Cartoon Network Racing – NDS – Review

When I was younger I
couldn’t wait for Saturday for two reasons: the first was that I was out of
school so I could sleep in, and the second was it was cartoon day. While I
watched my fair share of cartoons during the week, Saturday always had the new
cartoons such as X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spiderman and many more. I
also enjoyed when there was a game that was based off my favorite cartoons as it
made my friends and me feel closer to what was going on. Not much has changed
throughout the years and there are still developers coming out with games based
on popular cartoon series. This time there is a Mario Kart look-a-like released
entitled Cartoon Network Racing.

This game features a few
modes that you can participate in. First
up is the Championship mode in which you must compete in four different
championship and you are given points for each race depending on what place you
are in. After the four races are over, the point list is tallied and if
you are the winner more championship modes will be unlocked. Next up is the Time
Trial mode where you race against the clock to beat your top time, one thing
that is very helpful is that there are no hazards, items, or anything that can
give you an advantage or disadvantage. There is also a versus mode where you can
play with up to four of your friends.

Nice Shield

Since this game is pretty
much a clone of Mario Kart you really know what to expect but I will list some
essential things to know. First off you will need to know three driving skills
that will help you win races. First is the power side which helps you make those
hair splitting turns easier. Next is the jump start, if you time your button
presses just right you can get a power boost at the beginning of the race, but
if you mess up you will start late. The sling shot move is where you get a speed
boost by driving behind another character for a few seconds and you will go into
their “slipstream” and get a short but very powerful speed boost.

Like always while you are
racing you can find and pick up various items on the track that will help you
win the race. There are speed boosts, missiles, mines, shields, oil spills, and
much more. These items are very helpful while you are racing against other
enemies as they help you get an advantage by disabling other players. Also the
courses themselves have various features such as speed pads, ramps, water, and
various other hazards that you will have to avoid if you want to take that
coveted first place trophy.

There are about twenty
different characters that you will be able to choose from in the game and each
come with their own vehicle style that matches with what you might have seen on
their television show. Each character that you can choose from has a special
power that is called Toon power. The powers range from free breath, to shrink
rays, laser eyes, and other things that will help that particular racer through
a tough situation.

Select A Hero

The graphics for this game
are decent but they will not wow you in anyway. The major reason why is the
track designs feel very un-inspired and most of them are very bland with a
serious lack of small details. The characters are nicely animated and looks
pretty much like their television counterparts. The special effects will not
bedazzle you either because they have a very been there done that feeling.

The sound for this game
could use some serious work. The first thing that gets very agitating is the
music. The problem isn’t really the lack of music, but lack of decent music. I
could count on one hand the music that doesn’t have everyone in the room
reaching for the mute button on the Nintendo DS. The one-liners that each of the
characters say are good at first but get really annoying because of the lack of
quantity, so you will hear the same things over and over again. The sound
effects are decent but not worth a gold medal either.

Cartoon Network Racing is
rated everyone and contains comic mischief.

Scoring Details
for Cartoon Network Racing

The gameplay is identical to Mario Kart for the
DS but it still doesn’t have as much polish as the original has.

Graphics: 6.0
The graphics are really spectacular and will not wow you. What is worse
is that a lot of the courses look very bland and have no “personality” to them.

Sound: 5.2
The sound in this game could really use some work.

Difficulty: Easy
This game is extremely easy to get into and start racing and beating
the competition.

Concept: 5.1
This game is pretty much a port of Mario Kart in a Cartoon Network
shell. The bad part is that the developers didn’t give the game as much polish
as Mario Kart.

Overall: 6.5
Cartoon Network Racing is a decent kart racing game that will appease
younger gamers who like the majority of the characters in there. If you are
looking for something with more substance and polish then it is best if you pick
up the original game.