Most of you, including myself, won’t remember Hanna Barbera’s cartoon, Wacky Races, but thankfully that won’t diminish the fun in this game.
The characters of the original cartoon from the late ’60’s are all here: the Ant Hill Mob, Professor Pat Pending, the Gruesome Twosome, Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly, Rufus Ruffcut and Saw Tooth, the Slag Brothers, Red Max, Lazy Luke, and Blubber Bear.
The graphics are smashing. There are a few glitches here and there, but if you can see past that you’ll soon feel that you are controlling a cartoon series. It’s good that the game looks so fantastic because it more than makes up for some of the flaws. These graphics are tightly knit, from the characters down to the lavish tracks.
Depending on what car you choose to drive, you can have a different experience, be it good or bad. If you go for speed, you’ll find yourself rocketing past corners and smashing left and right, but the car that is medium speed or less is often the best. It’s almost the retelling of the tortoise and the hare. The skidding is less and your path is easier. If you need a boost, you’ll find that in your little extras that come along the trail, blasting you past the pack. A bright point is that you can select the buttons you’d like to assign for weapons and additions.
My biggest beef with the game is the lack of reverse. If you smash into a tree, you have to twist and turn to get out, and by then you are miles behind and that means certain loss.
The visual is good, but the audio is great ear candy. Although the announcer is annoying and boring, you’ll find the racers’ constant babbles and barbs are entertaining.
Wacky Races has a lot to offer. There are many levels that only unlock as you get further into the game and beat each track. You have to come in first place or it’s back to the drawing board. I also like the fact that for a saved game you don’t have to race forever with the same car and character. That adds even more enjoyment, allowing you to experiment.
The one downfall is the fact that you have to keep competing on the same track over and over again until you come in first. Whatever happened to second and third? This game only looks for winners; there is no second best. I did get bored as a result and needed to get back to it after I tried to conquer a track a few times with no results. The game is a bit slow at times and I didn’t enjoy going back over the same tracks I barely lost the first time around. A plus for the kids is that no one can ever seem to pull away. Not even you. Everyone seems to come in within a second or two of the car before them. If you love kart racing and haven’t found any on the Dreamcast that fit your fancy, you’ll certainly enjoy Wacky Races. The personality and sure wackiness was the order of the day and they certainly accomplished their mission.