THQ knows a good thing when it sees one. Never shy of grabbing a franchise by the scruff of the neck the publisher’s assault on gaming youth continues with this admittedly adorable adaptation of Disney/Pixar’s Cars the animated full-lengther from the geniuses behind A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. These kinds of film-to-game experiences are usually not short on laughs and Cars is not much different. ‘Not much’ in that the racing certainly takes precedence while the comedy banter takes a back seat for the majority of the time.
In Story mode – the one from which all rewards are acquired and therefore dictates the depth of your Cars experience – there are two choices for the player to make at the outset: whether to play in Full Size or Compact mode. The former is for all ages the latter for younger less experienced drivers. Let us tell you right now the Full Size mode may look cute and cuddly and there may be no cussing and infighting among the drivers a la ‘Other Racing Games’ but goodness it can be tough to beat. Cars is certainly not just aimed at the kids. While it’s no Burnout/Need For Speed/Gran Turismo it does have the engine (pardon the pun) to impress and players will be able to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment from the game whether playing solo or in one of the many mini-games and versus modes. These mini-games include such delights as Tractor-Tipping and Pit Stop Challenge the first of those being a variation on the ancient art of cow-tipping but this time while avoiding the searchlights and the Pit Stop Challenge is button-bashing bedlam as nuts get tightened and windscreens are cleaned. There’s a lot of content and lots to do in Cars: we’ve been playing for two days since it arrived in the post and only scratched the surface wethinks. Thing is when faced with collecting hubcaps and tyres with Luigi the Fiat 500 you find yourself not really wanting to make any progress too soon ‘cos like many of the characters in Cars – featuring the voice talent from the film of course – he’s got stacks of appeal.
Cars – or to give it its official full name Disney Presents a PIXAR Film: Cars – could keep you entertained for hours. Indeed it has been a bit of a draw around these parts with grown men expressing a desire to have a thrash on the Arcade option at least. The quirky characters – the cars themselves – add to the appeal the graphics are easy on the eye…like the film it’s the feel good hit of the summer.——
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