on May 14, 2008
I'm not a fan of the Speed Racer movie, or the old cartoon series, so this review is based on a Wii racing game. I have been looking forward to this game for quite a while based on the idea of a stunt racing game and screen shots of the various tracks, and it certainly lived up to my expectations.
I have gotten several racing games for the Wii system. The latest was Classic British Motor Racing, also based on the screen shots and idea. Unfortunately, the steering controls made the game impossible to play. My first concern then with this game was the controls. I give this game an A++ in that department. The controls aren't too difficult, but sensitive enough to react when needed and precise. Graphics are nice. Typical of a Wii game, but better than GT Pro Series for example. Fun tracks with loops, and awesome colors. All tracks are unique, some more fun, and easier than others.
You can choose to race in championship races, divided into 3 classes. Once you finish class one, you can move on to two, and so on. In the classes, if you finish in the top three, you unlock new characters and tracks. There is an option to form an alliance within the championship races, that help reduce the number of people that attack you. Fun stunts or "car-fu" help you gain position, and score points. You can also pick up some other aid like boosts and speed up places on the track.
You play as characters from the movie. There is dialog from the characters while playing, which adds a new dimension to the game. Easy to understand, and play right out of the box. It does take some time to learn the "car-fu" moves, and gain more skill, plus you have fun while doing it. Not too easy that you get bored. It takes some thinking, and planning to make sure you stay in the lead. Opponents can cause you to lose advanced place very quickly. And it takes some time to regain a top position.
Great stunt racing game!! Not too difficult, but challenging enough to keep me playing. Very addictive and different from most racing games on the market.
on June 22, 2008
This review is by my 7-year old son who says Speed Racer is a winner:
"It is fun because there are different cars to choose from. You get 4 cars to start with and you can get somewhere around 14 more. The tracks are cool because you do a lot of loop-de-loops and jumps. I also like the smashdown move when you jump up and land on another car."
on May 12, 2008
Speed Racer is a cross between Mario Cart and Burnout. Mario cart because the cars are characterized to the driver. They talk smack while you drive, and you give the car "powers" with the various boosts. Its like Burnout from the point that not only are you trying to win, but your trying to crash the other cars before they crash you! Now.....You DO NOT get any projectiles, but you get many different ways to smash a car. They call it "Car-Fu" I know it sounds corny, but once you start crashing cars its fun. Whatever you do, play the tutoral before you play, trust me they go over things the manual does not. The tracks are cool too, just like the movie, colorful, loops, elevated,and jumps. I say the only thing I dont like is not being able to see whats comming behind you. So if you like racing games with a arcade feel like Mario and Burnout......or you just like Speed racer products, I say its a good buy.
on August 17, 2008
My son and I really enjoy this game he is 5 and has legitimately beaten me several times. Good clean fun!!
I've been waiting a long time for the Speed Racer live action movie...but even longer still, is the amount of time I've wanted to drive the Mach V or better still Racer X's Shooting Star. Now that is virtually a reality. The World Racing League and over 15 major characters from the movie are available to unlock and use on original race courses and film course reproductions. The standard stunt racers (according to the film & game) are T-180, each equipped with jump jacks (you know "unk-unk-unk-unk"), each can "Slide" thanks to their independent wheel rotation, allowing forward movement regardless of the direction the car faces. Each can reach speeds in excess of 400 MPH by riding your opponents slipstream, hitting "speed-up" squares and gaining Boost power by avoiding the sides of the track (like in the Pod-racer game of old) or by performing CAR-FU moves. Yes, CAR-FU, is car combat, maneuvers to take out opponents or simply to gain pole position. CAR-FU moves like the TAIL TOSS, the BOOST BASH ram, landing on an opponent for the SMACK DOWN, the 180 ROUNDHOUSE, spins and hyper-spins, the BARREL ROLL TORPEDO are fun and vital to win WRL races. Cars can perform front, side and back flips, which are handy and visually satisfying. The game comes with typical race game displays: ranking, progress /lap/speed meter, health and available boost power.
Available modes are single races, an essential tutorial, the time trials, championship mode, which allows for a variety of different competitions of two or more races and multiplayer for a second player to join in split-screen mode. In Championship Mode you rack up points for each race, which are tallied for an overall ranking. There are three initial race classes of increasing difficulty to choose from: slowest to fastest. You can gain extra points by your finishing place, your CAR-FU moves and by having the fastest-lap. In multiplayer mode you need only rank in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in order to beat the Championship. In a Championship race you can team-up with other drivers, agreeing not to CAR-FU them. Then there are the opposites of allies, Rival drivers who are focused on taking you out...know your rivals! The available Drivers include: Speed, Trixi, Racer X, Sonic "Boom Boom" Renaldi, Delila & Mariana Zanja, Rosey Blaze (no relation), Taejo Togokahn, Esther "Rev" Reddy, Gothorm Danneskjold, the Gray Ghost, Prince Kabala and Pitter Pat, Snake Oiler, Kellie "Gearbox" Kalinkov, Booster Mbube, Nitro Venderhoss, Denise Moble, Jack "Cannonball" Taylor and Colonel Colon. Each driver and car has their own set of stats that make them unique. These stats include: the Speed (of vehicle), Handling, Acceleration, and Strength.
