Part of the charm was just seeing the fun dynamic of tag team situations being handled by the characters, and it makes sense that a video game would come along at some point. It's just a shame that it was such an obvious cash-in on what was left of the fanbase of the show. Sure Teen Titans the game is a budget title, but it plays like a budget title, and after a handful of solid games, it's a little sad to see Artificial Mind and Movement kick out such a lackluster effort.
TT starts out unpromisingly, with a low-fi version of the TV show's theme by Puffy AmiYumi (or, seemingly randomly, an acoustic version or a male-voiced variant). The video isn't horrible, but it's slightly stuttery and doesn't have the same feel as the TV broadcasts, let alone the DVDs, and while I don't normally complain about this sort of thing, I didn't see any other video clips in the game, so there was no reason to skimp on things.
Luckily, once the game actually starts, things start to look a little more promising. A2M absolutely knows how to animate in-game characters. Their work on Scooby-Doo Unmasked was startlingly good, and the same attention to detail in the animations here comes through quite nicely. All of the cutscenes in the game are rife with rich animated detail, though the number of times the game cuts away from the action to show a scene of something can number in the double-digits per level, and sometimes it's for nothing more than a second or so to show something as uninteresting as a door opening).
Then you actually start playing the game and something just feels... off. Surprisingly, it took me quite a while to figure out what the problem was, which is surprising given what it is: your characters (which you can switch freely between at any time with the d-pad) have a hell of a time interacting with the world. None of the punches or kicks ever seem to really connect with the enemy; it's as if they just sort of occupy the same general point in space without having any real sense of impact. There's no meat to punches, grabbing enemies with the L1 button is painfully hit-or-miss, and interacting with the environment is just as disconnected.
I'm not sure if it was a byproduct of using the Havok physics engine to get objects to clash, but, well, they don't. Nothing seems to have any weight in the world (bigger objects just sort of move more slowly), leading to a feeling of everything just sort of bumping against one another without really affecting anything directly. If it weren't for the fact that this is a beat-em-up it wouldn't be a big deal, but the game revolves around interacting with enemies constantly, and it just makes it all feel cheap.
This only serves to diminish any of the moves that were poured into the game. Though you can take control of Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Robin, all of them share basic movesets that use the face buttons for combos. The moves slowly build and unlock as you play through the early levels in the game and range from charge-up moves, light and strong attacks and a simple super-move. Later on, you'll gain the ability to play volleyball with stunned enemies. Charged-up attacks suck away a little bit of special move energy, but this (like life) can be replenished with pickups.
Sadly, the game never really moves that far beyond what's introduced in the first 10 seconds of the game -- expanded movesets or otherwise -- leading to a feeling of just doing the same thing over and over and over again in slightly different environs. Chucking enemies off ledges and playing volleyball with 'em is fun and all, but it gets old fairly fast, especially when you're hammering the same combos over and over again without any sense that they're wearing down the enemy.
If nothing else, at least the game looks fairly decent. There's some nice texture work, and the levels are littered with things to pick up (after mashing the L1 button a couple times and moving around, of course). Apparently the overhead that comes from having Havok give all those things weight (or supposed weight) taxes the PS2 something fierce, because the framerate regularly ditches its happy path to Smoothville and starts to chug.
Things aren't a whole lot better aurally. Majesco managed to snag the voice cast from the TV show, and it's nice to hear the dialogue delivered via familiar voices, but even these lines don't really have a ton of pop to them. The give-and-take between characters is there, and there are quite a few lines that are specific to certain parts of the game, but far more are recycled quite a bit. The music is something that I can only describe as bad trance; a 4/4 beat with tons of repetition looped without it ever going anywhere. It stands out, but only as something that doesn't really help the experience.
As much as I would have loved to have a fitting swan song to the series in video game form, this just isn't it. Even with the budget price, so much of the gameplay is repetitive and tiresome that it gets old long before you'll ever start to enjoy the light story of a video game that sucks the Titans inside, nor does unlocking characters for the Master of Games mode (simple arena-based matches with tons of staples of the TV show) make for a whole lot of fun.
Teen Titans is dead, but at least it can live on in DVD form. Just make sure one of these DVDs doesn't have this game code burned onto it.