The next person to say "bombad" out loud gets a wedgie.
When it comes to Star Wars and video games, we've all seen the power of the Dark Side. Too many games from the galaxy far, far away have been utter disappointments. Does anyone remember Rebellion or Force Commander? The past is just littered with subpar Star Wars titles.
So now that Super Bombad Racing has been released, I know exactly what you're thinking:
(1) Jar Jar Binks is the worst thing ever to happen to Star Wars. (2) Using the word bombad in public can be hazardous to your health. (3) Big-headed Star Wars kart racing is going to suck big time.
Surprisingly, you're wrong about number 3. Super Bombad Racing is actually a much better game than anyone would expect.
You'll start off by choosing one of eight familiar Episode 1 characters; Anakin, Darth Maul and Yoda are just some of the (enormous) faces you'll see. If you're good enough, a cool secret character from the past can also be earned. Each racer has his or her own individual stats along the lines of mass, acceleration, top speed and handling. They also have one unique power that can be used to slow nearby opponents.
It's important to note that Super Bombad doesn't quite handle like other kart racers. Since everyone is in some sort of ship, the racers hover over the ground, making for some interesting physics. You can bounce off objects, fly off ramps and even use your thrusters to soar over gaps in the road.
If there's one thing that Super Bombad does not lack, it's items. Items fall into one of four different categories: frontal attack, rear attack, boost and shield. Twelve different weapons are available, ranging from probe droids to ion nets. Five types of boost will help speed you on your way and four force field pick-ups wiil help protect your huge head.
The modes you'll find in Super Bombad are as plain as can be - Race mode, Battle mode and Team mode. Race and Battle are exactly what you'd expect and Team has 2 or 4 players racing as a team.
With the exception of the cheesy, big-headed versions of the characters, Super Bombad looks pretty good. Each of the game's tracks and arenas looks nice with smooth textures and colorful scenery. The game runs very smoothly with no slowdown or annoying pop-up to ruin the ride.
The audio isn't half bad, either. The sound effects in Star Wars games have traditionally been very good and Super Bombad is no exception. Goofy versions of Star Wars music can also be heard and goes perfectly with the cranially enhanced characters.
The glitterstimin this shipment of spice, however, is the track design. The areas in both the Race and Arena mode are tons of fun. In Race, you'll play through nine levels based on the Dune Sea pod races, the underwater Gungan city and Coruscant. Each level has its own cool quirks complete with angry Jawas, underwater monstrosities, or even the occasional KILLER FLYING THINGY! You'll also find plenty of shortcuts, if you look hard enough.
The four battle arenas are also pretty cool. My personal favorite takes place at the Pit of Carkoon where the almighty Sarlacc waits to devour anyone foolish enough to get snagged by its tentacles [Just so you know, kind reader, we have given G-Wok a brutal wedgie for all this Star Wars geekery. - Ed.] You'll have to be quick though, because almost all of the power-ups are located at the edge of the pit! Definitely a good job by the level design team.
But they say all good things must come to an end, and with Super Bombad, that end comes all too soon. The difficulty of the game is very easy; you'll make it through the entire game in no time. Some of the racing tracks are pretty short. No options can be found to increase the difficulty, so you won't be able to inject a little more of that aggressive Dark Side into the other racers. Make sure you've got some friends handy, since all that's left is the multiplayer game.
For that matter, this doesn't really add anything of particular interest to the overplayed kart racing genre. It's very standard fare, albeit with a very recognizable license.
But despite its shortcomings, Super Bombad Racing is a pleasant surprise. Solid presentation coupled with good level design leads to plenyt of kart racin' fun. And even though the experience is brief, it isn't any worse than an evening with that blithering idiot.