Teen Titans E3 2005 Hands-On

Read our preview to find out what to expect from the upcoming Teen Titans action game from Majesco.


Teen Titans

We spent some time in the Majesco booth fighting evil in the PlayStation 2 version of the Teen Titans game from developer A2M. In case you aren't familiar with the show, the Teen Titans are a team of young superheroes who fight crime and foil evildoers on the Cartoon Network. The upcoming game, based on the show, is a third-person actioner in the vein of classic beat-'em-ups like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We played through one of the levels, and it looks like the game will keep things simple while emphasizing the unique strengths and personalities of the characters from the show.

Teen Titans has a graphical style similar to the cartoon show, with bright, colorful characters and backgrounds. The levels are open 3D areas, but there's an obvious path through as you clear each area of enemies. You'll move about these areas using the left analog stick, while using three of the face buttons to perform various attacks and combos. You can press the buttons in a specific order to initiate a special combo that's unique to each character. You can also hold any one of the attack buttons to charge up a special move. That isn't the end of your arsenal though; you can also input a button combo to perform a signature move that's unique to each character. For example, if you choose to play as Beast Boy, you can charge each attack button to transform, temporarily, into an animal, such as a T-rex, a ram, or a kangaroo. Beast Boy's signature move has him turning into a massive gorilla that pounds the ground around him. When performing signature moves, the action slows down, and the background fades to black as the camera zooms in on the character executing the move. It's a nice effect, but all the other players are ignored as this happens, which seems like it could get frustrating.

The feature we enjoyed most was the ability to change characters on the fly with the D pad. This helps to add variety to the game by letting you use a different character's special abilities at any time. Of course, if you have four players, you'll only have one other character to choose from at any given moment. All the characters from the show are in the game, though, so you'll get to play as Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire.

In the level we played, the main objective was to simply beat up all the enemies on the screen and move on. However, it looks like there will be a variety of mission objectives to mix things up every now and then. At one point, Cyborg was trapped, and we had to defend him against waves of robot bad guys. Hopefully, the final product will have plenty more unique missions to complement the fighting.

The game still feels rough, with some minor collision detection issues and slowdown, but there's plenty of time to make it shine before its planned 2006 release. Until then, keep checking back here for more details about Teen Titans.

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