Monday, 24 February 2014

Digimon Racing review

In a way, I've always sort of liked Digimon better than Pokemon. While there is no denying that Pokemon has had some great games, Digimon has had some great games too, but Digimon has always had a step up on Pokemon in the TV department. Most of the income of the series has come from the cartoon and it's tie ins. Honestly, it's not a big surprise that a racing game was made. it's honestly just kind of weird.

Story-N/A: Again, no story to speak of. A bunch of Digimon characters decided to race and there are 3 assholes who want to ruin it for them. It's as simple as that.

Gameplay-6/10: So you probably know by now how these racing games control and act. Digimon Racing is almost exactly like that, but it feels a bit... slippery. I really don't know how else to describe it, your character usually slips around the track unless you let go of the acceleration button. It works kind of like in Konami Krazy Racers, but a bit less well done. I never really got a hold of it like I did with that game.

The game does some... interesting things to make it a bit more unique. There's a bar in the corner that fills up when you drive over colored strips of data. Filling up enough of the bar will cause you to Digivolve, making your character a lot better in stats. Filling up the bar entirely lets your character use a special item, like a homing shot, or an item that reverses an opponents controls.

Of course there are still other items to use, but they're rather unremarkable. You've got the standard boost, a homing weapon, and a bomb. Using an item decreases your bar though. Your bar can also be decreased by being hit by weapons, hitting obstacles, and falling down pits. Being hit too many times will cause you to de-evolve into a form that's incredibly worthless.

There's also a strange jumping mechanic that the game REALLY wants you to use. Most of the shortcuts can only be accessed by jumping, most of the latter tracks require jumping, and jumping on opponents actually damages them.

Now for the characters. The starting characters consist of the 8 main Digimon from the original series. They all have different stats, and they all mostly feel different, but I still played with Agumon for the most part. There are also 3 unlockable characters that you unlock by completing cups, quick races, and time trials.

Yes, there are cups. 9 or them in fact. But even then, there are only 12 tracks to race on. The first 3 cups cover those 12, and the last 6 cover those same tracks, but set to a theme, likea cup covering the "hot" themed tracks. The tracks usually have some type of gimmick to them, like obstacles that stick to the screen, or rocks that start moving after you hit them.

There are also three main boss battles against some big Digimon. The fights function exactly the same way, collect an item, jump over the boss' shots, then fire at him when he lets his guard down. They all add a gimmick, like conveyor belts or bar draining panels.

The game has an odd difficulty spike during the second cup, which is one of the most frustrating things I've played in a racer. The weird thing is that it immediately goes down during the third cup, and becomes surprisingly easy during the last 6 cups.

Graphics-8/10: The graphics are surprisingly well done. The character sprites manage to look surprisingly three dimensional. Each character also has a unique color for their car, but it can be changed to different colors on the character select screen.

The track select  is done using a colorful world map, with each track having a visible part on it. The tracks themselves are very detailed and unique. However, they do use certain themes a bit too much, like the desert and ice themes both getting two tracks.

All the obstacles on the tracks are represented by different Digimon, who usually just wander about, or throw things at you. Out of all the sprites, these ones look the most two dimensional. As in, they look literally flat.

The bosses are also done using the 3D looking sprites for the characters, but due to them being obviously enlarged, they look blurry and pixelated. Their two dimensional nature becomes apparent during the fights too, because you'll have to drive around them, making them awkwardly turn to face you no matter what.

Overall-5/10: I honestly don't have much to say about this game. It's just kind of "eh", and nothing more. It has some odd ideas, but they honestly are more frustrating than fun, and the large difficulty spike in the second cup was rather strange. Overall, not the best, but not the worst. It's somewhere in the middle.

You wanna see the worst racer the Gameboy Advanced has to offer? Tune in next time.

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