Funk of Titans for Xbox One
Funk of Titans from A Crowd of Monsters is one of those games that just grabs your attention at first glance. It throws you into a new take on Greek Mythology where Zeus is the father of funk and the titans are trying to take over with their new types of music. You are placed into the shoes of an afro sporting, golden tracksuit wearing, sword wielding Perseus and charged with taking down these titans in order to prove the power that is the funk. All of this wrapped up in a neat little side-scrolling platformer package. Sounds good, right?
The world of music is often used in video games to provide a new way to interact. Whether it be through rhythm-based gameplay or just a new way to weave entrancing narratives. It’s been done many times, but no matter how often it comes around it almost always seems to work. Unfortunately, this is one of the first issues Funk of Titans suffers from, the developers never seem to take advantage of the awesome stage they set up.
Initially you’ll notice the cool funky tunes that play as you make your way across one of the 40+ stages set across the three musical worlds. It sounds fitting since you are the son of the god of funk. After some time though, you will realize that it just doesn’t fit. You are traveling through the realms of pop, hip-hop and rock yet you only hear that genre of music when you finally make your way to the worlds boss. Not once do they use the opportunity granted to them by their own plot to provide varied soundtracks for each world.
The matter of gameplay in Funk of Titans rolls around next and honestly, the news is still bleak. As mentioned before it is a side-scrolling platformer, but you have no control over Perseus’s direction or speed. One would expect a bit of rhythm worked into the mix especially since the whole flow is preset but it never presents itself. What does appear are levels with very little variation and a rogues gallery totaling 3 enemies that repeat throughout your adventure.
Level design is an odd mixed bag as well. While each of the three worlds have their own art-style the actual layout is pretty much the same throughout. To make matters worse, the obstacles are placed in a way to frustrate even the most calm of players. Perseus is able take 2 hits before dying, to help you get your bearings after getting hurt the game will throw you back a bit so you can prepare your next jump. Unfortunately, more often than not you will be thrown right into another obstacle.
You will often find yourself tossed immediately into danger forcing you to restart the whole level. Just a problem for the end game right? Well wrong, this doesn’t only happen late in the game. In the very first level, the tutorial, you will come across this very issue leaving you to wonder how it can get any worse. You may say to yourself “well all I need to do is avoid obstacles then” and you’d be right except for the fact that it doesn’t always work out how you planned.
The controls have a slight delay and even if you overcome that there is very little room for error. In order to jump over anything you would have to trigger the jump right as you’re about to hit it yet sometimes you will still find yourself stripped of your health and wondering where you went wrong. When there are a string of obstacles and enemies to navigate is when frustration levels tend to rise, especially since these sequences tend to happen towards the end of the stage.
Some credit must be given to the teams efforts to add some replay-ability to Funk of Titans. Zeus will provide you with heroic missions which are tasks that can be done throughout the levels and can unlock cool little items to customize your Perseus. The challenges range from completing bonus levels to jumping a certain amount of times in one stage. If you’re into the game this will add a little extra challenge for you. Unfortunately the items you get access to provide a few laughs but not much else.
There are over two dozen items split between weapons and masks to choose from. While they are all pretty funny and provide nods towards popular properties they are pretty much useless. Out of all the weapons only three are necessary to gain access to certain bonus levels. Unless you’re really intent on collecting every single vinyl in the game there really is no drive to spend your time collecting them.
Funk of Titans is a game full of missed opportunities and it’s really a shame. The game has a solid premise that would be good for some great laughs and varied gameplay, it just never seems to deliver. The developers could’ve had a field day with the different genres of music and really put a special touch on each world. Instead you’re left with an over-simplified platformer that doesn’t provide any real incentive to play.