Crystal Dynamics



Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour Review

By: John Doe

Can't afford to go to Disney World? Can't stand the thought of another kart racer? Well life is full of compromises my friend and you will have to choose between not going to Disney World at all or enjoying a virtual computer-generated romp through some of the kingdom's most famous attractions and areas. The downside is that you will be escorted through the wonderland of dreams on a kart-racing platform.


I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour doesn't suck. How's that for a compromise. Of course my heart would be with you if you had to play Evil Dead or Batman Beyond to whip through the famous acres. I would instead suggest a trip on a New York subway with dollar bills hanging out of your pockets instead of suffering through those half-baked games.

What doesn't suck about this game, which by every indication has the ability to suck harder than reverse engines on a 747? For starters, the courses are virtual recreation of rides including Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Tomorrowland Speedway, Rock 'n Roller Coaster, the Jungle Cruise, and Splash Mountain. Dave and I visited some of these rides last year (at Disney Land), during our annual trip to LA for E3 and although we were underwhelmed by the thrill factor of these rides, the Underoo set would love them. The game does a good job of recreating the "look and style" of the rides, but in my opinion, this game actually makes them that much more enjoyable. Pirates of the Caribbean for an adult is akin to watching 60 Minutes on Prozac and Valium. "Look kids! The funny pirates are drinking and looking leeringly at large breasted women! Ha Ha Ha! What fun! " The courses are not done to scale but prepare to be overwhelmed if you are a big Disney World fan.

The premise is that Chip and Dale have inadvertently destroyed the fireworks machine which is a popular evening attraction at the park. By storing acorns in it, they caused the machine to explode into pieces throughout the park. As a kart racer you have until nightfall to collect as many pieces as you can and repair the machine before Walt comes back from the dead and drags you screaming into the cryonics chamber with him to remain frozen, in a state of suspended animation, for all eternity. Okay that last part may not be true but you can bet that if Walt was alive and you didn't get something accomplished on time it would be your last day of happiness. Walt was known to fire animators on the spot and it was rumored that he actually enjoyed organizing rounds of multiple firings. Perhaps Walt should be immortalized as a boss in one of Disney's future games. I would enjoy blasting that creepy, two-faced, miserable bastard back to hell from whence he came.

Mario has a kart racer, the Muppets have a kart racer, Woody Woodpecker just showed his off and the Looney Toons characters have two. About the only group missing is the Justices of the Supreme Court. Wouldn't it be great to see them racing down the marble hallways, robes flowing in the wind while they're throwing gavels at each other?

True to kart racing protocol, the Disney characters hurl items at their competitors which are closely identified with the characters or the franchise. One weapon that the Disney characters use to their advantage is the teacup which causes the unlucky racer to spin wildly and thus loosing time and ground. As you proceed through the levels your kart changes according to the ride or area that you're in. Expect to race around on rockets, boats and the doom buggies from the Haunted Mansion. One thing I should point out is that the characters are not the typical "A" list Disney characters. You won't find Mickey, Donald or Goofy but a contingent of supporting actors. Oh no, that would make too much sense. How the hell could Crystal Dynamics NOT get the rights to the real Disney characters? Can't Disney see that it would be in everyone's best interests to have a Kart game starring the characters that kids actually LOVE? The only reason I can see for this is that Disney Interactive is busy creating their own Kart game starring the Rat Pack (Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Minnie and Daisy). Mark my words.

After all that, this game is pretty decent. But I've been saying that a lot lately when it comes to Kart games. Either I'm losing my ability to be objective or Kart games are getting easier to make. Whatever the case, this game is quick and challenging. Don't kid yourself; it's not just for kids. It may not be the hardcore gamer's idea of a well-spent afternoon but fans of Disney will certainly enjoy the trip.






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