Title: Smurf Racer   Developer: Artificial Mind and Movement   Type: Kids Racing
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Smurf Racer
"Smurf your engines! Everyone's favorite enchanted blue characters are back in their own kart-racing game. Exciting power-ups around the courses, interactive track features, unique characters, music to sing to and cartoon inspired laughs, combine to provide hours of fun for all ages."
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PSone REVIEW:
 
This title is what you\'\'d expect for a game designed for kids. It is really easy to get started and the game holds your hand throughout the process. The controls are simple for a novice to use, but still have a level of complexity for a more advanced player. The controls are the same for most driving games. The X button is the gas and the D-pad or D-stick controls the steering. One nice feature is that the feedback on the controller is really good. The carts go over wooden bridges and the controller vibrates accordingly…this will certainly excite the little ones.

There is a good selection of characters to choose from and a goodly amount of tracks that are relatively easy to unlock. This allows a young user to play the game without getting frustrated, especially in Easy mode. While it is primarily a kiddie style title, this game has features and playability that makes it fun for all ages. A parent could have just as much fun as his kid if they play in split screen. Other buttons that can be used enable weapons. One shoots a firecracker straight ahead to knock off an opponent; another leaves your secret weapon for players behind you. The game allows a player to choose from a large cast of Smurfs, from Papa Smurf to Smurfette.

The graphics are a mixed bag. While I found the background graphics to be rendered quite well and look sharp, I found some pop-up on the horizon on some sharp turns, but otherwise, not much. The characters in the different carts are not readily recognizable or well-rendered though so kiddies may get a bit confused. You just see less polygons (poor character models) on them than I would normally expect. Overall, the graphics are good, but not great.

The sound effects and music are good and what I\'\'d expect for the Smurfs. Not a lot of sound effects besides the rumble of the wooden bridges and karts and firing of the firecrackers...typical stuff here folks.

FEATURES:
 
3 different racing modes (Single Race Mode, Championship Mode, Flag Battle)

11 different tracks in 5 different unique Smurf environments inspired by the cartoon

8 playable Smurf characters (plus 4 unlockable characters) each with their own unique gag weapons.

Easy and Expert modes to accommodate every driving ability

2 Player Split-Screen action to Smurf against your opponent!

Perfect for first-time or younger game players

OPTIONS:
 
• 1 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
• 2 way split screen multi-player option
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Tom Downey  "I\'\'ve played Mario Cart on the N64 before and this reminded me of a much weaker version of that. This is different enough and I found it to be an easier learning curve. That makes this game better for its intended audience... kids.

Smurfs has enough variety not to bore older kids (and adults) and simplicity not to frustrate the young \'\'uns. All in all, this is a good kids racing game.

The scores below are based on this being bought for a younger gamer."
Graphics  16/20
Playability  46/50
Sound  7/10
Lastability  16/20
85%
This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'Smurf Racer' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:


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