It's been some time since the last Crash Bandicoot game, but Sierra is bringing him back in a major way. Crash of the Titans is scheduled to appear on pretty much every platform out there other than the PS3, which is odd when you consider that the guy debuted as a kind of de facto mascot for the original PlayStation. We had the chance to sit down with a recent version of the game's Wii and Xbox 360 versions at Sierra's Gamer's Week.
At a glance, it would seem that Crash of the Titans could mean good news for platformer fans (or fans of the Crash series). The general plot revolves around Neo and Nina Cortex's desires to mutate the animals on Crash's island with a substance called "mojo." Mojo-infused animals are much bigger than they normally are, and present something of a challenge for Crash. Luckily for him, though, he'll be traveling with Aku Aku, a wooden mask that has accompanied Crash on his adventures for some time. Aku has the ability to "jack" the mojo-mutated monsters that Crash runs across while you play, letting you take control of them for a while. The process is pretty simple: You walk up to an enemy and bash it with Crash's attacks for a bit, and when it's finally stunned, you simply press a button and take over the monster.
There are 15 monsters in the gameworld, including fierce specimens like the "scorporilla," the "parafox," and the "shellephant." As the names imply, most of the enemies that you face off against will be chimeralike creations that have features of multiple animals. These enemies will all have their own special attacks that you'll be able to use every 15 seconds or so in combat. One of them can raise spikes from the ground around it, causing damage to all smaller enemies nearby, while another can roll across the ground, knocking enemies over, and so on. While the Wii controls will be pretty simple when you're playing as Crash, each of the jacked monsters will have a unique control input to activate these special powers. Some of them will even have ranged attacks, which will let you point your remote at the screen and temporarily use it as a light gun.
In addition to the special monsters, there'll be plenty of smaller "fodder" enemies that are relatively easy to beat and give you something to beat up while you're running around as Crash. Crash's attacks include his classic spin move, but he also has a more traditional attacking system that will have him throwing kick and punch combos as you move around. Some enemies are also capable of blocking, but he also has a heavy attack that he can charge to break an enemy's block.
It seems like there'll be plenty of hidden goals and areas to explore in Crash of the Titans. While we played the 360 version (which is looking quite nice), we happened across a hidden teleport that sent us to a minigame called "mojo madness." In it, we had 30 seconds to collect a certain amount of mojo as it fell from the sky around Crash; accomplishing the goal let us pick up a lot of crystals, which wound up accelerating Crash's physical growth.
While Crash of the Titans isn't going to reinvent the wheel, it seems like it's going to be a thoroughly enjoyable platforming game. It'll be launching later this fall on multiple platforms, so stay tuned to GameSpot for more information in the coming months.