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Hot Wheels Velocity X Package Art
†GENRE
††Racing
†DEVELOPER
††Beyond Games
†PUBLISHER
††THQ
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-4
†CONNECTIVITY
††yes
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Hot Wheels Velocity X

Iím sure most people have played with at least one Hot Wheels car. So, at the very least, THQís new title Hot Wheels Velocity X should appeal to little kids and maybe even the little kid inside of all of us. However, this arcade racer lost its touch during development. It feels unpolished and gives very little bang for its buck. Since the title can only support a very small demographic (7-13 year old boys), itís very hard to recommend this title.

visuals

The textures in this title arenít very good. The cars are extremely low on detail despite their ďflashyĒ reflective textures, and end up looking more muddy than cool. There are many cars to choose from, all of which match the wacky look of the Hot Wheels toy line. However, thereís not a whole lot that each car has to offer. Theyíre all mostly the same and have nothing to give individually except a new look (and thatís not saying much).

The level design is less than spectacular, but it features several quirks like stunt ramps and loops. Overall, though, itís only similar to the late 80ís arcade title, Stunt Driver. Driving on walls is nifty until maybe the third time you do it. Then youíll just want to avoid the option to do so altogether. Cut-scenes look like something out of a toned-down episode of Cubix. The voice acting is synced way off and characters move like theyíre CG claymation.

audio

Voice work is about the same quality as early weekday-morning cartoons. This is great, since the game is obviously geared towards children, but horrible since it delivers a level of mediocrity. The sound effects are just as good as youíd expect from an arcade racing title. Weapons sound good, but are sometimes bogged down with static or otherwise jumpy effects. The music isnít bad and keeps the game from becoming too boring.

gameplay

Hot Wheels is basically an arcade racer using the Hot Wheels license to full extent by featuring several cars to race with and destroy. The Adventure Mode features a fairly uninspired story that has you driving around, blowing up cars, and performing stunts to build up your boost. The overall feel of the game seems very loose. The physics are obviously arcade-like, which keeps your car from being flipped around too much. You can even turn your car around while itís in the air with the greatest of ease. Simply hold the analog stick in the direction you desire when you catch some big air and youíll likely do a clean 720ļ before you hit the ground. I guess this captures the feel of playing with your toy cars like when you were a kid, which is kind of neat. Otherwise, the game is really meant for small children. Why games like this need to have this level of mediocrity is beyond me. Perhaps because it lets kids pick it up and play right away, but it could have been so much better.

multiplayer

If youíve got three friends who also dig Hot Wheels, give the four-player mode a shot. It can be fun with a group of people, but there are obviously better multiplayer games out there.

overall

I was actually really excited about this title. I had a huge collection of Hot Wheels cars when I was a kid. I must have matured during my years, because the game doesnít feel as fun as it was to play with the cars. While the game is generally geared towards young kids, itís still too expensive to warrant a purchase. Give the title a rent to see if you or your kids may like it, but otherwise, spend your money on forty Hot Wheels cars! Itís a much more of a worthwhile investment, to be honest.

final score 4.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"


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