Posted originally at http://www.vpgaming.co.uk/archives/39
I originally came into this game with very low expectations as I did not expect it the game to be much more than a very basic racing game for children. It may be for children and it is a bit basic but they have really out-done themselves with the amount of different things that you are able to do.
It does have a multiplayer mode which is integrated into the game. By this I mean that there is not a separate menu for it, instead upon selecting what type of race you want to play there is a “join” screen in which you can have up to 3 other players join in for the fun. Of course this uses normal split screen to display it so not much to really say here other than it is always more fun if you can play with friends.
As for the game modes, you could say that it is just a clone of other games like Mario Kart/Crash Bandicoot Racing and similar games, and, in a way it is. But then why change a formula that has worked for years??? But, back to the game modes. They have actually put in a whole range of them, so of these are Championship, Challenges, Quick race and Time Trials, although there are actually only 12 tracks in the game it could be worse.
With them 12 tracks it could get very repetitive but every race is always different. There are many ways for you to also help make it different by trying to get all the Dreamworks Logo’s and just generally trying to win. This is not always so easy with the game not having any difficulty setting the AI are as good as you are, no matter your skill level, so you may think it would be a simple thing to just win the race but there will always be that one AI kart that is just that little bit faster, unless of course you are using the drifting speed boosts and staying out-of-the-way of incoming weapons, this is also not as easy as it sounds. Okay, I said that there were 12 tracks and, to be honest, there are less than that if you take away the duplicates, by duplicates I mean that they repeat some of the tracks but have them set at night which brings in its own challenges. These tracks are all based on the films, one that I can remember off the top of my head is called Shrek’s Swamp which is from Shrek, obviously, and you also have one that is set in the film How to Train a Dragon.
Seeing as we have mentioned the weapons, then we will get on with them. In-keeping with the classic kids kart game formula there are the offensive and defensive weapons and with some that could be used as both. Only thing different between this and other kart games is that the weapons boxes are reduced in numbers. This does not mean they are hard to get though as the AI does seem to miss them a lot. As for the weapon’s themselves, then some of them are actually rather funny, with most of them being based on things in the Dreamworks films the children who play this game will be laughing away, I am sure. I know my child was laughing when I was using them and even telling me what film they were all from.
Earlier on I touched upon the challenges mode and this offers you various “disciplines” that you race in on various tracks and this in itself is very fun. I am talking about this separately as it accounts for a very big part of the game and is what differentiates it from all the other kids kart games out there. You can choose from racing with just special power star, head to head, just with shields and bombs or even with no weapons or special abilities so all the different modes just bring a bit of variety to the game.
I just noticed that I have not touched on any of the characters yet… Well you, once again only have 12 characters to choose from and they are also from a range of films such as Fiona, Shrek and Donkey from Shrek, Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train a Dragon and various ones from Madagascar. Each character has its own different special ability that is really helpful if you are struggling in a race and each character also has its own strengths and weaknesses, of course Alex the lion from Madagascar is a very good all-rounder as you would expect with it being a lion…
I may have said a little fib earlier with there being no specific multiplayer menu/option as there actually is. This is called Battle and as the name suggests you, pretty much, just battle your friend. This is only local multiplayer as there is no on-line side to this at all.
Onto my recommendations. It is a very good and fun game for your kids if you want to get something for them to play on so you can have a bit of down time and it would keep them entertained for many weeks to come, but I suspect that after a while the novelty would wear off and they would get bored with it, this is the same with anything though so no surprises there.Scores:
Total (Average, Out of 5): 33/50 (7/10, 4 stars) Note:This is my first review in a very long time and I am trying out a new way of doing them. The scores were done by my child so they would be representative of a child’s view as it is a child’s game…