Cool Unlockables and Fun Multiplayer make Cartoon Network a great game for young kart racer fans.
One needs only to search “kart” on any gaming info or retail site to see a rather substantial list returned, and for good reason. Kart racers are very popular, as they offer fun, bright tracks, wacky attacks, wackier drivers, and loads of unlockables. Game Factory’s racer meets all of the above requirements, and with its target audience beginning at age 7 or so, will Cartoon Network Racing please the little DS owning crumb crunchers while keeping the more seasoned gamer happy? Will Game Factory continue its streak of fun, properly programmed games directed towards a young audience? Read On!
Let’s face it, Cartoon Network Racing starts with an ace in the hole. What better fodder for a goofy racer than Johnny Bravo, Dexter, DeeDee, the Poweruff Girls and Pork Butt!? In addition, tracks could be original and based upon the environments in each cartoon. The game delivers where it should, it’s a fun ride, however some of the unlockables may take a little too long to unlock for a young gamer.
CN Racing offers three separate racin’ modes:
- Championship (Player vs. AI Characters)
- Versus (Player vs. Other DS Owners, with or without the game cart)
- Time Trial (Player vs. The Clock)
For those of you who have never played a racer/cart racer, Championship mode is usually for racing against the available characters, usually to unlock characters, tracks, etc. Choice of racer reminds me of the Mario Kart series, each character has different strengths and weaknesses. There is a choice here to compliment anyone’s racing style. from a preference to small, fast and light (ie: you get knocked around a lot) to the slow to start, high top end (ie: tank).
Nine characters are available at the beginning of the game; at least 20 are available to be unlocked. Each character also has an individual “Toon Power”, which can be used to boost their stats or to make life difficult for the other players. The controls are very simple, (A, B, R and L) and once the Power Slide is mastered, the youngest player can compete with the big boys. Speaking of younger players may become frustrated later on, as the game progresses in difficulty, Cheap AI Syndrome takes effect. This is frustrating for adults, and kids may not have the patience required to unlock the additional content.
Time Trial, the player races against the clock. That’s really all there is to be said about it.
The Versus really shines, and can extend the life of a game which could other wise lie on the shelf after Championship mode is finished. As with many single cart download content, character choice is very limited, so to get the most out of multi play, its better if each player has a copy of the game. Being beaten by a human player is usually preferable to being beaten by cheap AI tactics, and playing against other people is simply more fun.
Graphics first. The characters look good, not DS exploding, but good, However, this is taking into consideration this is a DS game, there is a lot going on at once on the screen; carts, attacks, etc.
I was hoping for a bit more character detail, and eye popping environments. This is a cartoon game after all. The sound is average as well. The characters are voices sound like those from the show, and they will make random comments during gameplay.
As for additional content, there is much to be said about this. Characters, full episodes of the cartoons, and even minigames are all available to be unlocked.
In closing, this is a fun addition to a young gamers DS library, and the Wi-Fi multiplayer should keep the older gamer content.