Reviewed: October 19, 2008
Released: October 7, 2008
Crash Bandicoot has been a long standing figure in the history of video games. After his debut on the original Playstation he has been a constant figure. Almost every system has had a Crash Bandicoot game on it after the name was dropped by Naughty Dog. Unfortunately the series has also suffered from a lack of quality as well. The original formula of an on rails 3D platformer has long since worn out its welcome and the games have devolved into a derivative 3D platformer.
Crash Mind over Mutant has come around to try and breathe new life into the series. The story involves some mind controlling goggles and possession of the people around you. Itís up to Crash to return things to normal and you set off on a long quest to destroy the goggles.
Crash Mind Over Mutant has everything that you would expect from a 3D platformer game. It has the running and attacks, much like Mario introduced to the world on the 64 many years ago. You also have the ability to take possession of larger creatures who have their own special abilities. Some are powerful hitters that attack slowly for example. It adds a bit of the rock paper scissors element to the game that makes it a little more interesting.
The camera can be finicky at times on the PS2 sometimes but it has some interesting elements. Aside from the standard fair of simply following the character, the camera sometimes will pan to the side for something closer to the original Crash experience. It breaks up some of the monotony of the levels and will serve to keep a little more interest in the game.
There is a points system in place where the player gathers experience to level up crash or the mutants he is on. This unlocks more moves or powers up ones you already have. Multipliers will build up and give you more experience as you go through which levels the characters faster. The only real penalty for death in the game is losing that multiplier and starting back from scratch on a level.
The presentation on the PS2 is on par with other games of its type released recently. The depth of the landscape is good and always gives you an idea of where to go next. The story is presented in cutscenes that change their presentation each time you see them. They are normally some form of a 2D cartoon with plot exposition inside of them.
The sound on the other hand is just merely there. There are noises around you that involve your interactions with the environment or enemies but they never really pick up any interest. They just simply exist to give the player some sense of presence in the game.
The value of a game as stock as Crash is hard to judge. The game doesnít come with a high dollar price tag but outside of the normal quest there isnít a lot more to do in the game. There are collection quests to unlock movies or galleries but not much else to give the game legs.
The description of the cutscenes appearing as a cartoon isnít too far off from the feel of the whole game. Itís as if the developers made an interactive Saturday morning cartoon. This doesnít make the game bad, but it pigeonholes the game into one audience and one market. Any adults playing or watching the game are going to have very little idea of whatís going on besides the standard elements of gameplay like not dying and grabbing shiny things.
This game is a stocking stuffer. This is a last minute impulse buy for a parent or relative that needs to get the child something. Itís an inexpensive game with a lackluster experience. Itís by no means bad, but it doesnít bother to push any boundaries or make anything interesting. If there was a little more substance maybe Crash could be a new Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank but at least he isnít falling down a dark path of bad games like other franchises seem to be on.