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Furious Karting

Score: 50%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Babylon Software
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

Furious Karting is the latest addition to Infogrames' growing catalog of racing games, and in this case, it's a non-starter. The graphics are just awful, with a lousy color palette, cheap 3D effects, and a decidedly 2D look. Animation, while not completely horrible, is still not very good and there's no real atmosphere or excitement in the game at all.

Sound is similar and is totally lackluster. There is licensed music from such acts as Def Tex, Styly Cee and Crackout, and good support for the Xbox Custom Soundtrack feature, but overall sound and music are lifeless and void of anything bordering on creativity.


Gameplay:

Gameplay in Furious Karting includes a tutorial natured Scenario Mode where you learn different tricks to do in your kart, Quick Race, where you'd likely spend most of your single-player time, Multiplayer, where you can compete with up to three others using a split screen and four controllers, and finally, Time Attack Mode.

All of the modes seem suitably solid, and even though the graphics move at a fair clip (Furious Karting does have a nice frame rate), the game just doesn't have any flare or excitement. A typical Quick Race consists of you selecting a character and racing against others, using power-ups and a melee weapon to slow them down and keep the edge.

Each character has several characteristics, including Karma, Fun, and Speed. These are supposed to make a difference in how others view you, what kind of stunts you are capable of, and how fast you can go, respectively. While it is interesting that a racing game includes RPG-like elements, in practice they just don't make that big a difference, and this is really just an arcade racer, no matter what Infogrames wants you to think.

Power-ups typically affect what sorts of attacks you can make on your opponents, and there is a pretty decent selection of them. It doesn't make any sense that opponents never seem to pick up the power-ups, though, so they just sit on the track until you get around to grabbing them.


Difficulty:

Furious Karting offers two difficulty levels, and they affect opponents appropriately. Even the Easy Mode can be quite challenging, but the game is very accessible, and most people should be able to find a comfortable level where they feel challenged but can still enjoy what fun there is to be had with the game.

Game Mechanics:

The user interface makes you drill down through quite a few menus just to get into a Quick Race, but the screens are generally easy to understand and use, and the game's support of Custom Soundtracks seems to be handled in an intelligent manner.

Furious Karting is one of those games that seem to be produced in the hopes of making a quick buck. It has poor graphics, mediocre sound, and gameplay that is derivative and lackluster. Unless you are dead set on owning the game simply because it simulates karts, this reviewer would recommend avoiding it altogether.


-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Microsoft Xbox Egg Mania: Eggstreme Madness Microsoft Xbox Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated