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Genre: Movie/TV based, Racing/Driving :: Players: 1 :: Released: 22/6/08

Speed Racer Review

Developer: Glu

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Cool Speed Racer vibe

Cons

No high scores
No replay factor

See Compatible Handsets

72

Graphics

86

Sound

75

Controls

78

Playability

70

Lastability

50

Review Details
Handset Nokia N81 8Gb

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 22/6/08

Car Fu to you too


It's the game of the film of the anime or something. Either way, Speed Racer will be big with the kiddies this summer with toys and now a mobile game to line the pockets.

What we have is a straight racing game that cleverly captures the vibe of Speed Racer. The graphics are impressive and had the movie and game been released a couple of years ago, I doubt any mobile could have done the game justice. There is plenty of detail and vibrant, colourful backgrounds. The cars race seamlessly across the 6 tracks and each track has a trademark uphill and downhill fast sections.

Controlling the car is a breeze and with auto accelerate all you really need to worry about is steering and using the occasional nitro. The mechanism for gaining nitro is not clearly explained but it seems that launching the car into mid air and performing slides all help to fill your nitro meter. The only thing lacking from the driving experience is a real sense of speed. The game is very easy and once you are up to full speed, it's unlikely you are going to slow down much - the lack of any damage makes this a bit easier as well.

Speed Racer has a few modes to entice you; Story Mode, Free Race and a couple of Challenge modes. Story mode is not as exciting as you may think. There's no plot but only an indication of your next race. Races consist of 2 laps against 3 other drivers. There's no on screen map but there are plenty of signs so you rarely come across an unexpected wall. You don't need to win all of your races to complete this mode but unlocked cars are on offer if you do. Challenge mode offers survival and chase races which do offer slightly more in terms of racing. It's still the same tracks but this time you must catch up and overtake the leader before laps or time run out.

Speed Racer has most of the basic elements for a really good driving game. The graphics, controls and track variety are all impressive (note - graphics on mid-high handsets look much better than the screenshots shown). But the developers have forgotten about Best Lap times and there is very little to entice you for a re-run. As a Speed Racer license, it does deliver the sense of futuristic automotive fantasy inherent in the animations of old but a little more of a back story within the game would have enhanced this even more. We're not here to play the blame game, but I suspect pressing deadlines and non-gaming executives may have had their part to play.