Procrastinated Reviews: Bang Bang Racing (XBLA) and WRC Powerslide (XBLA)

My Procrastinated, Comparative Reviews – Featuring Bang Bang Racing and WRC Powerslide

I’ve decided to knock off a few smaller reviews while I continue to plug away at the current story game I’m working on, The Last of Us. Included in my vast game collection digitally sits more than a few Arcade titles, so here I am, reviewing a few of them, which, conveniently, happen to both be very similar: Bang Bang Racing, and WRC Powerslide, both XBLA top-down, pocket racing titles.

WRC Powerslide is an arcade title in the same light of its World Rally Championship (WRC) older brothers. The 8 locations included in the game are, as the name implies, rally courses, scattered across the world, featuring real world Rally championship locations such as Mexico, France and Portugal. There are 3 variants per locations, multiplied by 3 vehicle classes, capping the game with 72 unique configurations. The 3 classes of vehicles, each handling noticeably different, and feature a number of recognizable sponsor teams and a handful of car liveries. The further you progress, the more cars and skins you unlock.

Mind the edge

Mind the edge

The game itself is simplistic in design, featuring only one race mode: Championship – 4 racers including the player. Your only objective is to finish before the other racers. The cars drive fast and with agility. The camera gives us a locked top-down chase view of the player’s car, but the tracks are quick and winding which can cause some disorientation, and occasionally that particular location’s design, with mountainous regions or forested areas, can briefly obstruct the view of our car.

The AI can be tough if you find yourself in the lead; however, there are power-ups that you acquire throughout the duration of the race, that allows you to attain the lead – or help you keep it.

In closing, the locations themselves are fun to drive, and very pretty, featuring some beautiful vistas, and differing weather. The game is fun, and great for a quick race or two at a time, but becomes very repetitive and tedious for stints long than that. Omitting the power-up weaponry may have improved the focus on the actual racing. Final say: a competent arcade rally title.

Bang Bang Racing, as the arcade title lives up to, takes itself a little less seriously. Again featuring a top-down perspective, this racer has a compacted art style, and flashier designed cars. With 9 different courses available, this title focuses on tarmac circuits, and each track has multiple shortcut layouts totaling 54 race configurations. There are 4 different classes of cars, each handling differently, and feature skins to unlock.

Pardon me!

Pardon me!

Omitting power-ups and weaponry lets the player focus on the racing, but the cars themselves have a nitrous boost and a life bar. The tracks feature oil, and water drums, which once hit cause slicks on the track, and exploding barrels that cause car damage. It is an arcade title after all.

Again, featuring dizzying, winding tracks, this racer plays fast and disorientating at times, however the car physics are less forgiving than WRC. The game features a few more modes too: Races (featuring 7 opponents), Time Trial, and Elimination.

In conclusion, where WRC tried to be more than just an arcade rally title, Bang Bang Racing definitely feels more like a true pocket racer (even the fans are just little bobbing Mii-style heads) remaining true to the racing roots and does away with power-ups. The courses are attractive, very colourful, simple to drive, but difficult to master. The gameplay modes mix it up too, keeping the events feeling new, and not so boring.

Notable Achievements:

WRC: As fast as lightning (Use the “Thunder Bolt” Power-up 10 times in total) – 20G

BBR: Bang, Bang Kaboom! (Detonate 50 exploding barrels) – 10G

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