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by Konami

screen1-01.jpg (9248 bytes)When it was announced that there would be another cart game coming out there was a collective cry of "again?" The cart genre has been worked to death with only a handfull of good titles to speak of. With the release of Mario Kart Advance nearly two months away, hope is not lost for a fun cart game. Krazy Racers might not have the familiar faces, but it IS a fun cart game that does the genre justice.

screen4-01.jpg (10419 bytes)The characters are a who's who of the Konami world. Unless you have played many Japanese Konami games, a majority of these are not familiar faces, although Ninja from Metal Gear Solid is playable, and if you don't know this one, you must have been a castaway with Tom Hanks. To give Krazy Racers their own Bowser, Dracula from Castlevania has been recruited. Each character has his own reasons for accepting the invitation, but mostly to prove their dominance over the others. Each character has his strengths and weaknesses. Usually, they will excel in one of the following categories: handling, acceleration, and top speed, with the exception to Goemon who is the most balanced. To help you in your quest for supremacy are items and turbo. While racing, the items are colored in pink and the turbo is blue. This means you must decide what direction to go so you can get what you need.

screen2-01.jpg (10483 bytes)To keep you busy for quite awhile are five modes of play: Free Race, Time Attack, VS. Mode, Battle Mode and Krazy GP. Free Race is the practice mode, which will get you familiar with the courses and the short cuts in them. Time Attack is similar to the Free Race, but there is a time limit to complete it in. VS. Mode is of course you against a fellow human. Battle Mode actually has two mini games in the one mode. First is the Bomb Chaser, which is essentially "tag" with a time limit. Whoever is "it" when time runs out blows up. The other is an interesting version of chicken. You and another combatant go head to head to see who can brake near the designated mark without going over. The catch is that you can only brake once. And the coup de grace is the awesome challenge of Krazy GP. In order to progress to the next cup not only do you have to come in first in the point totals after three races, but you also have to pass the license tests. These tests consist of various challenges from the other modes such as time attack and others.

screen3-01.jpg (11192 bytes)In order to have a racing game that is playable for the long term you need controls that are good enough that they do not add an unneeded difficulty factor. Controls should not be an enemy, but an ally. The shoulder buttons respond well, which is nice because you will be using them a lot. Controls are nothing fancy and they don't need to be. Every function is taken care of and with the ability to use the select in game for a rear view adds that extra dimension needed. Krazy Racers’ controls are on your side.

Krazy Racers wonderfully displays the 32 bit brilliance of the GBA. The colors are bright and vibrant. There is no need for extra light as everything stands out well. Players and obstacles do not get lost on the track as you are moving along. The sense of a third dimension exists even though the game consists of sprites. Finally the display is laid out in a way that it does not distract from the gameplay, and considering the screen size and all that is shown, that is impressive to see. If there is one flaw that distracts from the game play at all is the music. The music does not give the game a sense of speed. It's like driving somewhere while listening to a dentist's drill. The music can be turned off in the options menu, so you don't have to be tortured with it unless you like that sort of thing. The sounds, however, are not as bad. The engines roar with the semi-realistic weed eater sound, just like a "real" kart.

Cart games come and go. Many people do not even remember the flops that have shown up. Krazy Racers is not one of the flop games as it has everything you need to have fun. While it is not Mario Kart there is enough to keep you busy for the couple of months until it hits the stores. If you are a cart fan pick it up. If not familiar with this type of racing, try it. You just might get hooked.

Jake Carder   (07/03/2001)


Ups: Tight controls; plenty to accomplish; five modes of play.

Downs: Music stinks; some unfamiliar characters.

Game Boy Advance


GamesFirst! Magazine