Review by sacramentotzar
"Fun, but it needed a little more polish."
I have Crash Team Racing (CTR) and I used to own Mario Cart 64, so I knew what I type of racer I was geting when I got the Magical Racing Tour (MRT). I liked the game and I consider it to be a good rival to CTR but in the end a host of things prevent this from becoming the champ of the Playstation Kart scene.
Graphics: This game is exquisite. The levels have tons of details. This can be found in things like the ghosts in the Haunted House track, the organic feel that the overgrown areas bring, or the pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean. Each driver is rendered well. The speed of the game is much faster than what is found in CTR. In my opinion, this is the one area that this game beats CTR
Course Design: Each course is based on a ride or attraction found in Disney theme parks. There is every major ride represented here except for it's a small world after all. Then again, knowing how annoying that song is, that might be a blessing. The course details could have used a bit more work. I found too many places where it was easy to get stuck in such a way that it asures that you get last place. Another issue I have is the computer falsely telling me that I am going the wrong way. It didn't do this that often, but knowing how convoluted some of these courses were it was a pain. The design gets points for making racers chose between getting a weapon or a speed boost on a semi-regular basis. This adds a certain amout a stratagy that the game needed.
Sound: Most of the songs are taken from the attractions that the courses represnt. The only exceptions are the rides that don't have music at the theme parks, Splash Mountain is an example of this. The music is very good and fits the mood completly. In fact, I still have one of the toons in my head right now and it's been a couple hours since I last played it.
Control: Average control. Racers vary in speed and handling, but this is only to be expected in this type of racer. You can powerslide in the same way that you would in CTR. Certain courses lend themselves to this. Some others are just too twisty.
Weapons: The weapons are too offensive. In CTR, there are four weapons that can be used to defend yourself with. In this game there is only one, a sort of invinciblity that doesn't last long enough to provide much protection. The fact that you don't get any warning that a weapon is locked onto you makes timing it imposible. The non-tracking exploding accorns are evadible (if you see them coming), but the tracking ones will just nail you from behind almost everytime. This game needed more weapons and a greater variety of them.
Characters: This is going to be the biggest let down for most people. Only three established characters are in this game. Chip, Dale, and Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy is a secret character that isn't playable at the start of the game. All the other characters are new. This has its plusses and minuses. Most people are going to be upset by the fact that so many Disney character were left out, no Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc. I felt this way at first. Over time the new character began to grow on me. They are all in the Disney traditon and in the end add more to the game in the form of character depth that only new characters can bring. I still would have liked to have played more of my favorites, but I realize now that having characters who are a tourist or an actress makes the idea that they are racing through various Disney theme parks more creditable.
Computer AI: This is one area that CTR wins hands down. The computer plays cheap. There were time that I was hit four or five times in a row by weapons. Unlike CTR, where the computer cars attack every other car including other computer cars in an even handed manor. The computer cars here tend to target the player's car almost totally. This has led to more than one cheesy victory on the computer's part.
Overall: This is a fun game and I would recomend it to all those who own CTR and want variety. It isn't as polished of a game as CTR, but it is worthy of your attention.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/09/00, Updated 04/09/00
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