenging, though there is a physics system that causes platforms to wobble to make it more interesting. There are also a number of hover board sequences wedged in there, which offer a sense of speed and excitement. There's certainly a greater focus on combat, and every level contains several sequences where you have to take out a large group of enemies before you can progress. As you defeat enemies and smash environmental objects, you'll pick up mojo orbs, which will earn you ability upgrades and new moves, though the combat never gets more complicated.
The big twist in Crash of the Titans comes from your ability to jack the giant freaks that Cortex has deployed against you. When you start attacking these monstrosities, a star meter will appear over its head and begin to fill up as your attacks connect. Once full, you can hop onto the shoulders of the monster and ride it around, like your own personal tank. You'll find that there's a good variety to these monsters because they have wildly different suites of attacks, as well as their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Certain monsters are impossible for Crash to successfully attack on his own, requiring you to jack another monster first, especially in boss fights. Going through this process of monster-jacks during boss fights represents some of the most satisfying action in Crash of the Titans. It is cool to jack the bosses, though most of the boss battles follow the jacking process while at the same time using it to destroy some pieces of nearby equipment.
The Wii version of Crash of the Titans also sports a cool control mechanism. The basic control scheme is jumping with A and double jumping with A,A, doing melee attacks with the B button and spin attacking by swinging the wiimote and pressing the B button. The Wii version uses the Wiimote as a pointer for the beasties with ranged attacks. The Wii also sports motion controls for the monsters' special attacks, such as waving the wiimote to have your slime monster spew slime or beating the wiimote and nunchuck on a Scorporilla to cause a massive ground pound. The Wii version also sports the ability to collect mojo with the cursor in game, which makes it easy to collect mojo before it fades away ala Super Mario Galaxy. Another capability of the wiimote cursor allows players to interact with the cut scenes by placing items such as a hat, afro, eye patch, and place them on characters while they talking, which helps entertain players who have to sit through unskipable cut scenes.
The game also does a good job of introducing new monsters at regular intervals to keep you guessing, but once you've figured out the basic tactics necessary to jack all the different enemy types, it loses quite a bit of its steam. Despite a short run-through Crash of the Titans offers on the default difficulty level, the game will often lure you back with hidden items and secondary goals that can earn you some unlockable extras, as well as a cooperative mode.
The few problems that plague Crash of the Titans is the fact that the camera is unmanageable, but it's not as bad as the DS game since it's placed from a decent length to avoid blind jumping. Another is the fact that the game is not particularly all that long, but it does flow at a decent pace and has a good number of levels that keeps the game from feeling too repetitive or feeling too short.
Overall, Crash of the Titans is not able to topple Super Mario Galaxy as the thus far best platformer of this gen. Despite this, it stands as one great platformer that that just about any gamer can pick up, enjoy for 10 or so hours, and have an overall grand time. If you've finished playing the other platformers the Wii has to offer you and you want to play something else, you can't go wrong with Crash of the Titans. The game may not be most remembered for its length, or variety, but the gameplay it does offer is lots of fun, well acted and presented with a high level of quality. Anyone looking for an afternoon riding around on giant beasts and smashing everything they come across will have a good time with Crash of the Titans.