Hot Wheels has long been here since and has continued to be a source of extreme fun over the years for many kids, especially for those who are big on collecting stuff. A lot has changed, of course and the Hot Wheels that some of the kids still play with (or collect) these days are all high-tech, battery powered versions. Now, THQ has just provided another era for Hot Wheels – a surprisingly competent game despite its being created basically for young gamers. The Need for Speed series better watch the road; Hot Wheels is hot on their trail.
Hot Wheels is so much alike the Trackmania; players have to pick their own cars from a selection of 32 diverse vehicles in various track settings. The tracks consist of amazing gravity-defying loops coupled with treacherous hazards that spring at you out of nowhere; plus there are a number of extremely dicey corners. These all make the game such a thrilling fun. If and when you finish the tracks you can unlock treasures that may be useful for further pursuits in the game.
The most fun part for me, however, is the enormous heap of Hot Wheels pieces provided by the built-in track designer. I can just construct any fantastic circuit that comes to mind. That’s right, mate, you can build your own fantasy tracks – any number of tracks, in fact – that you fancy. Here’s where it gets quite challenging to the game’s targeted market, which are obviously the younger gamers. The designer is simple enough, so the challenge is really in letting your creativity juice flow to come up with magnificent results (and it can churn out some really terrific ones, mind you) – with layouts that are as spine-tingling as you want to make them; heck, you can have it as precipitous as you like, defying gravity to the max!
Another nice touch is how kids can customize their own vehicle, which gives them a sense of creating something uniquely their own that they can flaunt and show off to friends and opponents later. Not just show, actually. The game has thoughtfully thrown in a split screen action that allows kids to create a track where they can later challenge their mates to a race – imagine…your self-created car and track against that of the other kids’ on a head to head competition! The only limitation here is that, unlike in Trackmania, you can’t tweak individual settings to its full extent.
The graphics of the game is definitely just suitable for the Wii platform, so don’t expect too much in terms of realism; no real light or shades or super accurate depictions of the cars. You just have to rely on your own Hot Wheels knowledge to identify some of the cars, which most of the time, you really can recognize in spite of the inaccuracies. They have included quite a range of the classic ones like the dragster type machines that I recognized as among those I so yearned when I was kid. Unbelievable!
The races are so competitive there’s only one way to win it – surpass your opponents in every way possible. The concept of a Super Mario Kart style tilt controls are used to power up your speed. You can also use the bonuses to propel you at super high speed. Unfortunately, it’s very tempting for players to likewise engage in dirty tactics to nudge a competition off the game; that’s how extremely competitive it is.
Thank goodness to the well designed graphics and concept, the game provides a different ambiance to the world of Hot Wheels. The game has honest-to-goodness values that make it one superb release.