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Seems that kart racers have become all the rage lately on the Playstation gaming console. With no less than four games of this type recently released for the system, I would venture to say that there is some rather stiff competition for your gaming dollars.
Magical Racing Tour comes along packed with a Disney license that will give gamers the opportunity to race through a goodly portion of the main attractions at Disney World in Florida.
With so many kart racers popping up, does Magical Racing Tour have what it takes to differentiate itself from the crowd and come up a clear-cut winner? As always dear readers, read on to find out
Sound and Vision:
If you enjoy the cute, sickeningly sweet music of Disney than you are going to be in gaming heaven folks. Magical Racing Tour opens up with the all too familiar "It's a Small World Afterall" beautifully reproduced in all its glory (grrrr). As the song drones on (and on and on) we are treated to an incredible flyby of the Disney grounds produced using a real time engine (read: the Playstation can still kick some butt) that weaves all through the park.
There are also a ton of Disney tunes to go along with all of the rides er umm I mean tracks that you will race on. Many of them were familiar to me and some were surprisingly good. Regardless of my musical tastes though, I cannot dump too hard on the tunes here just because I am not crazy for "fluffy" "happy" tunes, kids (and many grown-ups) are going to love them and the production value is second to none. They are all faithfully reproduced and blend in well with the races if you like that kind of stuff.
One of the biggest surprises for me while playing this game were the graphics they kick ass! The polygon models are very well crafted and animated and the backgrounds zip by almost effortlessly. Little details like the character heads turning and bobbing as they take their vehicle into turns of get slammed by an opponent really added a lot of humor and realism to the race.
The backgrounds are also nicely detailed using the backdrops of some of Disney's most popular rides. I was also somewhat shocked to see such dazzling special effects popping up throughout the gameplay. The only drawback was the occasional slowdown that occurred in the two-player mode when things got a little hectic and crowded on the screen. Since this happened so rarely though, it almost wasn't worth mentioning. Crystal Dynamics obviously know the Playstation pretty well.
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