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Toy Story Racer | review | game | Lollipop

Toy Story Racer

(Activision for the PlayStation)
by Shane Yeager

Activision has put together a solid little arcade racing game in Toy Story Racing. Get behind the wheel as one of your favorite characters from the movies, from major players like Buzz Lightyear to comic relief players like Cliff Claven... er, I mean, Hamm. The strongest point of the single-player game is actually the variety of challenges your toy must face along the path to success. The standard races along the neighborhood tracks loaded with power-ups and special weapons are interspersed with "collection" missions to touch a number of bases in your environment, or knock-out rounds where your toy pummels the competition in a G-rated version of Twisted Metal.

Multi-player options include the standard races, the knock-out rounds, and tournaments which string together any combination of the above. Great graphics, rich & detailed backgrounds, and speedy pacing makes Toy Story Racer a must-have for Pixar fanatics. As a bonus, it passes the "keep little brother quiet & amused for a while" test. Sounds are at standard cartoon level, but the voice-acting for the occasional character quote comes straight from the stars of the movie. The only drawback to the title is the ego-boosting AI, which seems to go out of its way so the player will win races. For more experienced game players, the lack of real challenge can become frustrating. What kid wouldn't love a game where they get to be number one on a consistent basis, though? Once multi-player mode is brought into the mix, even the jaded video game guru will find some fun banging the toys around. Fans of the movies will be thrilled by this title, but even normal game players can get some kicks from the above-average cartoon racing. Making "Vroom! Vroom!" sounds in your living room is optional, of course.

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