Kart Krashers Review

Is Kart Krashers as Kool as it tries to sound?

By Mel Turnquist. Posted 10/15/2012 14:30 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Originality of genre combinations, not too expensive, interesting attempt at plot, a pretty good idea
Poison Mushroom for...
Subpar controls, tedious and repetitive gameplay, annoying lack of physics, glitches out sometimes

In a quick personal story blurb, I must share my first foray into this game to set up this review.  While playing through the first level of the game, after succeeding through the tutorials, I was trying to achieve the mission of the first level. First turn I made, I ended up crashing into one of the poles and the game glitched out on me. I was literally stuck in the pole and had to start over. I was actually very close to completing the mission too! After that glitch, I took it as an omen for the worst things to come. First the name and now the glitchiness? What next? As my playing went on, I began to appreciate it a little more.

This game is actually less of a chore and more of a time waster as you make your way through the levels. It’s not a great game by any means, but it at least can help you kill some time . For those expecting a racing game, prepare to be disappointed. This is basically a combination of the Banjo-Kazooie formula of collecting everything you see and getting through all the levels only this time, with cars. (Let’s pretend that Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts never happened). The only thing is that Banjo-Kazooie had a much better plot, better controls, and a better soundtrack.

This game also has a plot, which could’ve made things much more interesting, but it failed to enchant me. Basically it’s a giant competition around the world where Kart Krashers from all walks of life are competing to be the best in the world. Each character has a story arc that pertains to their competing in the race. The two starters, Emily Prix and Cross Ranson are standard cookie cutter stories. Prix is trying to win the prize money for her struggling family while Ranson has some sort of curse that will only be broken by winning the competition.  The way that you win the competition is through collecting things and smashing into things. Apparently, in this world, that’s enough to make you world famous and a grand champion. The only downside is that usually with either of these genres, the plot is definitely NOT the reason why they play the games. If they did, then there’d be a lot of intellectual debates about how terrible the Mushroom Kingdom’s Department of Defense leader is and wonder what kind of blackmail he or she has on Peach.

Kart Krashers screen

The painful thing here is that somewhere within the muddled padding, cookie-cutter stories and repetition is a good game. The creators of the game at Big John Games were really trying to do something different by combining the platform genre and the Racing genre into one game. It’s a valiant effort and with a bit more care and work put into it, the game could be brought to a whole other level. The plot aspect adds something different to the mix with each character getting their own backstory. It harkens to a Street Fighter sort of device where each character had their own story. This could be something different and new if it had been better, but the plots really just came across as more of a gimmick rather than a legitimate storyline.

One of the big reasons why this game would likely lose people is due to the controls. While they are adhering to the basic racing genre controls that have been engraved in the minds of racing genre fans everywhere, the fact that any time you go too fast and have to turn you run the risk of flipping over several times and landing upside down. It feels as if the slightest move to the left or right can make the kart fly around around like a leaf in the wind. A little gravity would be much appreciated, even if one of the objectives of the game is to “krash” into things which sometimes involves a little bit of flying around.

The biggest point against this game is the tediousness of the missions. It’s always about collecting and “Krashing”. You collect stars, collect rings,” krash” into things for points including walking Tiki heads, and use power ups to help achieve those objectives. It’s pretty much the same over and over. Yes, it can help you kill a little time, but after a while, the boredom starts to kick in and the game ends up being abandoned at the worst possible times. It’s not a good sign when halfway into the game, your mind may start wandering to thinking about all the other games you could be playing instead.

The folks at Big John Games have something here in Kart Krashers, but it just feels so incomplete, for lack of a better term. There’s a lot that can be improved upon and controls that need to be fine tuned. If they can get that done and even add more to the plot, then this game could be a step into a whole new subgenre of either platformers or racing games. As it is, the game is lacking in any memorability, no matter how novel the concept may actually be. Hopefully, either the game can be improved upon or we’ll see them try something else with this same genre direction. There could be something here with racing and platforming combined if done right.

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 criteria.

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