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'[GAME] Cars 2: The Video Game'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Cars 2: The Video Game'.
Mon 26/03/12 at 14:38:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,887
Iím used to being disappointed or let down by movie-based games that look good on the packaging but play poorly. So it came as a bit of a surprise when I had the chance to try Cars 2 on the Wii, especially after the lack-lustre second movie.

Normally, licensed games like this resort to cheap tricks to make them look good in videos, but end up being shallow. Not so with Pixar and Avalancheís latest effort. Based on the film of the same name, Cars 2 takes on a spy theme. Itís sort of like James Bond meets Herbie goes Bananas with a sprinkling of Pixar magic. The game uses this wisely as the basis for power-ups but manages to focus more on the racing aspect.

The outcome is that the game is a pretty good racer, albeit not the sort that would appeal to those with a penchant for engine size, decals or stats. Designed as a game that can be played by the whole family, it keeps the action simple but still allows for some great additions to the standard racer model.

There are passing nods to Mario Kart here and there and the handling is very similar, with cars able to slide through corners and plenty of power-ups to collect which can change the outcome of the game if used wisely. But these weapons are only one aspect of the game. Pixar have craftily added stunts to build up the boost bar.

Stunts are performed mid-air by flipping the car or on the ground by doing things like tipping the car sideways to drive on just two wheels. Building up boost will then allow you to pass the other racers on the track. Balancing the slowdown from tricks with the added speed of the boost is a skill which can win or lose a race, but despite it sounding complicated, my kids got the hang of it after just a few tutorial levels.

The game also actively encourages you to smash in to the side of other racers to send them in to scenery or even off the track completely. With 4 players on track at once in split screen mode the game can be pretty ferocious, but at the same time it remains open enough to allow for younger players to still gain an advantage.

Another area where younger players can gain an advantage is with the control system. Adults can use the Nunchuk to steer a car while younger players use the same wheel based control system from Mario Kart. In fact, there are plenty of options for different control setups available, but I only managed to test these two, the wheel being by far the easiest and most intuitive control layout to use.

In single player, the different play styles help to make this more than just a simple kart racer. One minute youíll be racing in a straight head-to-head race and the next youíll be in a battle style game that invokes the best of Mario Kart style events. There are even time trials, which grow in difficulty as the story mode winds on.

As you can imagine, multiplayer is a natural fit for the game and while the Wii version has no online multiplayer, this is a game thatís begging to be played by a family sitting around the TV. The split screen works well with a big enough TV (we played this on a 40Ē) and only the absence of a map view spoils the overall experience.

Cars 2 is graphically pretty good for a Wii game. The characters are easily recognisable and the cars all look suitably shiny. The Wiiís limits do tend to show in the scenery, though, which often feels as if it could come from a film set rather than real life. While the game canít hope to come close to the HD movieís images, it certainly does a job with what it can get out of Nintendoís hardware and moves at a good pace too with little lag, even in split-screen.

Another nice addition is the voice acting, which certainly sounds as if the original actors have been used to provide quips during the race and to move the story on.

If youíre looking for the next big racer after Mario Kart or have kids that love the Disney Cars characters, Cars 2 is the perfect answer. It may not be the best or most feature-packed racer out there, but itís fantastic fun for the whole family.
8/10
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Mon 26/03/12 at 14:38:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,887
Iím used to being disappointed or let down by movie-based games that look good on the packaging but play poorly. So it came as a bit of a surprise when I had the chance to try Cars 2 on the Wii, especially after the lack-lustre second movie.

Normally, licensed games like this resort to cheap tricks to make them look good in videos, but end up being shallow. Not so with Pixar and Avalancheís latest effort. Based on the film of the same name, Cars 2 takes on a spy theme. Itís sort of like James Bond meets Herbie goes Bananas with a sprinkling of Pixar magic. The game uses this wisely as the basis for power-ups but manages to focus more on the racing aspect.

The outcome is that the game is a pretty good racer, albeit not the sort that would appeal to those with a penchant for engine size, decals or stats. Designed as a game that can be played by the whole family, it keeps the action simple but still allows for some great additions to the standard racer model.

There are passing nods to Mario Kart here and there and the handling is very similar, with cars able to slide through corners and plenty of power-ups to collect which can change the outcome of the game if used wisely. But these weapons are only one aspect of the game. Pixar have craftily added stunts to build up the boost bar.

Stunts are performed mid-air by flipping the car or on the ground by doing things like tipping the car sideways to drive on just two wheels. Building up boost will then allow you to pass the other racers on the track. Balancing the slowdown from tricks with the added speed of the boost is a skill which can win or lose a race, but despite it sounding complicated, my kids got the hang of it after just a few tutorial levels.

The game also actively encourages you to smash in to the side of other racers to send them in to scenery or even off the track completely. With 4 players on track at once in split screen mode the game can be pretty ferocious, but at the same time it remains open enough to allow for younger players to still gain an advantage.

Another area where younger players can gain an advantage is with the control system. Adults can use the Nunchuk to steer a car while younger players use the same wheel based control system from Mario Kart. In fact, there are plenty of options for different control setups available, but I only managed to test these two, the wheel being by far the easiest and most intuitive control layout to use.

In single player, the different play styles help to make this more than just a simple kart racer. One minute youíll be racing in a straight head-to-head race and the next youíll be in a battle style game that invokes the best of Mario Kart style events. There are even time trials, which grow in difficulty as the story mode winds on.

As you can imagine, multiplayer is a natural fit for the game and while the Wii version has no online multiplayer, this is a game thatís begging to be played by a family sitting around the TV. The split screen works well with a big enough TV (we played this on a 40Ē) and only the absence of a map view spoils the overall experience.

Cars 2 is graphically pretty good for a Wii game. The characters are easily recognisable and the cars all look suitably shiny. The Wiiís limits do tend to show in the scenery, though, which often feels as if it could come from a film set rather than real life. While the game canít hope to come close to the HD movieís images, it certainly does a job with what it can get out of Nintendoís hardware and moves at a good pace too with little lag, even in split-screen.

Another nice addition is the voice acting, which certainly sounds as if the original actors have been used to provide quips during the race and to move the story on.

If youíre looking for the next big racer after Mario Kart or have kids that love the Disney Cars characters, Cars 2 is the perfect answer. It may not be the best or most feature-packed racer out there, but itís fantastic fun for the whole family.
8/10

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