|a game by||Electronic Arts|
|Platforms:||Playstation 2, Playstation|
|Editor Rating:||6.5/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Speed Racer Games|
Based on the popular retro cartoon, Speed Racer is an average fast-paced racing game that doesn't break any new barriers.
Playing as Speed, you race in variants of the Mach 5, all of which, like its cartoon counterpart, contain a variety of fun and wacky gadgets to use against your opponents. Engage the rotary saws to run cars off the road or hit the auto-jacks to vault over enemy cars. Unfortunately, these gadgets usually don't improve your race position, and sometimes they're even a hindrance. Depending on how well you do, you can gain access to new cars and new levels.
The control makeup is simple, featuring only acceleration and brake buttons. And as with most arcade-style racers, powersliding is a technique you'll need to master. It'll take a little time, but it's especially helpful when burning around tight turns at 200 mph.
Visually, the illusion of high-speed driving is done well, but the stale, inanimate objects in the bright backgrounds reduce the graphics to sheer boredom. The sound just adds to the game's misery, with dull, synthesized techno music and a voice that constantly shouts out annoying advice. Actually, the best use of the sound and graphics is at the start of the game, which includes the opening sequence from the TV show.
Overall, Speed Racer doesn't cross the finish line ahead of the pack. The absence of a two-player mode, along with the light selection of cars and tracks, steer this speedster straight to rental city.
- Even though it's slower than the automatic, the manual Mach 5 features the best overall control and handling.
- The rotary saws aren't necessary. Just bump your opponent at high speeds.
- Use your grip tires as little as possible; they slow you down immensely.
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This game is very much a slice of the original cartoon it came from. An extended intro complete with scenes and music from the old series sets the stage for a healthy dose of Speed Racer nostalgia.
Reminiscent of Rage Racer, Speed Racer offers three courses complete with expandable tracks and pretty scenery to race through. Gradual shifts from day to night are also present and add depth to the unique racing environments. The "Mach One" is equipped with its trademark gizmos: the Auto Jack (jumping), Frogger (underwater maneuvering), Evening Eye, Defencer, Chopper (personal favorite) and the Belt tire. These items come in handy on the secret shortcuts and alternate routes sprinkled throughout the courses. Cutting down a lane of trees with the Chopper or driving underwater using the "frogger" option is all in a day's work for this highspeed racer. Fans of the series as well as speed freaks should enjoy this upcoming driving title for the PlayStation.
- MANUFACTURER - GRC
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
When I first booted up Speed Racer and witnessed a perfect re-creation of the TV series intro, I knew I was in for a good time. As expected, Speed Racer is a blast. At first, I thought the game was nothing more than Ridge Racer with gadgets and a cool license. My initial suspicions were only half correct; the journey turned out to be much more enjoyable and less derivative than I first expected. Although there are only three tracks to choose from, there are lots of shortcuts and hidden areas in the game which can only be accessed by certain cars. While this is nothing new to racing games, the way it's implemented in SR is both challenging and fun. Although some of the techniques required to win the later races are a bit too demanding for my tastes, at least it's not impossible. The graphics are about par for the PlayStation. There is no slowdown or pop-up to speak of and the control is very responsive. Another cool little detail is how the techno version of the Speed Racer theme (done by the group Alpha Team) is played during replays. Some of the voice samples are annoyingly repetitive ("Hey, catch him!"), but it's no big deal. For me, SR is appealing in that it offers a solid (albeit straightforward) driving experience, combined with campy, cartoon-like personality.
Here it comes, here comes Speed Racer." It's a very bad deal. It's a bad deal and it's going to really piss off someone. The game is real short so you better be careful. After wasting your money you might be tearful. And when you beat it in 30 minutes, and there's nothing more, you bet your life you'll want to...return it soon. No Speed Racer, no Speed Racer, no Speed Racer. NO!!!" (The tune is clear: Don't waste time on this game.)
After the warm fuzziest wore off from seeing vintage Speed Racer clips, I began to get bored with this retro racer. While Speed doesn't suffer too much from any one malady, it's just too old and simple to warrant my praise. With variations of one track being the meat of the game, I simply learned the shortcuts and won consistently. Furthermore, the graphics appear to be a few years behind compared to what's available now.
If one morning you got up and said, want to buy a really average racing game, Speed Racer would be the game for you. This title provides all of an hour's worth of fun and then it's beat. Sure, some secret cars are unlocked and you can beat your existing times, but how long is that going to last? On top of this, the Speed Racer license seems more or less tacked on, and there's a noticeable amount of pop up.