For a game created to be exclusive on only one console, you might expect a solid game that can survive independent of the other consoles. As Furious Karting shows however, that assumption can be off target significantly and leave many disappointed. To its credit, the game isn't a complete let down with a racing style that is at least functional but it's not going to knock your socks off either. With the attempt to abandon the arcade style used in the more successful karting games like Mario Kart and move toward an extreme sports feel, Furious Karting has ended up with a concept that's hard to buy into.
The main problem is the game doesn't distinguish itself clearly as an extreme sports game or classic style karting game. This isn't necessarily a problem if the concepts used work together but when things seem out of place or conflict with other concepts, the game starts to fall apart. For instance, most extreme sports games are at least based in reality and although the tricks are usually exaggerated to make the game interesting, the basic tricks can usually be accomplished outside of the game. Furious Karting however seems to take the trick selecting off the chart, as once you see a go-kart performing various flips in the air you'll be hard pressed to find that based in any reality. Other concepts don't fit either with power ups like speed boosts or trick enhancing items working without an issue but the chicken that's used to slow down your opponent seems slightly out of place. Basically the combination of gameplay concepts that's put together simply isn't effective in creating a new experience that will keep you coming back for more and is frankly more confusing than "furious."
The graphics and audio aren't going to save this game either with marginal performances across the board. With nothing notable standing out that will impress significantly, both the graphics and audio do at least function, meeting minimum standards.
The bottom line is Furious Karting just isn't furious. Creating tough guys who race motorcycles and take each other out with bats, that fits. Having the same type of tough guys driving go-karts, it just doesn't work for me. Retailing it at $30 does help and the story mode gives a reason to keep playing but with a game that doesn't gel together, your money would probably be better spent elsewhere.
Download Furious Karting
I love a good kart racer--especially one like this where the go-karts are actually based on the real thing. But with FK, striving for realism might actually limit the appeal. Since most kart games are built upon recognizable characters and over-the-top special attacks (like in Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing), the generic Karting feels too bland. It's a shame, really, since it's a solid racer with smooth visuals, a bouncy soundtrack, and some creative track designs. And while it does have power-ups and a combat system (you swing a baseball bat at your opponents), clocking guys with an ordinary bat isn't quite as fun as shooting say, a fluorescent-green turtle shell at 'em. Thankfully, a cool team-play aspect makes up for the lackluster fighting. When you start your racing career, you join one of two teams. Then, out on the track, you've gotta help your teammates while pum-meling your enemies. Go a whole race without screwing up one of your partners and your karma rises a bit, earning you new abilities and better karts. It's an interesting idea that keeps you playing.