Mind Over Mutant is the 15th Crash Bandicoot game in the series. The story in Mind Over Mutant revolves around a very popular tech device called the "NV", which looks like a parody of Apple's iPhone. The device is a mind control machine that puts whoever uses it under control of the antagonists Doctor Cortex and Nitrus Brio. Crash, seemingly unaffected by the mind control device, must free his friends from the clutches of Cortex and Brio and stop their master plan.
Picking up where Crash of the Titans left off, Doctor Neo Cortex has lost control of The Titans who now roam free throughout the Wumpa Islands where they have produced their own communities.
All is good until Cortex has rejuvenated at which point he finds himself unable to leave things at peace. Teaming up with his old partner, Doctor Nitrus Brio, Cortex invents a PDA (Personal Digital Assitant) called the 'NV', which transmits bad mojo, extracted from Cortex's old boss Uka-Uka, in order to control the minds of both mutants and Bandicoots alike.
Crash Bandicoot finds himself to be the only hope of the Wumpa Islands (once more), when the NV turns both his friends Coco and Crunch into ferocious beast-like creatures, but curiously leaves Crash uncontrolled. Under the power of Cortex, Coco and Crunch find themselves lusting for the destruction of Crash. Eventually Crash manages to free Coco from the NV's grip and the two investigate Cortex's plot by checking checking the only source they can trust: his blog. At this point, Crash and Coco remember how Cortex placed his neice, Nina, in Public Evil School after she betrayed him in Crash of the Titans and decide to pay Nina a visit.
Upon reaching Nina, Crash and Coco have to bargain with Nina to find out Cortex's location. After managing to save Nina's science fair project, she explains to Crash and Coco that Cortex has teamed up with Brio and that the two are carrying out their plot from the [relative] safety of the Junkyard. She also unveils that the next part of their scheme will be to build a new giant (presumably evil) space station and many new NV devices. At this point Crash and Aku Aku make their way to the Junkyard where they find Brio and Crunch. Aku Aku and Crash work to free Crunch from his mental captivity and the three find out from Brio that Uka Uka is being held inside Mount Grimly and that Cortex has taken the Space Station up into the sky and that only with Uka Uka's power will they be able to chase him up there.
Aku Aku and Crash find Uka Uka there, but find all his mojo is being extracted from him, leaving him powerless. Uka Uka is freed but he is still powerless as his voodoo bones have been taken from him and given to the 3 most menacing and brutal Titans on the Island. Crash manages to get the bones back and a restored Uka Uka sends Crash to the space station to exact his revenge upon Cortex.
Upon the Space Station, Crash and Cortex engage in an epic battle, only made more epic when Cortex injects himself with a serum, stolen from Brio, which turns him into a gigantic mutant. Nontheless Crash wins and Cortex falls. Upon losing to Crash, Cortex forgets his own strength and throws a titanic tantrum which causes the Space Station to fall from the sky. Cortex returns to normal size and escapes the tumbling station, whilst Crash and Aku Aku brace themselves for the impact. Incredibly, they survive the collision and find themselves reunited with Coco and Crunch once more.
Cutscenes and Humour
This game in the Crash saga focused it's themes upon consumerism and social satire, mostly through it's cutscenes and sense of humour. There were objects similar to iPod's and Blackberries, there were numerous SUV's featured and a major plot point revolved Cortex's blog, of all things.
The animated cutscenes were told with many different styles of animation, featuring styles reminiscent of Dragonball and oddly enough, South Park.
Mind Over Mutant is a mission based game where the quests are given to Crash by NPCs instead of a normal level based style that most Crash fans are used to. NPCs will be standing around with exclamation points above their heads (ala World of Warcraft) which signify that they contain information and/or quests pertinent to advancing the story or current mission.
While it sounds like an open-world sandbox style game, it isn't. The missions you partake in are all linear, meaning you have to complete one before you can unlock another. Also the camera is fixed in position as you navigate throughout the world.
Crash's signature spin move has made a return in this game. Plays can also double jump, charge kick, pummel enemies with combos which is all done using the analog sticks. On the Wii, movement gestures are used to make the same actions. Some new mechanics include dodging and climbing on walls. Crash can in some cases, dig underneath objects to make his way past them. When Crash defeats or destroys enemies or breaks objects, a substance called Mojo falls out and Crash must collect it to level up.
The larger enemies in the game, called "Titans", can be controlled by the player. Once the titan has been stunned, Crash can jump on the creature and maneuver throughout the world with it. Crash can also store these mutants in inventory for later use at anytime. Multiple titans can be stored at once as well making it easier on players decided which monster to use and when. The titans can also be upgraded in the same fashion as Crash by collecting Mojo from defeated enemies and broken objects.
Mind Over Mutant features a co-op mode where a second player can join anytime by plugging in a second controller. The second player initially appears as a mask floating around Crash. The mask character can attack enemies using a magic projectile attack. If the second player presses a particular button, they can exit and enter the mask (drop in and drop out co-op play). In the Wii and 360 version, after CoCo (Crash's sister) has been unlocked for play, the second player will assume the role of CoCo instead of the mask. In the PS2 version of the game, a white furred version of Crash called "Carbon Crash" is used instead.
Immediately after production on Crash of the Titans was completed, the team started work on Mind over Mutant. Radical spent a lot of time and energy focusing on wishes bought to their attention by fans of the series. Some of these inclusions consist of:
- Playing in a sandbox environment
- Coco being a playable character
- The return of Cortex's partner, Doctor Nitrus Brio
Also, the idea of preserving Titans for later use came about when Radical were observing test playthroughs of the prior game, Crash of the Titans. During these tests, on defeating Titans, players were often reluctant to leave the scene of the battle . Unfortunately, by this point there was little time to develop such an extensive feature.
Two features which were rejected were a fully controllable camera scheme and Online play. The camera scheme was omitted because co-op play would require a split screen and the online was not included because of time issues.
On the PS2 copy of the game, Coco is not a playable character, as her distinct animation style took up too much of the console's memory.
Curiously, the Wii version of the game was the original copy of the game, with graphics then upscaled for the Xbox 360 and then descaled all over again for the Playstation 2. Although a Playstation 3 version of the game was rumored, Radical has since debunked the rumor.