Bang Bang Racing (BBR) is a racing game that feels a lot like playing with toy cars. Do not take this as a bad point, though. It is extremely fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The graphics are striking and brilliantly colourful, and the music is appropriate – albeit repetitive – for a racing game. Although, you probably won’t be paying much attention to the graphics or the music, as you will be focused on winning. This game will suck you into its bright and happy world and challenge your driving techniques. But as a gamer who rarely plays racing games, I found a lot of tracks quite difficult.
In BBR, you must progress through a racing career with different cars and on different race tracks. The career is split up into four different stages based on car class. These stages consist of different types including straightforward racing against opponents, time attack levels that put you on the clock and – my favourite – elimination races. These involve you taking practice laps on a track, after which the player in last place is eliminated as a timer winds down. The countdown restarts and then another is eliminated, and this carries on until there is only one player remaining. This type of race is a lot of fun as you are constantly on your toes, making sure you are not in last place.
The classes of cars available are N-Dura, Evo GT, Protech and Apex. Each class is faster than the one preceding it. Within each, there are different cars available to unlock. These vehicles are similar in looks but vary in their strong points e.g. toughness, agility, power, nitro system and top speed. Different colours and designs for the cars are also unlocked during play. Each has limited health and nitro available, with can be refilled during races. Although your car can never completely break down, with decreased health it becomes slower and eventually is set on fire. Going through the pit lane fixes your car and refills your nitro.
After completing races in the career, you end with a set of standard races on different tracks. Each player is awarded points depending on what place they get in the race, which then gives an overall score for the set. One thing I absolutely love about this game is the fact that if you mess up on a race in the middle of a set and get a low rank, you can replay that one again without starting over from the beginning. This eases frustration and makes it a lot easier for you to get the gold medal without wasting your time.
There is a Championship competition for each car class similar to the race sets found at the end of each career stage. Free Play mode allows you to customise races by mode, track, class, number of laps and difficulty of AI characters. Up to four players can participate locally in Championships and Free Play.
There are nine tracks in the game, including the snowy “Mont Vitesse”, “Palm Coast” by a harbour, and “Layton Raceway” in a stadium. These can be reversed, have shorter routes and can also include shortcuts. Each track feels different from the last, and vary widely in difficulty. Tracks include barrels in them that can contain oil or water to cause you to lose control of your car, or they can be exploding barrels that you can set off and leave as a hazard for enemies behind.
The camera angle looking down on the car can feel odd in places. Sometimes it is not able to keep up during faster races with frequent corners, and can make you feel a bit dizzy if playing for long periods of time. It does not feel very natural at first and can take a while to get used to. The other camera angle available is more from the side and I found it harder to control my direction (although this may be just me).
BBR is a fun game but feels like it is lacking something. With no online multiplayer available, it is not a game with maximum replay value, but if you have willing friends to play with, you could no doubt have lots of fun. It has a decent amount of play time for the 800MSP price tag, but there is nothing in particular drawing me back in to play it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.