Teen Titans is an interesting example of the constant tug-of-war between quantity and quality. On the one hand, this multiplayer brawler does a serviceable job of emulating the aesthetics of the canceled television program and comic - thin cartoon lines, high-contrast palette and vocal talent from the show's cast. On the other, it throws wave after wave of same-y, jerkily moving dunces in front of you, each of which is easily dispatched in one bloodless slap-fight after another.
Which is not to say that Teen Titans is bad, exactly; it's just as pedestrian as a game about teenage superheroes can be and still remain somewhat enjoyable. Although there are fun moments when new enemies are introduced - insanely cute exploding bunny rabbits, for instance - the vast majority of the time you're simply beating down another generic goon on the road to another simplistic boss fight.
Sure, there's a whole bunch of unlockable combination moves for each character, spooling strong, fast and special attacks together, but with a few notable exceptions (Beast Boy can turn into a bunch of different animals, accompanied by goofy sound effects), they amount to little more than yet another flavor of kick, punch or energy blast. You can pick up barrels and debris to heave at goons, but they don't usually do enough damage to bother.
Switching between any of your five on-screen team members: Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire and Raven could be fun, if you could find them more than half the time - they're constantly hidden behind scenery, enemies, or special effects - and if there was ever any real reason to do so. They all share a health meter, control the same, and their AI tends to make them more interested in the scenery than in helping you pound baddies. At least the intelligence deficit works both ways: even the bosses are content to follow a simple alternation between attacking and waiting for retaliation.
Thirty-six different characters (Vixen, Mammoth, Jinx) can be unlocked over the course of the single-player story mode. But you can only play as those new characters in the versus - er, excuse us, "Master of Games" - mode. And though the arenas are stocked with falling debris, arcing electricity and patches of slow-down goop, there's just not enough meat on these bones to make even a single satisfying multiplayer meal. The co-op mode, by contrast, genuinely amps up the fun factor.
It's hard to argue that Teen Titans should appeal to older gamers, given that the target audience skews pretty young. There is something to be said for grinding through waves of dummies with three of your friends, even if there are much better games that can boast the same (namely, the two X-Men Legends titles, this game's clear, vastly superior inspiration). Teen Titans is a short and unspectacular diversion for an audience that might be too young for more mature fare, and the price is certainly right, but those more discerning with their beat 'em-up dollars should hunt super-villains elsewhere.