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Speed Racer: The Videogame Review - PS2

3.5
Gameplay: 4 stars 4
Graphics: 5 stars 5
Audio: 5 stars 5
Multiplayer: 3 stars 3
Innovation: 2 stars 2
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Introduction

Following on from the movie earlier this year, WB games have released Speed Racer: The Videogame for the Playstation 2 and Wii. The game is developed by Sidhe Interactive, who previously developed the game Gripshift. This review is of the PS2 version.

Gameplay

Speed Racer, as you would expect, is a racing game. That’s all it is really, the game is a very bare-bones package. Once you’re past the short opening movie, you’re taken straight to the main menu which gives you the choice of single player, multiplayer, or the game’s options. Single player consists only of a Championship mode and time trials, it’s all very basic. The game has no story whatsoever, it’s a tie in with the movie in name and characters only. The Championship mode gives you a fairly large number of races to compete in, once you’ve selected one, you choose your racer, and off you go. Every championship you win unlocks a new racer for you to use, and each one has their own unique vehicle.

When it comes to the actual gameplay, Speed Racer is a simple game. The R2 button is the accelerator, and the left analogue stick steers. You can perform a few different “Car-Fu” moves using the buttons, Square makes your vehicle swerve sharply to the left, Circle does the same thing in reverse, and the X button makes your vehicle flip around so that it’s travelling backwards, pressing it again flips it back. Holding it causes your vehicle to do a 360 degree spin. The Triangle button is a rear view mirror that allows you to see what’s behind you, and the L2 button actives a speed boost which is powered by a boost bar that gradually fills as you race. The swerving moves are used for knocking your opponents out of the way, and hopefully off the track, which means you’ll be able to get far ahead of them while they are being placed back on the track. The X button move is more useful for doing damage to enemy vehicles, every vehicle has a health bar, and once it’s depleted, it will explode. Vehicles that explode have to be re-spawned back onto the track, which takes time and can cost positions. That’s all there is to it really, most of the tracks are very similar, and besides introducing more and more obstacles as you progress through the Championship mode, the game doesn’t get any harder. Most of the time, enemy vehicles will rarely attack, and seem to have a hard time catching up to you, so once you’ve passed them, you’ll almost always win the race.

On the subject of the game’s difficulty, it’s got to be one of the easiest racing games on the market. You literally can’t fall off the tracks, so any bad driving is easily forgiven. The only way to go off the track is if you’re pushed off by an opponent’s Car-Fu, which rarely happens. Speed Racer is clearly being marketed towards ...

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