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August 9, 2006
Disney Pixar Cars - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
7/6/2006THQRainbow Studios1-2GEasy
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
254KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneNo

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Cars are perfectly recreated.
For one reason or another Cars was a movie that I had little interest in seeing upon release. Perhaps the idea of talking cars didn't quite gel with me - but in typical fashion the movie has made squillions at the box office around the globe - another hit for Pixar. As one would expect the movie has a video game to tie in with it, and this time it's THQ that picked up the rights to develop a game.

With a movie based on cars and car racing it was a bit of a no brainer to develop a racing game. Indeed THQ handed development of the game to Rainbow Studios, one of the best racing game developers today with titles like Splashdown (a personal favourite of mine) and ATV Offroad Fury 2 to their credit. The developers haven't just created a racing game, but impressively have created a free roaming version of Radiator Springs, and woven through a neat little story mode to follow.

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Racing in the desert.
One of the most impressive aspects to this game is that it includes a very solid story mode. This mode is jam packed full of races and dozens of mini-games and also allows you to unlock new abilities for your car and locations to explore and race in. The story mode contains so much it's almost like the other modes, such as quick races were more of an afterthought, and that's a focus which we're quite happy about as too many movie tie-ins lack depth. Still, no matter which game mode you enter one of the problems is the fact that this game is aimed at kids - and is quite easy as a result.

Where we were slightly disappointed was with the handling of the cars in, ermm, Cars. They don't seem to handle as smoothly, or naturally, as one would expect and feel a little stiff on the road. Getting the cars to drift around corners accurately can be a bit of a challenge.Where we were slightly disappointed was with the handling of the cars in, ermm, Cars. They don't seem to handle as smoothly, or naturally, as one would expect and feel a little stiff on the road. Getting the cars to drift around corners accurately can be a bit of a challenge.

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Ramming the opponent.
Also disappointing is the collisions in the game. You can be hurtling along at breakneck speed, but hit a wooden fence and it won't even move. We expect more in this day and age, especially from open world games where interactivity and exploration is the key. Our final disappointment was the fact that gamers can't veer very far off course at all. In fact, simply taking a corner wide, or trying to take a shortcut will often result in your car being reset on the track.

Overall Rainbow Studios have done a solid job with the visuals in Cars. Certainly the locations and characters (read: cars) are all faithful to their movie counterparts, and the game moves at a fair pace with a fairly solid frame rate. The texturing could be a bit better, and this becomes quite apparent during some of the close up cut scenes.

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More nice graphics.
Audio in Cars is highlighted with plenty of voicework from the main actors in the movie throughout the game. Music is lively enough but can become repetitive after a while while the sound effects also do their job - but little more.

While it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination Cars is certainly among the best licensed games we have seen on the PS2 and one which younger audiences will love. It's fast, colourful and retains the sense of fun created by the movie. If you were a fan of the movie then you will probably enjoy this game, and it's definately worth a rental, if not a purchase.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSDecent reproduction of the movies style, textures could be better.
65%
SOUNDVoices from the original cast, decent music and effects as well.
72%
GAMEPLAYQuite a fun game with a decent story mode but twitchy car handling.
66%
VALUEFor a licensed game it's surprisingly lengthy, and fun enough to replay.
73%
OVERALLCars is one of the better movie tie-ins of recent times. Much like the movie the title is aimed at a younger audience, but also one which older people can enjoy.
70%

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