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Crash bandicoot : Mind over mutant is a third person , platform shooter and is the 15th game in the series with the game being released in 2008.
The games main protagonist is Crash , a bandicoot who lives just off of australia and is always getting into trouble with his nemesis Dr. cortex. The game uses a mix of action and comedy to entertain the players, as well as shooting , vehicles and some puzzle sections.
The story of MoM is more of a social joke at how technology affects people, in the game a new device has just been released and is going like hot cakes. This is called NV and is a digital assistant , however not all is as it seems as the NV is transforming the users into crazy mutants who want to destroy the world, but of course it is Crash's job to save the world.
The story is very well written and kept my intrest the whole way through , their is a good amount of characters which allow you to have variety without it being confusing.
Comedy through the story is done in many ways, for example their are jokes about the price of petrol and technology but even funnier was Crash finding out Cortex's plan because it was on his blog. The cut-scenes also use different styles from popular shows like south park and dragonball Z which are quite humourous.
The gameplay takes place over missions in which you can freely walk around the nicely sized island of Wumpa, to try and find out the mystery behind the NV. The system reflects many MMO type games with your quest coming from NPC's, this is really clear as the characters have big exclamation marks above their heads so you can see them a mile off.
Collecting is also a big part of the gameplay, with special items and unlockables being dotted around the island. These include golden stopwatches which give you a small minigame , running shoes which increase Crash's melee attack and speed, their is also the quad damage power up which multiplys the damage caused by attacks by 4. The mini game is nothing special , the main aim is to destroy as much as possible within a certain time limit in order to gain bonuses.
Upgrading is done by collecting Mojo, which is released whenever a enemy is defeated, once you have collected enough of it then Crash's attacks can be upgraded making them more powerful.
The level designs of the game make the game experience feel like you are traveling , with a range of levels including mountains, caves , jungles and deserts, all appearing and having their own challenges as well as being of good quality.
One of the most annoying things that will get in the way of gameplay is the long loading times, up to a minute a time the loading screens last with around 15 seconds to load a new area when you enter it. As well as the camera which leads to many deaths because you can't see a drop in the ground or the edge of a walkway, it is starting to annoy me how so many games can't put a good camera in.
There are 2 types of attacks in the game , heavy and light, as well as the ability to dodge and block enemies attacks.
Crash's main attacks are done on the PSP's stick, this doesn't feel great and an attempt to make you feel more immersed leaves you more frustrated than anything.
There are 2 groups of enemies either small groups or titans. Small groups pose no real challenge, wereas titans need to be worn down as well as waiting for a certain move to attack. Titans can be kept by Crash after beating them to be released and change the tide of battle, Crash rides of the back of them and is able to use their big attacks to tear through the level.
There is a big frame-rate issue in this game with it continually speeding up and then slowing down again, this doesn't only make the graphics look untidy and poor but it also affects responce times.
It's a shame because the cut-scenes between levels are brilliantly portrayed with numerous styles and crystal clear qaulity, you have to wonder wether the developers would have been happier making a tv show rather than a game.
The voice acting in the game is of a good qaulity, there is no repetitive lines here as over 8,000 peices of dialouge were recorded with the aid of mark Hammil and John Dimaggio.
The soundtrack is also good being upbeat and reflecting the happy atmosphere of the game, although this isn't as varied but luckily it is quiter compared to the sounds of enemies and Crash.
Whilst the controls are easy to pick up and replicate any platformer you may ever have played, the real issue is repsonce due to the frame rate. A button press can take at most a few seconds to cause to be acted, this causes many deaths when fighting enemies and a lot of frustration seeing as jumping is a pillar of the platform games.
The game is on Amazon for £25 and this is way too expensive for the poor structure of the game. Had the loading, controls, camera and latency not been there then this would have been perfect, but these are things that as a gamer you usually dont even think about. Evidently neither did the developers while making the game.