What the Funk is this?
Ask yourself: How do you feel about Greek mythology? What about old-school jukeboxes? Ever go to a place with a jukebox and fill the playlist with all kinds of funk and boogie down? Well, if you answered yes to at least two of these questions, there’s an arcade title here that you might want to check out… maybe.
Okay, even that's a stretch. Unfortunately after giving Funk of Titans a chance, you’ll likely question whether was it truly worth it. It's difficult to describe F.O.T. in one word, but if I were made to, it would have to be "confused." It confuses itself, really. With so many themes to the story, there is no telling what the focal point is. One thing is certain, though; the game's wild blend of characteristics is sure to at least grab someone’s attention. Yet, how far will the attention span go?
Upon entering the main menu, you are given the option to choose from three separate worlds: the pop, rap, and rock worlds. The further you advance, different worlds become available. Starting with the pop world (cue N'Sync song now), protagonist Perseus who I’ll just call Bruce LeeRoy—a gentlemen with a certain mix of samurai, ninja, gladiator warrior, and your uncle Malcom who was on the soul train back in the '70s—is greeted by his father Zeus, who certainly must be a reincarnation of Morpheus as a Greek god. Zeus then goes on to explain how the titans of pop, rap, rock need to be taken down.
However, for a game that is centered around “funk” or music in general, the soundtrack is surprisingly poor and lacks creativity. From level to level, the tunes change very little and do not correspond with their respective world theme. Boss levels are about as close as you shall get to sounds that are closely accurate to their genres. It’s partially fun facing foes like a Lady Gaga lookalike, one of the “villains” you meet a pop world battle. But the fact that these battles involve fairly easy quick-time events leaves much to be desired.
Much of gameplay is meant to be hidden behind the collage of ideas, but sadly these worlds of wonky visual aesthetics can’t mask the lack of focus, which leaves proper gameplay needs on the table. Sometimes simplicity works out for the better, hoping that less is more but in this case less is, well, less.
As players maneuver through each stage, jumping (A) and attacking (X) will be the only buttons needed. Everything else is about timing, which is learned and mastered fairly quickly. With a small handful of different types of opponents and obstacles, completing levels with perfect form can be achieved with small amounts of effort.
Curiously, this is a title that puts focus on theme, music, and simple gameplay, but this doesn't come through in any of these areas, so what else is left here? Gimmicks? Features? Funk of Titans uses a player leveling system by completing Zeus’ heroic missions. Advancing and discovering unlockables are about as new as it gets from stage to stage. Beyond the goofy animations, over-the-top weapons and costumes, progression peaks and teeters off steeply.
From beginning to end, you will receive the same game. With very little changing interests can fade in an instant. Once again, the most disappointing aspect has to be the music selection which continues to raise an eyebrow or two. Funk of Titans is just "funky," and not in a good way.
Few levels provide much of a challenge, so breezing through the entirety of the game in a short period of time is more than likely, though for sub-15-buck price, it’s not much of a lost and can be worth it if you’re looking for a quick downloadable fix. But surely this blended concoction has sorely missed the bull's-eye of arcade perfection.