This review's late to the party, but I'll chip in my family's thoughts in case there are any other Wii-owning Cars fans out there still on the fence about this one.
To put it short: Cars fan? Buy this. Not a Cars fan? Nothing here for you.
Let's face it, young or old, you don't buy a CARS game expecting Gran Turismo. You buy a CARS game because you like the characters, and you enjoy the unique experience of racing around in a living, breathing (they don't have lungs, but they definitely inhale and exhale) automobile while other vehicles taunt you and Doc Hudson offers encouragement over the radio. In what other race game can you play as an aging Sheriff car who--as the race begins--sighs, "Am I getting too old for this sort of race? I sure hope not." Then, after pulling off a tight maneuver, chuckles "I didn't know I could still do that!" and, upon winning, declares "Sit-choo-ation is under control." (Or, in a loss, grumps, "This is a complete and total disgrace!") These cars have personalities. Their mood changes depending on their place in the race, they whoop with joy when catching big air, and they yelp when they hit obstacles. THAT is why ya buy a CARS game, and this game delivers that element in great generous heaps of humor and fun.
If you're a huge fan of the movie, you'll enjoy this game a lot. You'll just learn to avoid the problem areas and spend more time with the sections that work great.
* Better controls this time around--Wii Wheel works great with this one.
* Sheriff's a playable racer again!
* Sharp graphics
* Radiator Springs Speedway is a fantastic track & environment.
* Tons of gameplay.
* Huge environments to explore.
* The banter between cars is as entertaining as ever.
* Power Boost and Backwards Driving available from start.
* Some fun new characters (Bubba's awesome).
* Slick menus.
* Framerate gets AWFUL when many cars are ahead of you in busy environments. This is, by far, the game's worst flaw. Stay in first place, and it's not an issue!
* Terrible pop-in scenery in Tailfin Pass area. Ugly, ugly trees will appear just yards ahead of you. And you'll wish they'd just stayed unseen.
* Story's not very compelling. The generic little cars that make up the competing schools are not very interesting as playable characters.
* Sound glitches crop up during Pre and Post-race info windows--these moments have a rough, unpolished feel to them.
* Still no replay camera feature.
That framerate issue will be the deal-breaker for a lot of players. It's very inconsistent, and seems to depend on how hard the environment is pushing the Wii's limits. The opening races on Radiator Springs Speedway play fairly smoothly, while later areas like Tailfin Pass and Santa Carburera suffer greatly. If you stay out if front, no problem. If more than three or four cars get ahead of you, prepare for framerate chaos. I guess you could view that as your punishment for racing poorly! Despite those problems--and the terrible pop-in trees in Tailfin Pass--the game, in general, looks great. The cars are detailed and sport nifty reflective effects, and everything has a sharp, detailed, colorful look. I wish the developers had been given more time to tweak the game engine to run more smoothly on Wii--maybe dropping some detail to save the frame rate during crowded situations, and redesigning Tailfin Pass, which is clearly asking more of the Wii than the poor little white box can pull off.
BUT...and here's the good news...IF you can overlook those cringe-inducing moments, there's still a ton of fun to be had in this installment of the Cars franchise, because most of the game plays well, looks great, and delivers all the charm and personality you're looking for in a Cars game.
Besides, the framerate isn't always an issue. Most circuit races play fine, Free Driving is a pleasure, and the Rustbucket and Monster Truck races are entertaining and smooth, as are the fun little Guido Kart mini races and Sheriff's chase. Another trick is to switch to first-person camera, which not only increases the framerate, but provides a genuinely thrilling sense of speed.
Add in the Point-to-Point races, Relays, Tractor Stampede and the shallow-but-fun Car-Toon Challenges and you've basically got a Cars theme park on a disc. It's got some glitches, but most of it will make Cars fans smile.
It'll also help tide us over until Radiator Springs Racers (and the rest of Cars Land) opens at Disneyland Resort in 2012! :)
(29 customers reviews )
Customers Rating=4.0 / 5.0
More Detail For Cars Race O Rama
- Advanced competitive AI and improved drifting provide challenging, but entertaining action, while mini-games both related to the pixar universe and otherwise, provide the fun.
- Customize your world by customizing your cars. Modify paint color, wheels & rims, different hood options, side skirts, rear bumpers and spoilers.
- Game features 15 new playable characters to the Cars franchise.
- Eight racing environments, four brand new; Radiator Springs Speedway, Santa Carburera which takes you to the beaches, Motoropolis City where you can experience street racing and Autovia which gives you off road racing in the desert.
- Experience the fun as you race against a friend in arcade mode which consists of mini games, lap races, missions and more.
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