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I've been playing the game recently, and I found the game very difficult to learn at first. It has a very unusual control mechanism. Your gas pedal is always on, and you only use one button for braking, boosting, and item weapon usage.
But it's kind of cool that you have to balance all those actions. I think I got the hang of the controls, sometimes it's a matter of whether you're using the right vehicle or not, as they have very different capabilities.
The City Trial is really interesting, though really it's just a matter of driving around everywhere looking for upgrades for the upcoming Stadium battle. And you're not always sure what the Stadium battle will be.
And the game structure is completely different from other racing games. Instead of simply trying to "beat the game" by finishing cups/ grand prix modes on easy, normal, and hard, you're simply presented with a list of tracks and given a huge checklist of missions and objectives to accomplish. I like it! I like that there's no single correct way to play through the game. You have a lot of freedom on how you want to play the game.
So really, the checklists are your indicator of progress. And so far my progress is kind of crappy:
Air Ride: 20/120 done Top Ride: 15/120 done City Trial: 16/120 done
And Top Ride is cool, it's like R.C Pro Am all over again.
I'm wondering how much time I want to spend with this game before moving on to the next! Has anyone come close to finishing of all the checklists?
Oh, and I have to say I love the graphics and sound. The game is very fast like an F-Zero game and stays consistently smooth throughout, having all kinds of crazy loop-de-loops and alternate routes. The music is charming and exciting for a Kirby racer. I remember hearing Frozen Hillside in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and really wanting to play this game afterward.
I did, and quite a bit of it. I didn't like it very much overall, but it had some good aspects to it. The Smash Bros-like unlockables system was cool, and City Trial was very fun, a very original idea and solidly implemented. If they had expanded on that mode instead of giving us a sub-par racing mode and a terrible top-down racer it could've been an amazing game.
Loved the checklist grid, overall presentation (definitely the prototype for Brawl), and Top Ride mode. Liked the City Trial, diverse vehicle selection, music, visuals, and copy abilities. Hated the courses, way too narrow and hampered by invisible walls, which unfortunately ruined much of the game for me. Still, I think the game got more flack than it deserved.
I like this game, because it's fucking crazy. Especially City Trial. Such a weird, weird mode. The checklist is a clear precursor to Smash Bros. And ain't nobody going to clear it by dropping the controller on the couch.
I genuinely think automatic acceleration was a brilliant innovation that should be an option in every arcade racer. Why wear a hole in your thumb for no reason?
@Guillaume Actually, I don't have it! I've just rented it a bunch of times. And I've almost bought it used a bunch of times. But it's expensive!!
Maybe I'll get it before then, but it would interfere with my secret goal to force you guys to play Blur.
Yeah, I rented this dude once and the main thing I remember is that the control scheme was very unusual. On a certain level I respect that, but it felt more weird than brilliant, if that is a fair observation for me to make after only a couple hours of play. I've heard a few people say it's a great game once you dig in, so I've always suspected I didn't give it a fighting chance.
I never played this game, but I always thought the argument that the game played itself just because you moved without pressing a button was ridiculous. If you put a piece of tape on the A button for any racing game, its the exact same thing.
I miss the days of the more "left field" Kirby spinoffs, in the vein of Dream Course, Tilt 'n Tumble, and Air Ride. Until today's release of Blowout Blast, all the Kirby spinoffs since Air Ride have been variations on the sidescroller (Canvas Curse and its sequel, Epic Yarn, Mass Attack, and all the budget eShop games). They're fun, but I miss when Kirby was at peak adaptability. There's just something about seeing that puffball smile showing up in, like, a puzzle game.
Other than the soundtrack, I think the game is pretty boring. 5.2 is what on the IGN scale, mediocre? Seems right. Yeah, there are checklists with lots to do, but when most of what you're doing is mindless, who cares? The multiplayer was alright, but I wasn't ever going to pull it out in favor of Smash Bros., Mario Kart, etc.