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Cars Race-O-Rama Review Package Art
GENRE
Racing
DEVELOPER
Tantalus Media
PUBLISHER
THQ
LOCAL WIRELESS
MULTI-PLAY
Yes
Wi-Fi/GLOBAL ONLINE
MULTI-PLAY
No
MICROPHONE
No
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Cars Race-O-Rama Review

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard scoring criteria.

The Pixar property Cars is a goldmine for the company. Much like their other properties, it has a colorful cast of characters, a familiar yet fantastical world within which they exist, and the essence that makes everything Pixar creates golden. But what makes the Cars property all the more fertile for the company is the directions that the property can be taken in, especially with respect to video games. The latest entry to the series, Cars Race-O-Rama, is both familiar yet surprising: familiar because it employs the tried-and-true racing formula, and surprising because it is a movie-based game that actually controls well and looks good doing it, even if the game itself is incredibly easy.

The main game is as you should expect from a game based on a series called Cars: a racing formula, where you press A to go and occasionally B to break, and press left and right on the directional pad to turn as you wish. But where Cars Race-O-Rama stands out is that, while the 6-to-9-year-old audience for which it is intended would have been plenty happy with this simplistic setup, the developers took the game a step forward by including a drift mechanic, resulting in something more along the lines of Ridge Racer than Diddy Kong Racing. On top of that, the game also employs cartoony power-ups, such as inflatable tires (a bit redundant, don't you think?), speed boosts, and a horn to chase away the cow tractors.

Also included along with the main game are other challenges for each track, as well as separate Mater-inspired challenges, making for a fairly sufficient gameplay package. That having been said, the game itself can be almost mind-numbingly easy thanks to its targeted demographic. For a first play-through of the game, getting first in every single race is cake; the extra challenges require a bit more effort, but not much. The life of the game is extended if you wish to unlock every car and paint job available for it.

Visually speaking, developer Tantalus Media got the Cars feel implemented well, as everything in the game feels as if it was lifted from the world that the movie established. The car models themselves look a bit blocky, but nothing that causes strain to the eyes. Backgrounds and the track environment can feel a bit bland every now and then, but normally there is enough happening on screen to keep one visually pleased. The audio of the game compliments the visuals wonderfully with tons of voice work for each character available, with some voices sounding exactly like the movie counterparts and others not so much. The music is catchy and in-tune with an on-the-road feel. Finally, the game offers both wireless single-card and multi-card multiplayer options.

Overall, if the game is intended for someone in elementary school, there are few racing genre, and far fewer movie-based titles, that would be better. That having been said, if you are looking for a challenge, you simply must look elsewhere. Not only that, but when it has the likes of Mario Kart DS to compare itself to, there is a very high bar that must be met, and Cars Race-O-Rama falls just short.

final score 7.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Robert Thompson
Staff Profile | Email
"Henshin-a-go-go, baby!"


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