Pixar movies are always amazing in their graphics and storylines. My own two children really love them all, especially Cars. So when I saw the videogame on the shelves at my local videogame store, I picked it up.
What I want in a family oriented title like Cars is of course something my 3 and 5 year old can enjoy, without leaving me in the dust.
No pun intended.
Any fan of the movie will love this game. And even as a stand-alone racing game, it actually is pretty fun.
As soon as you launch the game into the story mode, you’re treated to Mater telling you a story about the tournament he wants to throw. You’re then brought in (as Lightning McQueen, of course) to Radiator Springs… and man, it was a lot of fun to cruise the strip and see all the familiar sights like the Cozy Cone, Mater’s Tow Yard, Doc Hudson’s Garage, etc. And it feels like you’re there in the movie. You’ll get a big smile from all the details put into the area. From the beautiful backgrounds, to the different characters cruisin’ around town; all with great voices (they didn’t get the same voice actors, but they sound really close).
The story mode is great. You’ll visit different places like Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley, and Tailfin Pass… engaging in different races, minigames, and quests for hidden relics like tires, and stickers and ribbons. You’ll need to score those ribbons in the games to advance from one section of the game to the next. And the points you grab along the way unlocks new cars and paintjobs that can be used to race in arcade and vs. modes.
You drive as Lightning and see a little mini map in the lower left with the map of the town with highlighted areas where races and mini-games are located. The races get progressively harder, and the mini-games are varied enough to keep you interested. Examples are some rhythm games, fuel pickup challenges, to name a few.
You’ll spend a lot of time collecting all the ribbons/stickers.
The arcade and vs. modes are where you can quick race on the different tracks you unlock in the story mode with the different cars. The cars don’t just look different, they all handle differently, have different boost levels, better acceleration, etc. You can’t build the cars up per se, but you do get greater boost levels as you progress the story mode.
As a father who plays lots of games, I want my kids to play along with me. Not the first person shooters, not the long immersive RPGS, but something I can just hand them and they can enjoy. Cars Mater-national provides that fun for the whole family, with a cool tie in to the movie in a nicely handled racing game.
The good news is it is available for all major consoles, PS3, PS2, Wii, Xbox 360, and the PC.