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Crash - Mind Over Mutant

Crash - Mind Over Mutant is the latest in the Crash Bandicoot series, a platformer which can be played by one or two players. I really had high hopes for this game, as I generally love platformers. Unfortunately, it just does not hold up.

It's sort of hard to put your finger exactly on why the game isn't fun to play. The graphics are nice enough, a good balance between realistic movement and cartooney shininess. The characters are cute, optimistic, and have the usual collection of bouncing, climbing, spinning and other movements.

There are monsters you encounter that you can take control of. Each monster has special abilities that you can use to solve puzzles. For example you run into an ice monster and can use him to freeze water.

There was a fair amount of potential here, but the gameplay really feels tedious and boring. The dialogue is painful. I realize this is for kids - we play a LOT of games meant for kids and they are generally quite fun! I had several people try this one and usually you have to pry the controller away from people that are playing a platformer. With this one, they would slog through an area or two and then want to stop playing.

Digging aimlessly through underground areas looking for a shiny object or two? Slashing away at giant dandelions? These are only the first few fun tasks you take on in your duties.

There are so many other great platformers out there that are incredibly fun to play and replay - the Ratchet & Clank series, the Jak & Daxter series. We would spend weeks and weeks playing those games and enjoying every moment of it. That we had to force ourselves to play through this one was really a key indicator that it just wasn't right. We love platforming - we are this game's target audience. It just wasn't well done.

If you really want to give it a try, rent it from your local game rental store or website. That way you can test it out first. If it happens to match your particular gaming style, then by all means by it - but I'm afraid most platforming fans will find it lacking.

Buy Crash - Mind Over Mutant from Amazon.com

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