Game: Cars 2: The Video Game
System: Xbox 360
Review by: MrB4
Even though I’m not a little kid anymore, Pixar movies somehow always manage to grab my attention. Their attention to detail, storylines, and characters has always been top notch. Cars may not have been the companies greatest achievement in cinema, but it was still a fun ride nonetheless. When the video game came out for it, my first thought was that this would be yet another mediocre rushed movie game without many redeeming qualities. While some of those thoughts remained true, there were still a few good ideas in there that separated it from the pack of rushed crappy movie games. Now that Cars 2 is in theaters, I decided to give their console adaptation a try as well, and I have to say that I am surprised with just how fun it actually was.
Story: There really isn’t one to be completely honest, all the player needs to know is that they are part of a spy group called C.H.R.O.M.E, which stands for Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage, and they have to complete specific training missions in order to progress their status as an agent. The underlying theme here is that the group has to prevent Miles Axelrod and Professor Z from turning cars against alternate energy sources in order to make them rely on their own oil plants. This idea is only explored in a few random cutscenes, which are ok, but they never really mold into an actual story, and for kids, this was probably the best way to go, because we all know how short their attention spans are.
Graphics: Fantastic is about all I can say about the overall design of Cars 2. All of the vehicles themselves have an impressive amount of animation to them, and they are also incredibly detailed, and look almost exactly like their counterparts from the movies. Tracks themselves are gorgeous to look at, and also have a variety of shortcuts to them to give each course their own unique style. Explosions in particular are fantastic, and don’t have any blocky or jagged edges on them at all.
Gameplay: Anyone who is familiar with racing titles like Mario Kart, and Sonic and Sega All-Stars racing will feel right at home here. In the beginning, the idea is simple, try to make it to the finish line before the other racers do. Eventually, new modes will become unlocked, and will require the player to do more than just be the fastest racer on the track. Some events involve destroying a number of vehicles to keep the timer running, or trying to stay alive by collecting batteries scattered around the track, or taking out wave after wave of enemies while earning enough points to maintain a certain ranking, and so on.
The controls are solid and responsive, and are done in such a way that even the most complicated moves will not seem that hard to pull off (backwards driving, driving on two wheels, etc.). This makes the game extremely fun to play, because players of all skill levels can compete against one another, and not feel like anybody in particular has an unfair advantage. Don’t let this simple set up fool you though, because there are some cheap moments thrown in that will you leave you wanting to throw down the controller and scream in anger. The inclusion of a trophy and ranking system, along with being able to play every part of the game with up to 4 players was a nice touch, and also adds a level of replay value that will veteran gamers will without a doubt appreciate.
Sound: Everything sounds great, especially the explosions and character voices. All of the voiceover work was pretty decent for the most part, but it did become repetitive after awhile. Explosions were very intense, and sometimes had me jump out of my seat because of how impactful they were. The musical score is ok, it adds enough of a mood to make each race as intense or mellow as it needs to be.
Wishes or changes: Having the option to compete against others online would have been a nice feature, but since this is a kids game, I can understand why the creators chose to not go this route. The level of difficulty throughout the entire game could have been a little more balanced out, instead of going from extremely easy to very hard in the blink of an eye.
TQ Bottom Line: Despite a few minor problems, Cars 2: The Video Game is a very entertaining movie game. While I had alot of fun playing this on my own, I am sure most people who play it will have a much more enjoyable experience with their friends and family. Fans of kart racing games should not pass on this one.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Michelas!
Cars 2: The Video Game
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
MSRP: $49.99 via Amazon: Cars 2: The Video Game