The game graphics are typical of the Wii and neatly mirror the film's style. The game sound and song lists are okay. The voice talent is mostly a real cast one: Emile Hirsch as Speed, Christina Ricci as Trixie (the voice of the Tutorial), Matt Fox as Racer X and notably filling in for Snake Oiler, the great Phil Lamarr (Samurai Jack). The CAR-FU is fun, ...smashing good fun! The sometime surreal race courses although only loosely inspired by the film "locations" are still really fun and obviously created by someone who grew up watching Speed Racer or maybe just had some cool HOT WHEELS sets.
on September 17, 2008
Speed Racer was a great cartoon series, and a great movie, but as a long-time car racing video game fan, I hardly expected a great racing game. I was wrong. This thing puts all of my other Wii games on the back burner, completely. For me, it is tied with GT3 on the PS2, and Pole Position on the old Atari 5200, as my all-time favorites for their respective time periods.
Currently, I've tried Grid, Forza, Prologue, etc., and this is more fun, for me. If your thing is serious, realistic, NASCAR-style racing, this is not that. In fact, it's the exact opposite. But it's a blast, easy to get into, and challenging enough for most players.
It's got the movie's racing moves down, the spectacular CGI racing environments are nailed, the arcade-style racing dynamics work really well, and they even got the characters' dialog right, adding a lot to the single-player mode. I don't know if Nintendo has an exclusive with the Wachowskis, but if this game is properly adapted to a super-console, watch out!
I have noticed some racing games that are fun on other consoles are poorly ported to the Wii's motion-sensitive wireless controllers. Hot Wheels Beat That!, for example, is great on the xBox 360 but sucks on the Wii for that reason. I use Nintendo's $10 steering wheel with the controler, and it works great on this game.
on March 10, 2014
My wife and I love racing games! We, of course, love all of the Mario-Kart games. We also really, really like Little Big Planet racing (for PS-3) and we have enjoyed Sonic and Sega All-Starts (on the Wii). This game though, for us, didn't/hasn't/isn't hooked us as much as those games.
Control: (3 out of 5 stars) To drive, you have to hold the Wii-mote horizontal (you can use the steering wheel accessory) and you steer by tilting the controller. This is one of the steering options in Mario-Kart Wii and, while novel and fun, I personally prefer other steering options (like the nunchuk-Wii mote combo) and would have appreciated other options for this game. That said, I felt like the turning was a little difficult to master and the response time was slow. It is hard to fall of the track but I wish I felt a little more connected to the car when I moved the Wii-mote.
Racing: (4 out of 5 stars) Racing is fun and there is a lot to learn. One of the unique features of the game is Car-Fu, or using your car to dodge attacks and to attack other racers. If you've seen the movie, you know that spinning, taking people out, jumping and a handful of other car tricks are used to win races and it is no different in this game. By flicking the Wii-mote up and down or left and right you can dodge opponents or knock them out of the way, spin them out or blow them up. While the concept is new and learning the attacks is fun, I found that the controller (more often than not) took my movements as turn commands and I ended up sending my car into spin-outs or jumps rather than dash left or right. I'm sure with more practice I'll get the hang of it, but in most racing games (Wii and PS-3) I don't have any difficulty executing moves.
Graphics: (3 out of 5 stars) I know this is a Wii game, but it is difficult to discern power ups and speed ups on the course. A lot of the courses have very colorful roads and while the power ups look different, they do tend to blend in, especially when you are driving super-fast (like from a speed boost). Also, the other cars, being colorful themselves, are hard to distinguish from the background, making it very difficult to dodge them or spin them out. It is especially hard to know when cars are coming up from behind and, since a lot of the game depends on your ability to use your car as the weapon, it is difficult to execute attacks and dodge other racers who come from behind.
Overall: (3 out of 5 stars) My wife and I will keep playing Speed Racer, but I don't think it will hold our interest for very long. We usually get hooked to a racing game and play through the story mode, battle challenges and do our best to complete the game all the way. I don't think we'll do that with this one and will instead move on to something else I'm sure (Sonic and Sega All-Stars Transformed probably).
on July 4, 2008
We really liked this game, from my wife who doesn't normally like racing games, to myself and my 7-year-old son who loves them. It's not too hard, but never too easy. My son's favorite track is Thunderhead, from the movie, because of the vibrant colors in the game. Our only complaint is we'd like a sequel to play more of the tracks from the film (Casa Cristo and the ice tunnels in particular are noticeably missing). Very recommended family game!
on February 11, 2013
This is a simple but great game with a ton of play value. It feels like everything is moving very fast, but the player has control over the car. There are consequences to driving badly, but you aren't blowing up all the time and you don't have to have a perfect race to win, place or show. What I'm trying to say is that for me it was challenging without being frustrating, and it is a lot of fun.
on September 3, 2011
This game is quite fun - imaginative courses and a variety of drivers with different stats. However, here are some advanced moves that are difficult to execute. The game allows "car-fu" moves, like flipping around and landing on top of another car. I find some of these moves tough to pull off. I'm not an expert gamer, but I'm not a novice either.
There is also a turbo boost function. As you race you earn these boosts. At times you might be racing with 3 or 4 other cars; you hit turbo boost, and you don't actually pull ahead of the other cars. It gets a little bit frustrating.
Overall, Speed Racer is fun, fast racing, and worth buying.