Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Poor Cars Franchise

What has happened to the one children franchise on the Xbox 360 that I always defended if it came under scrutiny? It was the Cars franchise. I got 900 on the original (back then I didn't care for completion and couldn't be bothered with finding the post cards) and I had the 1000 on Mater National (the 2nd in the franchise) but I had not played the third game. Race-O-Rama came out towards the end of last year but I ordered it for £10 a week a go as I fancied another easy 900 gamerscore from a game I hoped would be enjoyable, I was wrong.

Race-O-Rama is unfortunately broken and the worst in the series. First off the controls are the same from the previous instalments with A being accelerate and RT being your turbo. The control setup for the controls is fine, how they have been executed is not. How could a formula that worked fine in the previous two games be taken and ruined for Race-O-Rama? Steering has become more dodgey in your standard races (when you're the red car Lightning McQueen) but what on earth were the developers thinking when they programmed the mini cars and monster truck races. It's insane to think that I am playing a children's game on the easiest difficulty and was finding it hard to get just a bronze medal in some of these races, meaning I would do up to 10 retries which was very frustrating. What happens is your vehicle will just spin out with no good reason for doing so. At first when this started happening I thought it was my controller being weird, it didn't make sense to me that I could just be steering round a corner and then bam, a 360 donut occurs and I've lost all speed and probably been knocked over by my opponents.

I've since completed this game and thought I want to share my experiences with you as well as doing a bit of reseach of my own. Wikipedia is always my friend just like it's proven this morning when I went on it to see who Developed the 3 Cars games on the 360. Now a studio called Rainbow Studios has its name in the Developer(s) section on both the original and Mater National however it is missing in Race-O-Rama. I am lead to believe that a company called Tantalus Interactive were the ones to develop Race-O-Rama, a company that previously did Mater National on the DS and GBA. It's a shame they ruined the controls so badly on the game otherwise it still would have been an all right game to play for gamerscore. Still, stay away from this if your prone to throwing controllers out of anger, I've read a few people admit to do so from playing this game just by reading the posts in X360A's forum for the game.

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