By: Quinn Potter
Boom Shakalaka! Get your groove on as Perseus in the comedic, action-packed side scroller, Funk of Titans. Find the vinyl and the Pegasus; fight pop, rap, and rock; and dig deep to find those dance moves that will win you back your soul-loving mojo.
Controls are well-planned and easy to use. There’s little required of the player for motion, actually, as Perseus is always moving left or right (you have no control). Use X and A to either attack or jump — and that’s about it. The left stick will let Perseus shout out some motivating phrases (“Sweet!”).
The left and right triggers let you navigate stores for your purchases. You’ll also get explicit instructions on which buttons to push for the dance-off (A, X, Y) so you can let your Funky Chicken fly. By the way, you can’t re-map controls, but there’s little need to, anyway.
First off, Funk of Titans has some really sharp graphics and witty background details. Call it cheesy or cartoony, but the stylistic choices are spot-on for this smirky little gem. The ancient world is a mishmash of tropical islands, temple ruins, waterfalls, beaches and more. The water has a sense of motion, is clear, and shows different depths. Snow is translucent when it falls.
Larger items (such as trees or temples) lack fine details, but careful attention has been paid to both the weapons and hats/ helmets available for purchase. Few if any glitches appeared, though the game popped up without text boxes a couple of times, forcing a re-boot.
Cool catchphrases abound — “Umm-hmm,” “Cool, Daddy-o,” “Oh Mama,” and more. Narration is smooth, but it gets repetitive. The musical accompaniment is generic and could have had a little more pep. Barry White, James Brown and Aretha Franklin are noticeably absent, and you are left to save Funk with little more than cool jazz and light flute music.
Welcome to a modern twist on Ancient Greece. Zeus, your dad, has given you the quest of restoring Funk to the world. Fight the bad guys, dodge obstacles and work your way through the coastal world of pop, the frozen tundra of rap and the volcanic lava of rock to complete your quest.
You can collect a maximum of 100 vinyls per level and can go back and replay a level to improve your score. The levels don’t necessarily get harder as you progress through the game, but it is nice to have the option to give a repeat performance. If you demonstrate total mastery of a level (100 vinyls, collect Pegasus, have no damage) your level symbol turns shiny gold.
On each level, there’s also a secret chamber to find Pegasus. Sometimes you need a special weapon to open this chamber. If you don’t have the right weapon, the pop-up text will tell you what you need. After completing the level, if you’ve found Pegasus, you get to have a special Flappy Bird-type game where you ride the flying horse to collect vinyl and dodge disaster.
At the end of each level, you have the option of spending some vinyl in the shop. Purchase helmets/ hats or weapons. Some objects are typical, others are unique. For headpieces, try out the Funkneto (funk magnet helmet), Funk Trooper (Stormtrooper with Funk), or Like a Sir (“power, elegance and pride in just one accessory”). If you want to have some fun with the weapons, ditch the basic sword and go to radio cassette, vegetarian or traffic sign.
In each world (pop, rap, rock), there’s a grunt match. This is in the middle of each world and is not the boss battle/dance off that comes at the end. You always fight the same person with the same weapon and same hair. You jump into the ring the same way. The game will tell you what buttons to push and it’s like fighting in slo-mo. Short, sweet, clear directives, done. Super easy.
The dance off is a little different. This is the boss battle that comes at the end of each world. You still go three rounds and are told exactly what to do, but you have to press the buttons faster and hold them longer. This isn’t extremely difficult (nothing in the game is) and, though it brings you closure to a world it’s not exactly appealing or funny. In fact, the point was lost on me, to be honest.
Taken with a dose of whimsy and a whiff of nostalgia, Funk of Titans is a quick and witty game. What Soul has to do with Mount Olympus and Ancient Greece isn’t clear. Nor are the arbitrary dance offs. However, it sure is fun and the timing is impeccable. “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars) is currently climbing up the charts. This may be Funk’s moment. Put Funk of Titans on mute, blast your own mix and let 2015 take you to Funkytown — or a least a trip down memory lane.