Crash: Mind over Mutant is a Beat 'em Up/platformer hybrid, developed by Radical Entertainment for the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Wii in fall 2008. The title is Radical's final game with the series. It is a direct sequel to Crash of the Titans.
Retaining many aspects of Titans' gameplay, it generally leans a lot more towards a platformer, with combat being made less relentless and frequent. The game abandons levels for a "free-romping" world where the player can enter areas of the game's world by exiting others, giving the player more freedom than in Titans. The game also brought about many small improvements. The player can now pocket a Titan or alternate between two different Titans and even upgrade Titans, and they were also given abilities such as jumping and ledge climbing for use in platforming. The game also gets rid of the previous game's life system and adds Coco Bandicoot as a playable character.
The game takes place one year after Titans and is centered around a device built by Neo Cortex and the newly-rekindled Dr. Nitrus Brio called the NV, which later gets shipped to Wumpa Island for free. Crash and co. soon receive a package containing a few. Everyone on Wumpa Island except for Crash and Aku Aku (who can't use them) like it...until an addiction sets in and makes them all become crazy. After the discovery that this is yet another plot of Cortex's to take over the world, Crash must set his friends free from the NVs control and take the scientist on again.
Like with Titans, a Nintendo DS alternate version was released. This one was a bit...different, one could say.
This game contains examples of:
- 2½D: From time to time, the gameplay is close to entirely a side scroller.
- Affectionate Parody: The Art Shift cutscenes are these in spades, having animation styles which parody South Park and Dragon Ball to name a few.
- Art Shift: The game's animated cutscenes come in quite a variety of styles for no apparent reason other than Rule of Funny.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Crunch and Coco once their NVs are on become completely distracted from reality. This leaves the regular attention deficit Crash to take care of things.
- Boring Insult: Just before the final boss, Cortex claims that Crash is only fighting him because he doesn't have a life or a hobby.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Non verbal case. One of Coco's idle animations is Crash's iconic victory dance.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Crash has to knock some sense into Coco and Crunch due to the NV subjecting them to this.
- But Wait, There's More!: Cortex uses this line during his sales pitch of the NV. It would have helped if he had something to go with it.
- The Bus Came Back: Dr. Nitrus Brio makes his first appearance since Crash Twinsanity. He goes as far as to outright break the fourth wall by stating he was in the first game.
- Butt-Monkey: N. Brio, Nina, and most of the minions are there to be abused in the cutscenes. Surprisingly, the series' regular Butt-Monkey Cortex gets off pretty lightly this time.
- Comically Missing the Point: After finally detaching his helmet, Crunch changes back and thanks Crash. Crash, however, doesn't seem to take it in and continues trying to beat Crunch into submission. This might be due to earlier where when Aku Aku told Crunch to take it off and he refuse due to enjoying monkey video too much.
- Continuity Nod: Nina references Madame Amberly and the Academy of Evil in her cutscene. In addition, Brio reminds us that he was in the first game.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Abiding by Coco and Crunch's reactions, the villains actually bothered to make NV capable of doing every service they advertised it could, albeit with the extra ability of turning its' host into an evil mutant slave. And they sent them to houses for free!
- Demoted to Extra: Tiny is the only character from the main version of the previous game who doesn't physically appear at any point and only appears to provide commentary in the credits.
- Also Nina, who was the Final Boss of the main version of the previous game (and a playable character in the portable version), is here limited to a single mission appearance, having been punished for her betrayal in the last story.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Coco actually inverts this as she is mostly just Crash with new animations and voice clips. Also an odd example in that it makes her play better than in previous games, where she was mostly a watered-down Crash limited to a few levels.
- The Dog Bites Back: After being ditched by Bad Boss Uka Uka and replaced by his niece Nina in the previous game, Cortex immediately sets up revenge, dumping Nina in Evil Public School and having his new NV powered mutants capture and torture Uka, making himself the true Big Bad once more.
- Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Just like the previous game, and actually usable to let the player play through most of it as Coco.
