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Cars: Mater-National review

AT A GLANCE
  • Familiar characters/settings
  • Generally solid voice acting
  • Monsters Inc. cameos
  • Too similar to original
  • Frequent loading times
  • "Life is a highway"

As a game designed to be mass-ported across all consoles, Cars: Mater-National doesn't take full advantage of the Xbox 360 hardware, though it certainly presents a competent visual experience. From the vehicles to the desert environments, everything is solidly rendered and sharply displayed with a frame rate that only dips (and noticeably so) during the two-player split-screen battles. Pop-in can be an issue, as plants and environmental effects will appear suddenly within a couple dozen feet of your vehicle, but it doesn't prove to be much of a distraction during gameplay.

Cars: Mater-National is essentially the same game as its predecessor, but with a weaker campaign and even less reason to give it a shot in this packed holiday season. Minor issues from the original remain unchanged, while online play is still missing and the single-player experience seems significantly less robust. While still quite playable for several hours, the lack of true innovation or noteworthy upgrades makes Mater-National seem like more of a rushed expansion than a full-fledged - or fully necessary - follow-up to a memorable kid-friendly racer.

More Info

Release date: Oct 29 2007 - DS, PS3 (US)
Available Platforms: PS2, DS, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, GBA
Genre: Racing
Developed by: THQ
ESRB Rating:
Everyone

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