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Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant review

AT A GLANCE
  • Child-pleasing fun
  • Lavish effects, solid frame rate
  • Lots to do
  • Annoying music
  • Controls aren't perfect
  • Restrictive camera

Last time we saw him, in Crash of the Titans, Crash Bandicoot was a brainless chump, lacking both charisma and charm. The game wasn’t much better either. But things are definitely better for both parties this time around. Everything here says ‘Saturday morning’, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Judging by the fully animated cartoon cutscenes, fast-talking bad guys and pop-culture references, that’s exactly what the game intended to mimic and it’s done it well. Fans of the PS1 original haven’t been left out either, with several in-jokes and cameos to keep everyone happy. But seeing as they’re likely in their late twenties now, this definitely isn’t aimed at them.

The graphics are superb, with huge draw distances, detailed environments and lavish special effects. The water and reflective ice are particularly snazzy and the frame rate never lets up. You can tell Mario Galaxy was an inspiration for the design team. There’s surfing on icy water, spin jumping for extra height. Yep, this game really wants to be Mario Galaxy. But that’s not going to happen. For every applause-worthy moment there are too many annoyances. The jumping mechanic feels woolly, ledge-grabbing is finicky, fighting is simplistic and you’re often left wondering where you’re supposed to go next. While we’re at it, we’re not too sure about the ‘violence solves everything’ attitude either.

It’s unquestionably well designed, with loads of hidden bonuses for those who master the controls and the abilities of the Titans. But then there’s the fixed camera which, while faithful to the original, is far too restrictive when the environments are so big and items are hidden everywhere. This is especially problematic when trying to play the utterly broken co-op mode, because the second player is slower than Crash, resulting in the constant annoyance of having to wait for player two to catch up. The camera also has issues figuring out which player to focus on, and you can often accidentally kill each other.

Mind Over Mutant is a lot better than Crash of the Titans and the world is probably a slightly better place for its existence. But it’s not quite slick enough underneath all those pretty visuals to earn essential status.

Nov 6, 2008

More Info

Release date: Oct 07 2008 - DS, Wii
Oct 21 2008 - PSP
Oct 07 2008 - PS2, Xbox 360 (US)
Oct 31 2008 - DS, Wii, PSP, PS2, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: DS, Wii, PSP, PS2, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Radical Entertainment
Franchise: Crash Bandicoot
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:
7+

2 comments

  • cronoman66 - November 6, 2008 9:22 p.m.

    Its good to see Crash coming back to his former glory, if a bit slowly, these type of games are always a good break from the deadly serious stuff thats swamping the market, still I can't see it beating Lego Star Wars as my favourite cutsy game :) Oh and because I've never had a chance to do this before, FIRST!
  • yanks4602 - September 1, 2009 7:19 p.m.

    This bandicoot is pretty boring and nothing like the orginal. ITs more for younget children... Only played alillte bit and then returned. Recommend saving you money for other games

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