- Dummied Out: Coco was omitted from the PS2 version, which lacked the space for all of her unique animations. Her model data is still in the game and can be made playable via hacking, it just looks somewhat odd programmed with Crash's animations and voice.
- Enemy Mine: Uka Uka, after having been betrayed by Cortex, offers to transport Crash and Aku Aku to his lair in return for them getting back his Mojo energy and Voodoo bones.
- Fan Disservice: Don't stare into the dancing lights, lest you want to see Cortex and N. Brio in their underwear doing suggestive poses.
- Final Boss: For the first time in quite a while, Cortex.
- Karma Houdini: After defeating him, Cortex escapes punishment with a Znu in a UFO, with the series Left Hanging afterwards.
- Lighter and Softer/Denser and Wackier: Generally more cartoony and lighthearted than Titans, but it does have its share of dark moments. Some of the Titans also have more cartoony designs.
- Manipulative Bastard: Cortex's plan for placing Brio's NV devices onto subjects involves advertising it as a high tech, all purpose entertainment device so masses will obliviously try by their own free will. Even Coco falls for it.Brio: But wait, Cortex. How are we going to get these devices onto Mutants' heads.Cortex: It's simple. We'll give it to them! *Evil Laugh*
- Mythology Gag: The character designs used in "Super Number One Bandicoot!" and "Crunch Get!" bear heavy resemblance to those of the series manga released in the nineties.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Light case. Brendan O'Brien's Brio of the original games had a high pitched New Yorker accent, littered with stutters and manic giggling. Maurice LaMarche instead voices Brio using an Orson Welles imitation, which is still an American voice, but one that sounds radically different from the original.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Crash and Aku Aku are...less than intimidated by Cortex's threats in their final confrontation until he reveals his stash of Brio's mutagen formula that he uses on himself. Cue hulked out Cortex battle.
- Oh, Crap!: Crash and Aku Aku when they realise Monster!Cortex has sent his space station out of orbit. Cortex, once he changes back, also has a similar moment.Cortex: Oh no! What did I do? Where are my pants???
- Promoted to Playable:
- As an alternative to Carbon Crash, the second player can also control Coco - although you can't do this in the PS2 and PSP version.
- Minor variation, but Crunch and Cortex's bosses involve you "jacking" and controlling them as you do the Titans. For Crunch in particular, this is his only fully playable role in the series thus far.
- Running Gag: N. Brio invented everything.note
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: The game is far more manageable than Titans due to the vastly lessened combat, easier combat (Crash can take more hits and enemies are in smaller groups), the ability to pocket Titans and jump with them, and infinite lives.
- The Starscream: Cortex to Uka Uka.
- Took a Level in Badass: Coco, after spending several games as a Distressed Damsel or Joke Character, is now a cooperative playable character of equal level as Crash...unless one has the PS2 or PSP version.
- Cortex also firmly regains his position as Big Bad again, even having the balls to get back at Uka Uka.
- The Unfought: You never actually fight Brio, although he does show up in Crunch's boss fight.
- Video Game Settings:
- Villain: "Exit, Stage Left!": Both N. Gin and Brio are given their marching orders by Aku Aku. A pantsless Cortex also evacuates his lair in an escape pod with a Znu in the ending.
- Villainous Breakdown: After being defeated, Cortex's monster form breaks down sobbing, ripping apart his lab in a tantrum. Once changed back, he regains composure, though gets an Oh, Crap! moment when he realises he's sent his space station into a crash landing.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Uka Uka vows revenge on Cortex, but after being set free is not seen again. While Cortex is defeated he remains independent from Uka, with the series Left Hanging afterwards.
The portable version contains examples of:
- Absentee Actor: N. Brio doesn't appear in the DS version, Cortex having seemingly created the NV himself (ironically considering Brio's recurring stance on this).
- It Makes Sense in Context: Some parts of the story don't quite make sense unless you've played the main console version first, and even then their usage seems misplaced here.