And that pretty much sums up the gameplay of Wacky Races
as well. Nothing all that special, but certainly fitting, and quite entertaining. Wacky Races
certainly isnít a revolution in the racer genre -- itís basically a repackaged Crash Team Racing
with a different way of doing weapons and much better graphics -- but it never fails to entertain.
You start the game by picking a racer out of the starting lineup and picking a handling style. Picking ĎKartí will bring you maximum enjoyment -- in Wacky Races, ĎAdvancedí means ĎRacing engine we programmed, didnít like, but felt we spent enough time getting to where it was that we couldnít just throw it away.í Avoid.
Youíll then be thrown into a miniature world, a la CTR (although nowhere near as complex), where you zoom around finding signposts that you can bump into. Each signpost (at least, at the beginning of the game) hosts five tracks, of which you can probably only race on one or two. Getting first place on a track nets you a star; collect enough stars and you open up new tracks and eventually new areas to race in. Beat all the tracks at a post and you can race a Challenge, where you must win enough points F-Zero X-style to come in first. Succeed, and you get even more neat track options.
The actual racing is simple and effective. You pick which weapons you want to assign to X, Y, and B, and since you only start off with three weapons (you can win more later), youíll probably want to pick certain Ďtypesí of power-ups to go on certain buttons. Once you do this, the race starts after a countdown, and youíll find yourself pressing the trigger button to zoom along.
Hereís where the gameís few problems become apparent. The A.I. clumps the racers heavily -- which is cool, as packs are something that is rarely done well in racing games. But the game, as stated previously, tends to slow down whenever thereís a lot of action on the screen, and since youíll be firing weapons and everything into the pack, youíll oftentimes be better off closing your eyes, waiting for the mayhem to end, and seeing where you end up. It gets that confusing, unfortunately.
The other racers also seem to always be one step ahead of you, in terms of speed and control. Youíll find yourself fighting for first place constantly, and once you get it, victory is in no way assured. This is nice, as it keeps the game interesting, but it doesnít work the other way around -- last place to first place finishes are few and far between. And where does the game always start you off? Thatís right, in the back. Youíll find yourself replaying races over and over to shave that extra second off.
Despite all this, I found the game very entertaining. Thereís something about the style, both graphically and gameplay-wise, that draws me to the title, and I wasted many, many hours opening tracks and completing Muttley Challenges.