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Toy Racer (DC)
Toy Racer (DC)
Member Name: thole09
Toy Racer (DC)
Disadvantages: Lacking single player gameplay, Simple audio
"Toy Racer" is a racing video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 by No Cliché Games. It was launched exclusively for the European marketplace, and carried a guidance rating which deemed it appropriate for ages 3 and above.
Available for a budget price of £5 with a pound from every sale being donated to charity, Toy Racer was a bargain I had to snap up. I remember being wary at the time of purchase as low priced video games tend to have an awful habit of biting back through low quality gaming experiences. Fortunately, I found Toy Racer to be a passable venture.
Toy Racer is the bare bones of kart style racing games. It offers players 28 unique vehicles which closely resemble popular "Micro Machines" toys. They are each separated into categories which offer strengths and weaknesses depending on the player's personal preferences. Formula 1 vehicles, for example, have excellent rates of top speed but are known to wildly spin out of control. For tight gripped turns, buses may be more beneficial for the player's need. After a selection has been made, single players may race in a timeless "practice" mode or against the clock in a "time attack" mode. Regardless of the selection made, players will only be racing against themselves or a through split-screen two player mode. Multiplayer play was at one point provided through the Sega Dreamcast's online network though this feature is no longer functional.
The video game's main pitfall is its limited number of courses. Players have access to a grand total of four different tracks which are representative of a certain areas in a typical modern home. They include the kitchen, the bathroom, the loft, and a child's playroom. Each course is aesthetically pleasing and I could differentiate between the different tracks, though they each handled very similarly. It seems that there were very few differences in the actual design and this resulted in rather monotonous gameplay. Throughout each course the player will also come to blocks of randomly generated items such as missiles, land mines, and speed boosts, however as single players only compete against themselves there is little reason to collect the items.
The graphics are presented from a close trailing view of the player's vehicle. This can be altered to a far away view and a first person view, too. Each stage sports a variety of environmental accents which are appropriate for the title of the course. The bathroom, for example, includes items such as toilets and bath tubs, and players will be required to compromise various items on the course such as discarded bath toys. The visuals are three dimensional and are presented from a small scale view; the world is perceived as being much larger than each of the toys. The soundtrack features upbeat and lively musical scores which accompany the race, and a series of highly retro "beeps" accent weapon usage.
While a formidable budget title at the time of its release, Toy Racer is perhaps something I would be hesitant about recommending to prospective buyers nowadays. The absence of online connectivity hinders the gameplay experience and requires owners to have friends present in order to engage in any sort of competitive play. There's only so many times I can play against myself, and I often opt for other video games over this one nowadays.
Summary: Thumbs in the middle