Absolute PlayStation

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Wacky Races
"Controlling a vehicle is nigh on impossible, while graphically it's all a bit of a mess. What a shocking game for such a massive franchise. "
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Developer  Appaloosa Game Type  Racing
Distributor  Infogrames Review Date  Jan 01
 
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Review:
 
Whether they were simply trying to 'Stop that Pigeon' or deviously cheat their way to first place in Wacky Races, you couldn't help but snigger along with Muttley at Dick's Dastardly outrageous tricks. Now, at last, you have the opportunity on Playstation to take part in one of those crazy, manic cartoon races involving fellow dust busters Peter Perfect in his Turbo Terrific, the Gruesome Twosome and their Creepy Coupe, the Slag Brothers in their Boulder Mobile, Sergeant Blast in his Army Surplus Special or Penelope Pitstop in her Compact Pussycat.

Wacky Races sticks rigidly to the format of the TV cartoon where players are actually encouraged to win the race using any means necessary. To assist in this task an on screen Wackymeter has three empty spaces to be filled by collecting various colored wings scattered around the track. Each colored set of wings has a point rating, and the more points scored. the wackier the gadget or weapon awarded. To further hazard progress the circuit is littered with bumps, jumps and traps. How Dastardly can it get?

With the game modes and rules set up as a typical arcade cartoon racer it's time to choose your 'wacky' character and head off to the 'wacky' starting line for what should be some tremendously 'wacky' fun.

Graphically the cool CG intro only serves the purpose to raise your expectations up to a greater height from which to be carelessly dropped. Before a race even begins the player is subjected to a nauseous experience as the rapid moving camera quickly pans full circle before settling slightly behind the starting line. I had to pause the game for a brief moment to let my stomach settle allowing me a few seconds to stare in disbelief at the grainy vehicles and awful scenery. We're talking paint by numbers here. with a fat brush. "Okay", I thought. "Maybe it handles better than it looks".

Urrgghh! Wrong again! Controlling the vehicle can be compared to guiding an ice cube down a slippery slalom to hell. When steering left or right the motion is over exaggerated, and worse still, the camera insists on following every single movement rather than remain stable from a steady distance behind. To get some idea of this effect try looking at the monitor and fully turn your head left, right, left, right real quickly, while still watching the screen. After forcing myself around three messy circuits I promptly retired and gave up on this mess before I was actually sick. This is the first time any game has made me feel like this, and anyone else who viewed this game reacted in a similar way. Surely Wacky Races was play-tested before release? I just hope this doesn't kick someone off into an epileptic fit.

The music is brilliant and the character comments could have added to the games enjoyment had it not been way too late to save this monster.

Features:
 
6 Crazy Cars including Penelope Pitstop, and the legendary Dastardly and Muttley in their Mean Machine

40 tracks

5 wacky playing environments

Single Race, Battle Mode or the wild Wacky Races Championship

Over 20 ingenious gadgets, traps and weapons to knock your opponents out of a race

1 or 2 Player games

Options:
 
• Number of Disks: 1
• Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 2
• Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 2
• Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
• Link-cable compatible (max players): No
• Split screen multi-player option (max players): Yes (2)
• Other accessories: None
• Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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Summary
Martin   "Almost everyone under the age of 50 has surely donated a few moments of their misspent youth watching those crazy antics of Dick Dastardly and Muttley in their Mean Machine. Well, I suggest no more time of your precious time is wasted on this awful Wacky Races product. Controlling a vehicle is nigh on impossible, while graphically it's all a bit of a mess. What a shocking game for such a massive franchise. As Dick Dastardly would say himself, "Curse's. foiled again!""
Graphics  5/20
Playability  10/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  11/20
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