|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sidhe Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 6, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Control in this game is pretty awkward. The game makes exclusive use of the Wii-mote for steering, and is also compatible with the Wii Wheel peripheral. There are two main ways to control: with the controller face up or the controller facing you. And while having the controller face you makes the control feel a little more natural, the car does not respond very quickly when you use this control scheme.
The best way to control is with the controller facing up, performing tilting motions to steer. However, this control scheme does seem a little awkward at first and gives the impression that you're driving a bus rather than driving a high powered vehicle. There is also a noticeable autosteering component to the control that fills in the gaps when you are asleep at the wheel. And while this may prevent frustration in the smaller crowd that plays this title, those who like to have complete control over their games might be a little disappointed. It would have been nice if you were able to turn the autosteering off, but after scouring through several menus, I was not able to find such an option.
Graphics in this title are definitely below average and look blurry. Looking at the game is a little weird because while the foreground action looks blurry and out of focus, the background images are much sharper. This makes for some serious difficulty in terms of the player's ability to focus on the race, and it is very easy for the eyes to be drawn away from the action. Animation quality is so-so, but the blurry look of the game really detracts from this visual component. One interesting thing about the visuals I did like, however, were the character stills. Despite the revamped look of the Speed Racer series for the movie, the stills have a more vintage look to them that recalls the original anime.
Sound in this game is quite good. Each track has its own music, which is sampled from the movie score. Voice acting is also very good and features voice work by the original actors from the movie. Both of these components make the sound scheme one of the best facets of the entire game.
So does the Speed Racer videogame continue the status quo of mediocre-or-less movie tie-ins? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It has lackluster graphics, awkward controls, and just doesn't make a memorable or worthwhile game experience. And while small details like the sound or unlockable characters may give this title some value, on the whole it will probably just prove to be just another underwhelming and unmemorable movie tie-in game from 2008.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer