Are you in the market for a new racing game? Is it time to replace Mario Kart 7 and move on to bigger and better things? Is VectorRacing the game to do that? Read on and find out more.
Crazy Hunter (3DS Download)
Publisher: Arc System Works
Released: August 23, 2012
The Good: Neat visuals / Online Leaderboards
The Bad: Somewhat Easy / Lack of Visuals
If you’re looking for a racing game on the go, Vector Racing may or may not be for you. That depends on what you want out of a racing game. Do you want a challenge in your racing game? If so, you might want to look somewhere else. Do you like customizable cars? This game doesn’t have it. Online leader boards and time trials? Well, they do have those.
VectorRacing is an odd game to me. Half of it feels like it’s trying to be a serious racing game, but parts of it, like the speed boosts on the map, make the game feel somewhat arcade-y. I don’t think it mixes all that well but it does work and the game is somewhat enjoyable.
There are four modes of play. Grand Prix, Single Race, Time Trial and Vs. Battle (local only). Those are all pretty self explanatory except maybe the difference between Grand Prix and Single Race. Grand Prix has you choosing a series of tracks (bundled as four) and then you trying to be number one out of the four courses. Single race allows you to choose one single track out of the twelve available and racing to be number one on there. Standard racing stuff, which is okay, but also somewhat disappointing as it’d be interesting if they could have found a way to mix it up some. I should note, as I know only one other soul around here with a 3DS and no desire to download this game I was not able to test out Vs. Battle. I can see why, with the lack of tracks and content in the game they wouldn’t want to offer local download play, but it would have been a neat feature to implement. They could force you to both be the same vehicle (so it’s fair), and then maybe the 2 or 3 of the better courses as your play options, just to give them a taste of the game. That and an online would have added just a bunch more replay value and fun to the game.
As for the actual game play, it’s again fairly standard stuff. Hold B to go. A/Y to brake. Use circle pad to move. X to change camera angle. I feel like the steering on the game is a bit loose. It’s difficult to move the vehicles only slightly at times at high speed. Even the smallest tap could send me flying into the barricades, which by the way, damages your vehicle (as well as bumping into other vehicles). Maybe it’s a glitch, as it sometimes happened while using the vehicle with the best handling. Racing can become boring as there’s not much to do. The track often feels dead as the AI doesn’t put up any real challenge most of the time so you’ll be out front by yourself. I think the game could have been spruced up a bit by adding weapons to it. I know that seems clichéd for a racer (as many often do, Mario Kart, Sonic All Star Racing, etc), but to be fair, this is no Need for Speed or Forza. You don’t need any skill here and the AI isn’t very aggressive in its current form. You can easily win first place with even the slowest vehicle. That said, if you’re a fan of leader boards and fighting for the number one spot, those are in here and it just might keep you playing trying to best the other competition.
On the positive side, I really like the visual style of the game. Each vehicle and track are made up of lines, like a wireframe model. This is actually very pleasing to look at. There are no textures in the game, so the tracks you fly on are see through. On a couple levels this makes for an interesting view as you can see other parts of the track (and people you left in your dust) through the part you’re on. I can’t really explain why I like this so much but I do. It’s nice, simple, and easy on the eyes. While I feel that way, I also think they could have done more with the levels. In one level you cross what appears to be a bridge. It’s hard to explain the effect in writing but I like it. I wish there was more scenery to the game made in their visual style. Maybe make it look like one track is driving through a city, a jungle, a cave, something. What they have now is the track in all of its cool visual style, and then everything else is just blackness. I don’t know about anyone else, but I love looking at all the scenery in racing games. Yes, you’re supposed to be focusing on the track and the race, but scenery really adds to the atmosphere of the game. Unless there goal was to make it feel like you’re in an early 80’s Virtual Reality concept game, in which if it was, they hit the nail on the head.
I’m going to be honest, as a sound enthusiast it really bugs me that I seem to always write very little on the sound of these games and I hope one of these times I can praise one games for amazing sound design. Sadly, this is not one of those times. While the sound isn’t anything amazing, it’s not also not bad. The music is comprised of Electronic/Pop sounds which sets a mood as a futuristic racer. All of the sound effects also sound like they’re made electronically, from the sound of the breaks to the sound of your vehicle picking up speed. It works for the game, but it doesn’t wow me and it’s very forgettable. Overall, not bad though.
As much as I like the visual style of VectorRacing, I do wish there was more to the overall game, from added scenery to even just content. The four modes of play are fine, but the actual game can be boring. The AI needs to be more aggressive and if another game is made I feel they should add in weapons and just go all out with an arcade-y feel. Sound is forgettable but decent, and online leader boards were a smart choice, although I wish there was online racing as that would liven up the game just a tad.
This review is based on an eShop download of VectorRacing, provided by Arc System Works.