For a game that offers a large variety of cars there isn’t much Bang to this racing. The top down perspective XBLA racer is the best of the bunch available, but that isn’t saying much when the competition is Mad Tracks or TNT Racers. The game works where the other games didn’t. Bang Bang Racing is a plain jane game which is kind of a let down. There are no projectiles or weapons but a strange nitro system that recharges on tight turns. The AI isn’t great or stupid but they lie somewhere in between. Actually the AI tends to get into car pileups on some turns so maybe the AI isn’t that great.
I get the feeling that the focus on car design and variety was a big focus of the development. There is a lot to choose from and a bunch of different looks to cars. It is nice seeing a field of 8 cars racing that look drastically different but they all feel the same. If I could describe the racing of Bang Bang Racing best, it would be the child version of me pushing hot wheels one by one to race them across the cement. The best recipe for winning is just simple control and handling. The AI is bound to make big mistakes and high speeds on your part will just lead you to hitting the wall. The reverse driving controls in this game? Not good, so not a situation you’d want to find yourself in.
Career mode offers three kinds of races to mix up your events. There is the standard race, the time trial where you submit a time when your satisfied, and an eliminator that slowly eliminates the last place driver. The time trials will take practice but if you take the races calmly and not burst out nitro every chance you can you’ll easily win these events. The championship cup mode is just a grouping of five race tracks where Mario Kart standing points are given out after each race.
Something I wasn’t fond with was that tracks gradually open shortcuts as you progress through the game. Instead of letting you discover different paths or experiment the game just slowly opens them up. It also takes away from the benefit of a shortcut when every single AI jumps at the chance to take every shortcut. What makes the shortcut interesting in a game like Mario Kart is that not every racer will take the shortcut, usually either half the drivers or less. Standings don’t change much when everyones following in a straight line.
Bang Bang Racing is a great Time Trial racer. It provides little excitement when in competition and you always feel a disconnect from the race. Weapons are the easy answer to Bang Bang Racing’s issues, the attempt to use nitrous as the sole powerup provides a different take that doesn’t quite stick. While it isn’t ideal, among XBLA racers Bang Bang Racing still comes out at the top. Its a product that is put together well and is a puzzle piece or two from being complete.
- Lots of detail and variety to cars
- Tracks look great
- Lack of weapons makes races snoozers
- AI gets into random car pileups…alot