Review by Dubble_G

"Hotwheels Mayhem!"

Hotwheels Extreme Racing is a fun game, and it seems like almost no one bought it despite its solid racing mechanics and gameplay. Published under THQ, and developed by Hot Gen Studios this is probably one of the most unknown racers of its time, and is almost good enough to be a sleeper hit. Keep reading to find out about this solid racing title released in 2001, shortly before the Playstation's demise.

GRAPHICS-solid, glitch free, and is just enough to make it look good, but not enough to make it stand out, or anything. Everything you'd expect is there, and nothing you wouldn't isn't there. They didn't take extra time to make it have nice effects and everything, but it gets our job done well. Score.............6

AUDIO-the tracks on this game range from techno, to rock, to space, to environmental music, and all tracks sound pretty good. I like the space music tracks, and if you pop this disc into a player you get 19 tracks that you can play off your computer and download or whatever. The music range is for everybody, but some may hate most of it. Most songs however keep a good beat and help you get through those races. Sound effects are nicely done; you've got your motor sounds, braking, weapon launch noises, explosions, water effects, and an announcer who says things like "we can drive through it" or "you can fly through it" The audio had room for improvement but I have no complaints Score...............7

GAMEPLAY-let's get right to the point here. Hotwheels Extreme is a racing/destruction/combat game that uses its formula pretty well. You choose a hotwheel car (all are genuine hotwheels for any buffs out there) you can choose an improvement to add to your car before each race (each bonus only lasts 1 race) like a bigger motor, tires, or whatever else. Than you start the race, 4 people total per race, so you won't be overwhelmed. The one player mode consists of racing cups to unlock more cars and upgrades, or arcade and time trial modes which are self explanatory. The races are broken down into driving/flying/and boating percentages, and this is what makes the game unique. Sort of like Diddy Kong Racing, but you don't have to stay an airplane or a car for the whole race. As you race through you will automatically go through portals on the way to the finish that transform you into a boat or plane to get past those points. When you hit land again you go through a portal and become a car once again. I love this about the game, and makes sets it apart from most everything else in the Playstation catalog of games. All three modes have good handling, and the control works very well, and isn't so deep that you have to use tactics like drifting to win a race. I enjoy the boating mode over the others, and enjoy mostly water courses. There are 12 1 player courses, and 12 2 player courses, although the two sets of 12 are pretty similiar. If you win enough cups you can do harder cup challenges, and unlock medals for new cars. My main complaint on this game is that there are only 8 hotwheel cars! That's it! Come on, Turbo racing had at least 30....this is the only major blow to the game, but I can't change it so, whatever. Not to mention though there is combat in every race! (hence the extreme in the title) I like the combat, and it almost as deep as Twisted Metal. Throughout the race are orbs with weapons in them that you can drive up and use as a power up. Turbo, machine guns, rockets, and shields all make it to this game, and they are actually a critical part of racing and getting points. The combat is really fun, especially during two player races, so don't underestimate that. There is a changeable difficulty, but it isn't really that hard of a game, even on hard. I have a 100%. That's the lowdown on gameplay. Simple enough to play, fun and deep enough to keep going back. Score.................8

LASTABILITY-although the campaign can be finished in 4 hours with practice, you'll keep going back to improve on time trials, kill some enemies, or duel in a 2 player death race. Pretty satisfying, and I come back to it every once it awhile even though the game is 6 years old.
Score..................................6

Pros
Simple but satisfying controls
Combat adds alot to an already unique racing title
Water, air, and land courses
Multi-player
24 race tracks

Cons
Only 8 cars!
Could've used some more graphical spark
The game was overall to easy for my taste
The multi-player tracks aren't much different from the campaign ones

Well there you have it, the one and only review for this game on the net! Solid, satisfying, fun, a game that excels in what it tried doing, and only average in a few areas. Pick it up for any price less than $20! You'll be glad you did!


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/16/07


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