Product Type: THQ Wii games
Newest Review: ... never used the Wii before, but picked this up easily!! There are a few different game modes once you get into the menus. The first is ... more
Float like a butterfly, sting like a really hard game to control
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Main game is fun, good storyline, graphics
Disadvantages: Main game too easy, all others just too hard, controls too sensitive
Disney's Cars was a hit when it was released a few years ago as a film. Naturally, it wasn't long before computer consoles started to get licences to make games based on the films, and the Wii was no exception. Now available for anywhere from £10 to £20, Cars on the Wii promised to be a fun driving game for kids to play on the Wii.
However, its age guidance of 3 years and above factors in suitability and not skill factor, as the often over sensitive controls tend to cause frustration and annoyance for some of the games involved.
Essentially, the storyline is sort of followed, with Lightning McQueen (voiced Owen Wilson), the latest race car on the block, finding himself stranded in the sleepy town of Radiator Springs and learning some life lessons at the same time. The game starts you off in Radiator Springs as you patrol the town, finding checkpoints where you can enter different types of games. Ultimately, they are all driving based, as all of the characters are cars in the film, and while this is enjoyable and there is a lot of variation, some of the games are just too hard and the controls just too sensitive.
I suppose with the Wiimote (remote control for the Wii) you are relying on a sensor bar to pick up your movements, and when you're controlling a car on screen, the sensitivity is an issue. With other consoles, I imagine it may be a bit easier, as you are purely relying on buttons to perform the actions. The main focus of this game is the racing, which is like Nascar - an oval circuit where you just have to finish faster than everyone else. You can progress through the races to win cups, which can then help open other levels in other games for you.
Tractor tipping is a favourite of mine. The controls here are quite sensitive, but it's a game that does require going slow at times, so control is vital anyway. Controlling Mater, you have to honk your horn behind tractors to startle them and tip them over in a limited space and time, whilst avoiding the glare of the combine harvester's dazzling headlights. A fun game that's often hilarious.
Some of the other racing games are really hard to control. There is one where you race a sort of dirt track circuit with Mater, and it's really hard to control - I quickly became annoyed and gave up. I suppose it's the contrast in the games and the difficulty that is part of the problem. While some of these side mini games are ridiculously hard with the controls at the easy level, the hardest level on the main racing game is still relatively easy, so long as you progress through the levels. It's a bit annoying, and does put us off playing the game. We have had it for a while now, and it was a present for our 5 year old son. He lost interest quite quickly once he realised that the skill levels required are quite high at times even for an adult - there was just no fun in not being able to progress for him.
The graphics on the game are very good, as you would expect, particularly when you are racing around the town of Radiator Springs. The scenery going past is impressive, and you can collect a number of tokens and cards as you race round, and try to find hidden mini games. Playability may be quite low but the graphics get a thumbs up and the main game has high ratings from me on all aspects. If you have the steering wheel accessory for the Wii, you can put the control in the centre slot, and hold the wheel as if you were driving the car. This is a nice quirky add to the fun, but on the already tricky games, it does make it even trickier.
Overall, I find it hard to give this a decent ratings. The main racing game is good enough, but too easy to finish, and while there are a couple of fun games apart from this, the awkwardness of the controls and the trickiness of the games severely reduce the playability factor down to a very low level. The enjoyment is sucked out of it by how hard it can be and how poor the sensitivity of the controls is, and as a result, it's really not a game we enjoy playing that much. It mainly sits on the shelf, where we have other, cheaper, and more playable games.
Summary: Disappointing Wii game for the Disney Cars film
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