In 1964 the Titans group was introduced into the comic world by DC Comics. It involved a few sidekicks and other childlike characters from other teams. It was an attempt to create a team comprised of teenagers that could connect with children, and for quite a while it was hit. It seemed to be targeted not to just to kids though, but eventually also teenagers. Down the road they even involved the slogan in their name, moving onto becoming the Teen Titans. Since many years have past, the original team has changed, previously involving characters like Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. They eventually filtered into a core team of five, comprised of characters that everyone could relate to. In lieu of the superhero pop phenomenon that has been going on for the past few years, the team was deemed perfect for Saturday morning cartoons.
Now I have been a fan of the cartoon for a few years. I am also a fan to the point of watching the entire first season on DVD, just to refresh me before playing this game. I also have been able to watch a sporadic episode from Saturday mornings. I admit that I never read any of the comics, but in my defence I never saw them in the local comic book store. For the most part I do have the general knowledge of the characters, and how they interact with each other, which I think is important for a super hero game based upon the cartoon. Why I think it is important is simple though. Simply put, only fans of the comics or television show are likely to purchase this game, even though it is a budget title.
Since this game follows the current cartoon series, your main characters are all five members of the team. For story mode you are limited to Robin, who is Batman’s old sidekick. Cyborg, a teenager student that suffered an accident, which caused him to be robotically rebuilt like the Six Million Dollar Man. You have Starfire, a girl from another planet. You have Raven, a Goth girl that needs to keep her emotions in check or she could rage out of control. Finally there is Beast Boy, who can change into any animal but will always look green. You will play these characters either in story mode or battle mode.
The story revolves around the characters being put into new problems, while encountering a lot of the cartoon’s old foes. The truth is that something is amiss, as they have all ready put all of these villains away into jail. This leaves the team with a question on how can they be on the streets. Something else that is out of place for the team is them losing six weeks in a blink of an eye. The storyline is ripe with the Teen Titan style, involving a lot of classic interaction between the heroes and villains. There are also amusing parts like exploding bunnies, further keeping touch with the cartoon. Some times it did not feel like they catered towards the super villains voices, but it was plentiful for the super heroes.
The storyline progresses pretty quickly as well, and you will find yourself running through the levels with ease. It will never take too long to meet up with the boss of the level, and defeat them. There are not a lot of levels either, so you will not be spending a lot of time on the story mode. This leads to a lack of replay value, unless you wish to try and improve your final level score, or grab a few unlockable items. You do get to engage with a lot of the characters from the videogame, which is very nice seeing a full cast of enemies.
I started out my experience by placing the game into my Gamecube. I turned on the system, and waited. I found the oh so familiar entrance video to Teen Titans, but something was missing. They had removed the vocals from the song, leaving only the background music to be enjoyed. Now I expected -- since this is a budget title -- that there would be some cut backs, but in all honesty I expected this to be spared. So for fans of the game, it is a little bit disappointing to not have it in there. Also a lot of the music did seem a little repetitive as well, but then again the game is not about music, it was about character interaction. The feeling of this being a budget game was shown with the graphics of the game, where the graphics were decent but nothing fancy. The game lacks a punch here to drive it home, but they do their job.
I had noticed that the game supported up to four different players at a time, which was great to see. I really enjoy this feature in videogames because it gives the perfect excuse to invite a few friends over. When I got in the multiplayer game though, I found a lot of confusion of who was playing whom, and where everyone was. I had hoped that there were highlighted icons to show where the characters were, rather than just a coloured circle at the character’s feet. The main problem of the character’s feet being highlighted was that at a distance you could not see which colour they were.
This was worsened by how the screen would stretch out if two people were trying to fight on opposite sides. Another thing that was confusing were odd camera angles that appeared sporadically. It would shoot forward to a pre-determined spot, leaving you wondering where you are. In short you will lose track of your character, which will lead to you dying quite a bit. Luckily when playing with multiple players you had everlasting lives, as you only need to eject yourself from the game, and then log back in. Moving onto the controls, you are also able to toggle through the five different characters by using the D-Pad. If you are tired of playing with Starfire, you can always switch to the Goth girl... so long as no one else has beaten you to it. There is an issue with this, since there are only five different characters. You are not able to have four Robins on the screen, so someone will end up playing one of their less favourite characters in multiplayer.
The battle style is a lot like Gauntlet, or even a bit like the recent Ninja Turtles games. You will have your standard three types of attacks, weak, strong, and special. You can generate combos with them. Using combos does make battling a lot easier than just button mashing. You can also jump, which allows you to use your special attacks in the air. The special attacks involve long distance attacks, like batarangs or bolts of energy. Along the way you can also pick up power-ups that allow you to move/attack quicker, or pick up a “Titanic” attack, which showcases the most powerful character move. The attacks will also level up as you go through the storyline, where you will unlock even more combos. Eventually you will unlock more characters to play in battle mode, which is much more fun than the story mode. The battle mode is where you will play as the vastly different characters you gathered in arenas. This often included different costumes, like Beast Boy’s outfit while working at a burger joint, or Red X, a Robin costume.
In the end the game does have its pluses, and its minuses. It is a budget game, so you cannot expect too much from it. What it does provide though is a solid storyline that links up with the cartoon. Overall it is a solid game, but nothing special. It will keep you entertained for a few hours, but after that you will move on to other games. This will also be said for the hardcore fans of Teen Titans. All and all the game gives you an average experience, and so Captain Gordon gives it a C.