Set in a world where car culture is the culture, Speed Racer is set to blaze its psychedelic, loop-the-loop, so-fast-your-eyes-water trail this summer. Based on the Wachowski brothers’ film of the same name, you get behind the wheel of each character’s signature car, competing in the World Racing League on rollercoaster-style tracks at breakneck speeds. It aims to deliver eye-popping action in a racer that’s not just about winning. The intensity of the film is captured to perfection.
Above: These screens are taken from the Wii version.
This is no ordinary race, though. Each car has four independently turning wheels, allowing you to make the most of the game’s ‘car fu’ combat system. We’re guessing from the movie trailers this means cars slipping all over the place and spinning like giant metal ballet dancers. Although it’s difficult to imagine if the game will be able to capture the feel of all four wheels turning every which way.
Since it’s not just about getting to the finish line first, players can earn points by jumping, flipping, out-maneuvering, and straight-up smashing opponents right off the track. The more fancy and complex your moves, the more ‘energy’ you earn in ‘The Zone’ - an eyeball-vibrating power surge primed for turbo. You can also establish alliances with other drivers in order to gang up against your enemies.
Speed Racer seems ideal for the Wii, though we have our concerns about using a wheel peripheral for control. Play seems slightly easier on the DS and PS2, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for fun. The huge tracks floating above cities remind us of F-Zero, and that’s always a good thing, especially with crazy turns and loops flying by in neon colors. We won’t be seeing Gran Turismo levels of realistic physics, but what would you expect when hearing the words Wachowski and “car fu”?
Apr 17, 2008