Iíve always wondered why Titusí mascot is a fox. I knew that
theyíd never created a game starring a fox, so it seemed to me
that they just picked a fox because they found it cute. Finally some
validation has come to the foxís mascot status as Titus has put
him in his own platform game. Unfortunately for that cute little fox
the results are mixed at best.
-Cooperative gameplay using Game Link cable
-Secret areas, hidden bonus levels, and moreÖ
The story behind this game is that Foxy (Titusí girlfriend) is
captured by the "evil and ruthless Sultan Rabys". The
Sultan challenges Titus to rescue her, so he and Zorro (his cousin)
set out to rescue her and return her safely to their forest home.
Shakespeare it isnít, but it serves its purpose and sets up the
action to follow.
The core of Titus the Fox and just about any game, the gameplay,
is actually pretty solid. Titus the Fox plays out exactly the way
youíd expect a platformer on the GBC to play. Titus has the
ability to jump and throw things. The only way to kill enemies is to
hit them with a box (why they picked a box out of all things Iíll
never know), and by jumping on balloons you can be hurtled high into
the air to jump over high obstacles. Along the way youíll also
collect bonuses (a square with a diamond shape inside) that give you
an extra life for every 100 you collect. In addition, thereís also
a cooperative two-player game mode (basically just two people going
through the same quest) that is implemented pretty well, even though
it does provide some bad lag and flicker at times.
Unfortunately, beyond that things are a confusing mess. This gameís
design is simply horrible. Why they chose to name the first two
levels of the game "Extra Level I" and "Extra Level
II" Iíll never know. Itís as if, on the last day of
development, they decided to throw those two levels in the game and
forgot to actually rename them to something that makes sense. Not
only that, but the enemies youíll encounter are essentially wave
after wave of the exact same enemies. I realize this is only a GBC
game, but I expect the enemies to be slightly more varied than this.
Also, if you donít read the manual, youíll have no idea whatís
going on because the game does absolutely nothing to setup the
storyline for you. And since there arenít cutscenes after each
level to further advance the storyline, you never really get a sense
that thereís any kind of advancement to the story at all.
Perhaps the most horrible design flaw in this game is found in
the levels themselves. For some reason Titus thought itíd be a
good idea to make things seemingly pop out of nothingness. For
example, in Extra Level I you make it to the end of the level and
then the level is over. Absolutely nothing marks it as the exit, it
just is. On Extra Level 2 however, whenever you reach the end of the
level it isnít over. Turns out the exit is hidden high above the
level, and it can only be reached by randomly jumping around until
you make ladders appear out of nowhere that you can climb up. Of
course, since the exit isnít marked, you still have to wander
aimlessly until you eventually hit the area where the exit is
hidden. In later levels floors and walls will appear and disappear
at random, and for the most part these are horribly implemented as
well. For example, in some areas if you fall off a wall that rises
below you (which is easier to do than it may seem) youíll
effectively be stuck on that side of the level because the wall will
not retract and rise again. Horrible.
The graphics are pretty much standard for any Game Boy Color
platformer, which is impressive considering the game was designed as
compatible with both the regular Game Boy and Game Boy Color. One
thing I donít get though is why they decided to draw a white line
around each character sprite (you can see what Iím talking about
from the included screenshots). I donít know if they were going
for the whole Jet Grind Radio cel-shaded look or what, but it comes
across as ugly. Overall though, the graphics do a good job of
conveying the differences between each level.
The music is also standard fare. In each level youíll get
appropriate accompanying music, such as spooky music in the
skeleton-filled areas. Sound effects are also adequate.
If you can ignore the design flaws, Titus the Fox isnít really
that bad of a platformer. If youíre old enough to read this
however, youíll no doubt be unable to ignore the sheer number of
design flaws. If youíve got a younger child though, he/she may
appreciate the simplistic gameplay and cute graphics.