Funk of Titans is one of those games. The sort where you watch the trailer and think to yourself you can get behind this. You like the funkaaay music and throwback to old school side scrolling platformers like Zool, Cool Spot and James Pond. With a new take on Greek mythology where Zeus is actually the father of Funk and the Titans are trying to take over with their new styles of music (the more I think about this it is actually like a car journey in the Stevens house with my kids battling to get their Frozen and Now CD’s on over my preference of Radio 2).
You are Perseus; the afro sporting, golden tracksuit wearing, funk filled love child of Shaft and the Bride from Kill Bill, charged with putting the Titans back in their place and thus proving the power of Radio 2…I mean Funk. Sounds good right?
I’ve played many music based games in my gaming life, whether this be thrashing around with plastic guitars or drums, tapping buttons in time to the beat or painstakingly trying to nail a solo with a real guitar. I’ve also experienced gaming moments where soundtracks accent the tension or just fit (saints row and GTA V I’m looking at you) and this is where Funk of Titans plays its first bum note.
Initially the cool funky tunes fits so nicely as you play across a multitude of stages stretched over three worlds but in essence it doesn’t really fit. Yes you are the son of Funk but the three worlds you travel through are the worlds of Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop yet you only hear the sounds of these genres when you meet the big boss battle at the end of each world. Your own plot grants the opportunity to deliver a varied and unique soundtrack surely it’s harder to not tick that box.
A simple platformer seems to be the goal and that much is achieved opening it up most gamers especially those with young families. The primary gameplay is running, lots of running, continuously. There is no searching the area or soaking up your surroundings allowed here which would have been nice as the levels themselves look quite beautiful in a cartoony nineties Disney way.
However, once you look past the aesthetics of the worlds, Funk of Titans slowly reveals itself to be repetitive and not greatly designed with the added bonus of a bad penalty mechanic. During each stage you can take two hits but the first bounces you back from what hit you. The problem with this is it quite easily, and frequently, bounces you into more danger which accounts for your second hit.
An argument for temporary invincibility after the first hit can be made here. Yes it would make an easy game easier but relying on the bad mechanic of unfair kills to pad out playtime will just make it a nominee for the Padsmasher award in the community awards this year rather than encourage you to keep coming back to try again.
Later in the game the boss fights open the door for more inspired music and level design but by this points it is too little too late for all but the hard-core completionist; it is these compeltionists that will be the ones that grind out the Heroic Levels for the cosmetic unlockables as well.
Funk of Titans is simply a game full of missed opportunities and that in itself is a shame as we need a good old school platformer for this generation. The game has the premise right to be a showstealer it just never seems to give enough to make it so, leaving you with a platformer that gets lost in the unvaried music.
MLG Rating: 4/10 Format: Xbox One Release Date: 09/01/2015
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Funk of Titans by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a Xbox One. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.