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Crash Bandicoot is almost as famous as that little blue hedgehog fellow that runs around collecting rings, but I think Crash should be the more famous one as he’s got a lot more charm and pizzazz about him.

In the latest Bandicoot adventure we see him up against his arch nemesis Neo Cortex, who’s devised yet another fiendish, and dastardly devilish, evil scientist plan to take over the world. This time he’s using basically a brain control device to turn the denizens of Wampu island into his unwitting pawns, and of course they fall for it through Neo’s clever use of infomercials. So it’s up to our friendly neighborhood bandicoot to come save the day once again, this time though he’s got some special tricks up his sleeve, or should I say in his pockets. Crash has the ability to ‘jack’ monsters, or take control of them to do his bidding to help him fight Neo Cortex and his hordes of henchmen. When Crash doesn’t need the monster he puts it in his pocket for later use, Crash and his monsters can be upgraded as well by collecting jewels, or Mojo.

Crash Bandicoot – Mind Over Mutant is a rather fun game, but it can get repetitive at times. Even with the repetition I found I had to keep playing because the cut scenes are just great, from spoof infomercials, old style cartoons and to even anime inspired movies, they’re just well worth playing to get to them.

So continue on for a bunch of screen shots, and two movies for you, including one of the aforementioned cut scenes..

So we’ll start off with a few box shots:

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Specifications:

Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutant 

In the deepest Crash adventure yet, Crash: Mind Over Mutant arms players with new features, including the ability not only to control enemies once they are ‘jacked,’ but to store the mutants in Crash’s pocket, upgrade them and utilize their unique powers. Players can also roam through Wumpa Island in a two-player cooperative mode with Crash’s sister Coco.

In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, a rejuvenated Neo Cortex is taking over the world one brain at a time! Cortex and N. Brio devise a new kind of evil — a text-messaging, do-anything device that controls both mutant and bandicoot minds. The "free-romping" experience allows players to voyage and explore through intersecting worlds, giving them a new game play experience depending on which mutant Crash stores in his pocket for the ride. Armed with his quick-wits and lightening agility, Crash must free his friends, the titans and save the day!



First up here’s the Intro movie and the basic options for you, it’s a little under two minutes but it’s rather cool:

Here’s about nine minutes of gameplay, including one of the cut scenes, which in itself is over four minutes long, but well worth watching:

Gameplay takes a bit to get accustomed to, but it could be me as I really don’t have much time to play consoles games, so it took a bit for me to get using the controller again. Once I played for a bit everything was fine, it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget, you just have to remember the motions.

In the beginning of the game you’re pretty much doing find things and bring them back tasks, it’s not until after quite a bit of playing do you really learn the premise behind the game and finally the tutorial kicks in where you’ll learn how to fight and control the mutants on the island. Each mutant has a special ability that can be utilized by hitting the R1 and then the square button, even though the mutants are tougher than Crash, depending what you’re doing, you may need to dismount from your mutant to continue with the level.

The controls themselves seem very responsive, if you don’t count the lack of camera control, and really Crash Mind Over Mutant is a fun game to play for a while, if only to see the cut scenes. About the cut scenes, they’re very well done and some are rather amusing, with subtleties that only older folks will get. The cut scenes are in fact so good that they sort of take away from the actual game, it seems more time went into the movies than actual development of the game itself. It’s a platformer, you collect things, been there, done that, too many times actually, sure they added a reward system for collecting the gems or Mojo, but it’s still collecting things everywhere you can.

They do mention one of the features is that it’s a free roaming style game, or as they put it ‘free-romping’, but it really isn’t, you still have to get a mission, keep going forward till it’s accomplished, and probably the most frustrating part is that once you complete a goal you backtrack to the beginning.

Considering it’s rated E for Everyone with a 10+ tag on it, it works well for children as well, there’s nothing bad about the game in any way, my six and seven year old have been dying to play it since I got it for review, and I can easily let them have it with no problem or worries. There’s no blood or anything, just clean, comical fun, but it’s done in a way that works well, they’ve seen worse things on Saturday morning cartoons.

The whole game though doesn’t really bring much new to the Crash series, sure we’ve got the ability to control mutants, and it’s fun for a while, but it’s very repetitive, still though I found it to be quite fun and amusing. I’ve got fond memories of Crash on the PS1, and Mind Over Mutant does do it some justice and bring some of the memories back as to why I liked the kookey little bandicoot in the first place.

One thing that irked me though about Crash is there seems to be no way to control the camera, I couldn’t find any, there’s nothing in the manual and pushing buttons did nothing like moving the camera. You’ll find that at certain points in the game only a very small part is visible and you can easily be attacked, in other parts like jumping from rock to rock, it would be much easier to change the camera angle, it just seems the camera is very far away at points making it very hard to figure out the jump timings, especially when things are moving.


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Conclusion:
Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutant is a fun and entertaining game, it brings back fond memories of why I liked the little bandicoot on the PS1.

The game doesn’t bring much really to the Crash series, it’s an attempt to revitalize it that I’m not sure is going to work really. A platformer where you run around collecting things has been done to death, and now we’ve just added another to the mix.

The lack of camera controls does make the game a bit harder than it should be.

Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutant is not a bad game overall, it is fun, and amusing at times, but it just feels a bit unfinished, like they wanted to do something spectacular but just ran out of time with it.

Pros:
Fun game overall
Funny cut scenes
Lots of cool monsters, or mutants to control

Cons:
Camera is goofy, makes game harder than it should be

Grades:  
Overall score-7-10
Design score-7-10
Performance score-8-10