Just as Dead as Rock and Roll
By Edwin Velez
Reviewed on Playstation Vita
Released on June 21st For PS Vita (Also Available on Xbox One, PS4, WiiU, and Steam)
Developer:A Crowd of Monsters Publisher:A Crowd of Monsters
Ever wonder what music the gods of Greek Mythology liked to jam to? Funk of Titans is here to answer that question. Funk of Titans is a runner/platformer hybrid of sorts that follows a groovy interpretation of the demigod Perseus on his quest to restore "funk" back into the world. Titans of Pop, Rap, and Rock music genres have claimed their territories and the only way to reclaim them is by hacking, slashing, and dancing your way to victory. Though the concept sounded different, I gave it a shot all the same. After a roughly 4-6 hour quest to bring back Funk, it’s easy to see that the title as a whole is conceptually misguided.
Funk of Titan is off beat in many ways, but the easiest to see initially is the gameplay choice. The game runs for you, with you only either jumping or attacking at any given time. Because of that, each level is set to a certain path with various obstacles, traps, and enemies looking to slow you down. My first few romps in the beginning levels were enjoyable, with Funk of Titans feeling like an up scaled mobile title. Quickly after though, the gameplay gets severely dull and all too repetitive. Though new obstacles are gradually added throughout the course of the quest, they are not enough to add to the limited appeal.
I sincerely think had this game been a more traditional platformer that it could have had a lot more potential. The runner genre just doesn't work for every concept, especially one that would seemingly be in sync with musical direction but is lost in dull action. The concept is the main underlying problem. I’m game for giving anything a chance when it comes to mash-ups, but ancient Greek themes and modern music just don't effectively work in the long run. It may have, had the concept been honed in more, but the end result just isn't fleshed out. For one, none of the base music you hear throughout the game even remotely sounds like "funk" in my opinion. The boss fights in each section feature themed tracks that correspond with that maps music genre, but sadly you won’t see much more of these inspirations.
The characters themselves are also not as fleshed out either. Your supporting characters (Zeus, Aretha, and Hercules) do their job by being motivational speakers that give some substance to the story, but the biggest let down is the main character Perseus. For a character that is visually designed well, he does nothing to stand out. Aside from a few dance moves, his character gives you no reason to be attached to him. Not to mention the awful sounding "ouch" noises he makes upon getting hit. It is a bummer that the only bit of something interesting that comes from him are his equipment options, which are mostly inspired by other pop culture icons, never allowing Perseus to stand out on his own.
Level design, in addition to the gameplay, is also repetitive. Change of backgrounds only mildly distract from the set ups and paths you will have seen all too much of by the time you slay the last boss. Some of the vibrant colors work in Funk of Titans favor, but much of the textures, especially words and symbols, are muddled and ugly. An additional missed opportunity was lost on the mini-bosses and actual bosses. Though the final bosses look different (they are clever parodies of well know stars in their respective genres), every fight is set up the same and even takes place in the same location. The same situation occurs for the mini-bosses, but to make matter worse they look EXACTLY the same. These quick time events just lack anything to make it challenging or interesting.
For a budget-friendly title, you can buy worse than Funk of Titans. In general however, the game is full of missed opportunities and dull qualities. I will commend it on its mobile friendly appeal, as it is casual and can be fun in very mild spurts. As a whole, it’s just a conceptual misfire. Though I can't say the same for the console versions of it, Funk of Titans on the Vita is a story from the ancient Myths that you just won't care for.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 5/10
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