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Hot Wheels: Beat That!

Score: 52%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Eutechnyx
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing (Arcade)

Graphics & Sound:

Granted, I am twenty five, and not seven, but Hot Wheels: Beat That! failed to inspire even the child in me. In fact, the soundtrack was so repetitive and absurdly annoying, that I thought about either 1) throwing my Wii out our third story balcony or 2) muting the sound and grabbing my iPod. Since I camped out to get my precious Wii, option two became the more viable, and was carried out post haste.

Again, perhaps if I were seven or eight, and didn't really have a developed taste in music, the uninspired (and I will use this word a lot) and repetitive (I will use this a lot too) music wouldn't bother me too terribly much. However, I have no eight year-olds to test this theory on... so my thoughts on the matter will have to suffice. I just keep telling myself that kids are loud and obnoxiously ADHD anyway, so they wouldn't notice the soundtrack. At least the sound effects were halfway decent.

The graphics for Hot Wheels: Beat That! on the Wii are about par with the rest of the game. I wasn't expecting much in terms of graphics, and I wasn't disappointed. The lighting is pretty neat; for some reason it reminds me of a pinball machine. The colors are also bright enough to keep the attention of any small child that tends to get distracted easily. Hot Wheels: Beat That! is very, very pixalicious. I thought my contacts were sticking to my eyes at one point, but again, I sincerely doubt kids will notice. They will be more interested in the brightly colored cars that are wooshing by on their screen.


Gameplay is pretty darn crappy if you have ever played any good racing games. All the tiny Hot Wheels cars feel about the same (no matter what the specs promise), and using the motion-sensor controls is a pain. Excite Truck handled the motion controls a lot better, and it wasn't too snazzy on that game to begin with. And again, for a child, it might be heaps of fun to wiggle your Wii-mote around and smash into walls as long as fire is streaking out of your wheels.

You start out on Easy (you have to unlock every-bloody-thing else in the game). Each zone in the game is themed (some of them are pretty cute and make me wish I was tiny enough to zoom around in a micro car), and has about four tracks... all of which seem about the same to me. The games setup is lackluster, uninspired (there is that word again) and repetitive (a-hah!). You can run a regular race, an Eliminator race, in which the last car is bumped off every thirty seconds), or Rampage. You get to blow other cars up in Rampage mode, so that was fun.

This would have been entertaining if it had not been for the tracks all seeming the exact same to me... as well as the cars. The tracks also have weird glitches that were frustrating as all hell. My little vroom-vrooms would randomly get stuck on objects they should not have been stuck on! I wanted to win so badly, and then I would be ripped from first by a literal bump in the track. Also, on the occasions where I would run my vehicle off the track, it would skip half the track and put me on a random spot on the course. My car even became lodged in a tunnel at one point. I had to turn the Wii off to fix the glitch. Hot Wheels: Beat That! should have stayed in production for a few more weeks, me thinks. I can see a younger child getting very agitated with the wacko glitches.


There really wasn't much difficulty in the game, which is a good thing, really. Can you imagine an enraged and frustrated seven-year-old throwing his expensive Wii across the room because Hot Wheels: Beat That! was irking him? So, thankfully, there is nothing overly complicated while playing this game. Otherwise, we would be facing a Children of the Corn type of deal... and no one wants to be shanked with a corn husk!

There are three difficulty levels for Hot Wheels: Beat That!. I honestly could not tell a huge difference between the three. The tracks can be fairly annoying at times, however. The actual track is not marked terribly clearly, and it is passing easy to fly off into a random direction and end up going the wrong way. The most frustrating part was the "rubber-band" racing. I actually tried to lose at one point, and I still managed to get first place and meet the objectives that I hadn't even read about! It worked out for the best, I suppose, because I unlocked a new track. Granted, it looked almost identical to the one I had just been on.

The only real difficulty I found in this game and its three game types were the actual tracks itself. It was just a bit too hard to decipher where the track was and the background began. I found myself driving off the track many times, only to realize I was going the wrong way five hours later (and yet somehow I would still win).

Game Mechanics:

What should have been a fun set up (it's for the Wii!), was more of a frustration. You can use the Wii-mote as a sort of steering wheel (Think Excite Truck in Hot Wheels: Beat That!, or you can use the Nunchuck... I much preferred the latter.

In the Wii-mote configuration, the controls are as follows: (A) is use item, (-) is to look back, (+) pauses the game, (1) brakes or reverses, and (2) accelerates. You can also ram your Wii-mote forward and it supercharges an item. The (B) button utilizes drift. I liked the Nunchuck setup much better: D-pad was used to steer, (C) is drift, (Z) is braking or reversing, (B) is your acceleration, and (A) uses an item. Either way it was pretty inaccurate and I tended to drift way too much. Stopping tends to be a bit of a pain, as well... you tend to glide to a stop rather than screeching to a halt.

The weapons system in Hot Wheels: Beat That! is rather boring. You drive through rings to get random weapons (shooting ice for instance), and after you "supercharge" your weapon, you are still stuck with a less than stellar display of doom. Half the time I wasn't even sure I was firing anything or if the game was just glitching out on me again.

Basically, you're only going to want to buy this game if your grandchild/ niece/ nephew hates you and will only love you if you spend money on Hot Wheels: Beat That! for them. Otherwise, rent it. Or barring that, overlook it and go see about eight horror movies in celebration of Halloween.

-Phate Kills, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Field

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