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.
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.
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.
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.