Saturday, January 17, 2015

Funk of Titans (Xbox One) Review

Funk of Titans on Xbox One is a new take on the popular runner-type games, with a few extra twists to add something new.  In this new version of Roman mythology, you play as Perseus and have to prove that funk is still the best.  I really dig the style of the game, where Zeus looks like The Matrix's Morpheus, and Perseus looks like Black Dynamite.  I'm not fond of Hercules being a pimply-faced fat guy, but I can deal with it.  My favorite might be the Medusa, who looks like she fell right out of the 80s.  It's certainly a unique take on Roman mythology, and I like it.

The core of the game is very similar to the "runner" style of games, where you character automatically runs (usually to the right), and you just have to time your jumps to make it through the level.  You can also wall jump at certain places, and bounce off of enemy heads for more height.  Since you won't control your running left or right, it can be easy to miss vinyls either directly, or because you didn't jump soon enough to bounce off an enemy's head.  There are enemies you cannot stomp on, but you do have a weapon that you can attack them with.  There's also spring boards to launch you around the level (think the springs from the old Sonic games), and other contraptions that add to the stages and make each one feel unique.

There are 3 areas with 15 levels in each one.  Each level only takes a few minutes to complete, but there is some replay value.  There are three additional goals per level: getting all the vinyls (100 per level), completing a stage without getting hit, and finding the Pegasus.  Usually finding the Pegasus is the easiest, assuming you have the correct weapon, and remaining unscathed isn't as hard as it sounds.  You die in two hits, so by the time you master a level, it isn't very hard to not get hit.  Collecting all the vinyls, on the other hand, can be tricky.  There are 100 per level, and it is very easy to miss one if you mis-time a jump.  The vinyls are used to buy new weapons and helmets in the shop, or even buy a ticket for the Pegasus bonus stage.  I recommend the "Funk Trooper" or "Funktimus" helmet... but that's just a personal bias.

If you want to get all medals in a level, you will have to replay several of them.  Not only because you will likely miss some vinyls, or die at some point, bu sometimes the Pegasus is behind a magic door that can only be broken down by a certain weapon, which you might not have access to.  To be able to buy them, you have to increase your hero level by completing Zeus' missions.  Zeus will give you three objectives per hero level, and you need to complete all three to level up.  They range from things like "complete 3 levels naked", "defeat x number of guards with a head stomp" and other things that can be done in the game.  They aren't too hard, but you may have to replay certain levels to easily fulfill them, as they only start tracking once Zeus gives them to you.

The Pegasus bonus stages are in a different style to the main game.  You ride on the Pegasus and holding the A Button will have you ascend, while letting go will cause you to sink.  It takes time to fly up, so you have to carefully time your holding to try to grab vinyls while not crashing.  The best I can equate it to (since I haven't played many runner type games) is Jetpack Joyride, but with the added caveat of you aren't allowed to touch the ground.

To round out the different playstyles in the game, there are grunt fights and a titan fight to end each area.  They are both similar to each other, as you have to perform 3 long QTE sequences.  The button you have to push flashes briefly on the screen in relation to where it is on the controller (very nice).  Thankfully, you don't have to get them all correct in order to beat the stage, but you do if you want to get all three gold medals from the stage.  Granted, that only helps if you are a completionist, or are going for achievements.  Speaking of achievements, they aren't too hard for the game, but will require you to get every gold medal and complete all of Zeus' missions.  So while the game isn't that long, getting your thousand gamerscore will have you replay the levels several times.

While I haven't played many runner type games, Funk of Titans is pretty fun.  I think a lot of runner games are free to play traps with microtransactions, but thankfully this game isn't.  The price isn't too bad, and you do get a few hours of fun out of the game.  It has a fresh take on Roman mythology, and has enough elements that it doesn't feel stale.  It's not too difficult that you won't be able to beat it, either.

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