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Cars 2 Review

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Developer: Avalanche Software Publisher: Disney Interactive
Release Date: June 21, 2011 Available On: PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

The Cars movie franchise was a surprise hit when it was released in 2006. A Walt Disney and Pixar venture, the film was about a hot-shot race car named Lightning McQueen who ended up in the run-down town of Radiator Springs, accidentally tearing up their main road and being forced to fix it before he can make it to a race in California. The original game unsuccessfully attempted to use the movie’s material in an open-world experience. This latest title, Cars 2, features scenes from the movie in a more streamlined game.

You start off Cars 2 with a C.H.R.O.M.E. training facility, the spy agency from the new movie, giving you pointers about how to use the controls and various moves. It’s quickly obvious that Cars 2 will be a Mario Kart clone substituting Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser for Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile. Not that this is a bad thing, especially if you like kart racing games. Power-ups are a big part of the game as well with oil slicks, machine guns and rocket launchers, among others.

The game modes vary from traditional races to arenas of destruction where you try to build points by taking out small “lemon” cars. I found the single-player experience to be a pretty boring and lonely experience. There just is not enough excitement to keep anyone but a kid amused for extended periods of time. Thankfully, there is a multi-player element where you can drop-in and out for up to four players on one system. There unfortunately is no online multi-player to complement the experience.

One of the more unique parts of Cars 2 is the way that you build up your boost ability. Most games have you drift, slipstream, etc. to build up your boost. Cars 2 lets you do that too, but it rewards you for special moves such as driving in reverse, flipping on your side and driving on two wheels, performing tricks in the air, and sidestepping to avoid obstacles. At the very least, these are worth some Achievements/Trophies for those interested.

Fans of the Cars universe are sure to find the Cars 2 video game to be a worthwhile investment. This makes for a great game for kids of all ages and potentially as a bridge between father and son. A ton of the characters from the movie, over twenty in all, make appearances in the game. This will undoubtedly please kids looking to play as their favorite characters. The Mario Kart inspired gameplay is a big improvement from the original Cars video game. Overall, this is a must-have for kids and adults may even get a kick out of it too.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.6 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review