The Teen Titans cartoon has become one of the juggernaut's in the Cartoon Network's impressive stable of programs. Even more impressive is the way in which the anime-inspired 'toon has managed to attract both the comic fans who have followed the characters since the '80s, as well those who weren't aware of the popular comic. It was just a matter of time for a game to be produced based on this hot property. While the console game isn't set to hit until next year, the GBA game will be ready to launch this fall to tide fans over. We recently had the chance to get some hands-on time with the upcoming game to see how it's coming together.
The Titans, for those who are unfamiliar with them, are a five-member pint-sized group of superheroes (at least one of the members should be familiar to just about everyone). The team's leader is Robin, Batman's sidekick, a formidable melee fighter who lacks any superpowers. Robin's lack of powers is more than made up for by the remainder of the team, which possesses an eclectic mix of abilities. Raven is a teleporting empath with mystic powers; Cyborg is a half-man, half-robot; Starfire is an alien princess who is powered by solar energy; and the final member of the team is Beast Boy, an emerald-hued shape-shifter. The quintet is based in San Francisco, in the T-shaped Titan's Tower, and they fight crime as needed.
The Game Boy Advance game sends you on an adventure that pits the team against the villainous Hive Academy and its director, Brother Blood. Blood is aiming high for the Academy's next nefarious plot: nothing short of a little world domination. While this is clearly something the Titans would have issues with, Blood sets out to clone the whole team in order to have a fighting force capable of stopping the young heroes. However, the Titans aren't daunted by the prospect of facing off against their clones, and so they set out to stop Blood. The story will play out via stills and animated talking heads that set up the action on each level you'll go through.
Developer Artificial Mind and Movement has put together a solid single-player game that features pick-up- and-play beat-'em-up mechanics that let you use all five members of the team. You'll be able to punch, jump, and use your Titan's special ability. You'll be able to switch which teammate you're controlling on the fly. This feature comes in especially handy, as they'll be areas that you'll come to that will require specific Titans to get you through. For example, Robin is the only Titan who can hack computers, which you'll need to access new areas; Cyborg is the only titan who can smash through weak floors, which open up new paths to explore; Raven can cast a powerful shield that makes her invulnerable to harm, allowing her to get through areas that no one else can; Starfire's energy blasts can be used to open doors; and finally, Beat Boy's shape-changing abilities let him turn into animals that let him reach new areas.
We tried a few levels in the game and were pleased by the way they handled. The characters have the same basic melee combos, but each character is unique because of their individual superattacks. The visuals and audio were in line with the cartoon's stylized look. We even heard some sound samples during the theme song and from the characters during combat. While the game is only single-player, there's some unlockable content to be found, such as character bio cards, a sound test, and a character viewer.
If you're a fan of the cartoon or just of solid beat-'em-ups, you'll want to keep an eye out for Teen Titans. The game is currently slated to ship this fall for the Game Boy Advance.