|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Farmind||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 17, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Video games began life as rather difficult, skill-based tests of a players hand-eye coordination. As graphics and gameplay improved, video games began to change and focus more on exploration and story rather than the actual skill required for playing them. The Wii continues this evolution in gaming, providing players with simplified motion-sensing controls that are both intuitive and approachable, even to previous non-gamers.
By bringing gaming to new audiences, the Wiis success has helped pave the way for the acceptance of video games as a pastime enjoyed by more than just the stereotypical twelve to twenty-four year old male demographic. As a result, there are many games being released that continue to cater to this previously untapped group of new gamers.
Wacky Races: Crash & Dash is a clear example of this type of game. Based on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 1960s, Wacky Races may not ring a bell for many younger gamers. However, more aged gamers will feel right at home with the games very nostalgic feel and historic cast of characters. Players are given the choice of ten wacky racers from the show, with Dick Dastardly and his sidekick Muttley constantly scheming up ways to make their victory more difficult.
Each of these racers comes equipped with their own unique vehicles and abilities. Unfortunately, unique is a bit of a misnomer, as most of the discernible distinctions come solely from their names. Every vehicle in Wacky Races performs identically, with no differences in speed or handling. Also, almost every character in the game is provided with a form of flight, speed boost, and attack abilities. Whether the vehicle has a propeller and takes off by itself or a pterodactyl swoops in and scoops up the vehicle, the end result of flying is exactly the same. With the undeniable similarities shared by all of your choices, deciding between characters is a somewhat pointless affair.
Once players have chosen a racer, they are finally free to take them for a spin on one of the games many racetracks. These tracks are artistically appealing, looking like cartoon backdrops come-to-life. Players will make their way through several different locales, each borrowing heavily from the visuals of the classic show. My only real complaint with these tracks comes in their severe lack of detail and variety. You may see a smattering of rocks and trees scattered about but otherwise, the backgrounds appear incredibly static and generic. While there arent a lot of objects or details present, multiple paths and numerous pitfalls help to keep players eyes focused more on the road than the scenery.
The gameplay found in Wacky Races is incredibly simplistic and clearly meant for a more casual crowd of gamers. Players will need to steer their vehicle with the analog stick, press the A button to use acquired abilities, and shake the Wii-mote to briefly dash. Staying on the track, remaining in first place, attacking foes, and successfully completing trap events will help fill the players Mad Dash Meter. Filling this meter will result in earning a Mad Dash Cog, with multiple Cogs allowing improved and extended dashing for your vehicle. Adversely, driving off of the track, breaking down, and falling behind will take Cogs away, leaving you with absolutely no chance for victory.