Crash of the Titans (Game Boy Advance) - Overview

The Game Boy Advance version of Crash of the Titans was one of the last games released for the system. It's a straightforward beat 'em up developed by Amaze Entertainment (though a different branch from the one that did the DS version, making this yet another totally unique version). Let's discuss Crash's final adventure on the Game Boy Advance.

Crash and Tiny engage in fisticuffs.The usual platforming takes a backseat to melee combat.

As usual for a Crash Bandicoot title on the Game Boy Advance, this is a side-scroller with pre-rendered graphics. The characters have smooth animation and they look less fuzzy than in previous games for the system, which can be mostly attributed to their considerably larger size. The backgrounds look alright, although a bit generic and uninspired. The same can be said about the music.

Upon playing the game, you'll quickly realize why it wasn't such a good idea to make the characters bigger than usual: now the screen feels cramped and you have a more limited perception of your surroundings, which becomes very annoying when you're trying to figure out where to go. Crash feels awkward to control because he's slow and jumps much lower than usual (thankfully you do get the double jump early on). Like in the other versions, combat is a major element in the game, and you do it all by mashing the B button repeatedly throughout the entire game. You can combine it with directions for slightly different attacks, but the difference is minimal and it does nothing to make the overabundance more bearable. Oh, and if you think the best defense is a good offense, then this game is for you. Literally, because there's no way to block enemy attacks.

Like in the other versions, you can jack (take control of) your enemies once you beat them up, which is a requirement for getting past certain segments. Each enemy has basic pummeling moves and a special attack. Bosses can also be jacked once you hit them enough times, but this isn't exactly useful, since the point in boss fights is to beat up your enemy. Each enemy has its own separate health bar and is better than Crash in every single way, so unless you absolutely must, never play as Crash. Not that you'd be forced to, what with enemies showing up everywhere and a notorious bug allowing you to replenish your creature's health by unjacking and jacking it again.

Crash uses Aku Aku as a surfboard to approach an island.Before approaching a new island, you will be trapped in an unskippable 3D segment until time runs out.

The game has 5 islands, each with its own badly designed levels. The first flaw in the level design is that there are lots of multiple paths. This might seem like a fun idea at first, but most of the paths end up being dead ends filled with nothing but enemies or useless collectibles. Because of this and the cramped screen, it's sometimes easy to get lost. It's also awkward that levels lock on certain checkpoints, meaning you sometimes can't backtrack if you want to.

To get to each new island, Crash must surf his way to it in pseudo-3D segments. These are not only dull, but also completely pointless. You can try to break all the crates floating in the water, but you don't get anything useful out of it, so essentially, you just have to wait until time runs out to proceed. You can't even skip or quit these segments.

Another thing that doesn't help making the game more enjoyable is all the bugs and the poor collision detection. Rotating sawblades are particularly annoying with this, because they will hurt Crash before he can even get close to them, and sometimes he'll just get stuck in them and suffer damage until you lose. Another glitch happens with crates: Crash can sometimes get stuck between crates or flicker between them. Enemies aren't free from glitches either: whether they freeze the moment they go off-screen (even if they're in mid-air), bounce perpetually on arrow crates or gain power-ups intended for Crash, they're just further evidence of the game's poor execution.

An electric eel beheads several robots by zapping them with an electric shock from its tail.Like in the console version, taking control of mutants is essential to progress.

Classic crates are present in the game, usually giving you goodies or letting you hurt enemies with the help of explosions. For some odd reason, the invisibility crate from The Wrath of Cortex is also back for the first time. It does absolutely nothing besides making Crash semi-transparent. Enemies can still see and attack him, and worse yet, they can break those crates by accident and become semi-transparent themselves (which, again, does nothing to help them).

Since you now have a health bar, you can replenish it by picking up Wumpa fruits. Other collectibles are back for different purposes as well, such as crystals, which now make you invincible, and gems, which act as currency for jackable enemy dispensors. These dispensors are completely pointless besides controlling some of the bosses for fun, because as has been noted already, jackable creatures aren't hard to find. Gems thus become pointless too. New to collectibles are tiki masks of 3 different colors: green ones are abundant and easy to find, silver ones are a bit sparser, and gold ones are rare. Getting all the masks in all levels of an island unlocks a battle arena, in case you didn't get your fill of the "lovely" combat in regular levels.

Crash dodges a sawblade attack by Nina's spider robot.The oversized character sprites are just one of many problems.

It's easy to tell that development for this game was rushed. Not only are there so many bad things to highlight, but the game is also very short. The hard part is figuring out why exactly was it rushed. This version of Crash of the Titans was cooked long before the other two, so the least they could have done was give the game some much needed layers of polish to at least ensure it plays well. The bugs are way too glaring for no one to have noticed them during development, and the game's just not fun in general.

Crash of the Titans for the Game Boy Advance is nothing like the other two versions. Each version usually has its own strengths and weaknesses, but this game has no redeeming qualities. It's a short, bug-ridden mess with repetitive combat and bad design.

The good

  • The box looks nice

The bad

  • The characters are too large for such a small screen
  • Repetitive combat
  • Overabundance of enemies
  • The level design is messy and convoluted
  • There are glitches everywhere
  • Poor collision detection
  • Unskippable, pointless 3D-ish segments
  • Short length (this is probably a good thing in retrospect)

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