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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
7.0
Visuals
6.0
Audio
6.0
Gameplay
7.0
Features
6.0
Replay
5.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Atari
DEVELOPER:
Babylon Software
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-4
RELEASE DATE:
March 20, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Teen
 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on May 22, 2003

Full Review: Another cart racing game! What? You're not excited?


There are a few fundamental mysteries?a person?discovers along his or her path in life, one being: Why are there so many damn cart racing games!?! Sadly, the question, like so many others in life, contains no answer. It's something that just happens, and beside people who work for?development teams?that make cart racing games, most people shouldn't really care about the question question. Unfortunately, if you're Babylon Software, whose recent game Furious Karting is yet another entry into the bursting cart racing genre, you do have to worry about it. Why? Because in a genre that has so many titles available in it, it really takes something new and innovative to stand out. Sadly, though Furious Karting does deliver the goods in some departments, the game's overall lack of originality makes it just another knot in the gigantic cart racing rug.

Let's first talk about what Furious Karting does right. The game does a good job of melding normal arcade racing elements (power-ups, shortcuts, easy handling) with more traditional car combat ideas in the vein of games like Road Rash and Twisted Metal. Throw in some lighthearted stunt car trickery, and some darker themes than your average cart racing game and you have the basic formula what makes up most of Furious Karting. The medley works well for the most part, offering gamers somewhat deep gameplay that's mildly enjoyable while playing alone and is a little more enjoyable when playing with friends.

The problem that Furious Karting has is that there's really no new ingredients in its gaming brew. Its particular brand of gameplay has been done dozens of times before, and done much better too. The few things that Babylon obviously thought would make the game original simply don't work. One good example of this is the game's constant tendency to make bad jokes and to inject needless swear words into the mix. This comes off more annoying than hilarious, and in the end all the game's dumb vulgar humor manages to do is render the game unsuitable for 90% of it's audience...6 to 12 year old kids.

The game's graphics are decent, including some nice animations and above average level design, but still they are nothing that's going to make your jaw drop to the floor. The game also features some CGI cinemas that look above average but the blaring stupidity in these cut scenes usually overshadows the decent visuals.

The game's audio is barely peeks its head over the mediocre bar. The music is okay, but nothing memorable, and even though you can remedy the soundtrack by making your own, Furious Karting has committed the critical error of making tracks that haven't completed repeat when you go to the next level. So, if you have songs that are slightly longer than 3 minutes congratulations...you're screwed.

Sound effects are cartoonish, but they work well within the game. The game's voice acting falters though, considering that the actual dialogue isn't that great to begin with it doesn't help that the voice actors here sound stiffer than a thirteen-year-old boy spying on a girl's slumber party.

Bottom Line
When it all comes down to it, Furious Karting is a decent cart racing title that is destined for the Game Crazy bargain bin for the simple fact that it's nothing more than another fish in the sea. If you're an older gamer who enjoys cart racing games and hasn't played one for a while go ahead and check this game out. Rent first though - this cup of tea isn't going to appeal to everyone's tastes.


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