The wabbit wides again.
As if there weren't enough kart racers in the world, Infogrames has decided to plop another one into our laps, this time featuring the timeless crew of Looney Tunes. As I smack my forehead in disbelief, I wonder what kind of game I have stumbled upon. Will Looney Tunes Racing be a trick or a treat? Well, it may not be Halloween, but it turns out that there is a goodie or two in store for those curious enough to try this game.
Like every other kart racer, Looney Tunes Racing features familiar characters racing around in a go-kart tournament. A variety of wacky ammunition is available during the race and players can use them to get the best of their opponents. Similar to Inforgrames' Wacky Races, LTR uses the token system, where characters collect a certain number of tokens in order to use weapons. Annoyingly, only one weapon can be used at a time. Oh well, I never got tired of the falling anvil and pie in the face gags, anyway.
Besides the expected Championship and Single Race modes, LTR comes equipped with an Acme Challenge mode and an interesting Multiplayer. In the Acme Challenge mode, players must complete specific objectives in order to gain artifacts for the ACME museum. These challenges range from smacking your opponents a certain number of times to picking up special items in a certain order.
The Multiplayer mode has three ways to play: Versus (just racing), Battle (hit your opponent!), and Wacky (a combination of the previous two). These slight variations in gameplay help keep the monotony demons at bay and boost the game past your average licensed kart racer.
LTR's sixteen plus tracks are, in fact, loony. You'll race through familiar locales, including Gossamer's castle and the Giant's garden. While there aren't really any shortcuts to take, every single track is outfitted with cool traps that any player can use to slow their opponents down. Falling rocks, giant sheep, and large cannons are just some of the nastiness you'll find on the road. Watch out for the 'X' that marks the spot and be sure to carry your umbrella!
Controlling the karts is simple and very effective. It's easily one of the best control schemes I've seen in this genre. Furthermore, there is a "powerslide" button, making it a heck of a lot easier to zip around the track at top speed. Give the developers a carrot.
One of LTR's problems, though, lies with the camera work. There are two view options: close up and less close up. Both angles are just too low. If one of the angles were a bit higher up, it would be a lot easier to see what is coming up ahead.
LTR's graphics may not knock your socks off, but a solid effort to go along with sweet sounds gets a thumbs up from me any day. The voice talent is as top of the line as you can get. LTR is graced with the presence of official Warner Brothers voice actors. And for more icing on the cake, the game's music stays completely in character. You'll bound to even recognize a few tunes. Fiiii-garo!
Unlike the Dreamcast's Looney Tunes Space Race, LTR has a wide assortment of characters to unlock. Even Gossamer and Pepe Le Pew are here! Furthermore, several tracks can also be opened up, giving players access to more outrageous places like the ACME factory and Wackyland.
A few Looney Tunes mini-movies are also unlockable. With a license such as this, it is only fitting that a few cool cartoons would be available for adoring fans. Make that two carrots for the guys in charge.
The biggest disappointment with LTR is that it's a too easy. Sit down and play for just a few hours and there's a really good chance you'll have beaten it. It almost takes a special effort to lose races. The game might be geared towards younger gamers, but even a child could ace this one.
Looney Tunes Racing is definitely one of the more enjoyable kart racers in recent memory. Fun environments and plenty of familiar faces are always crowd pleasers. While details such as camera and difficulty slow the game up, it certainly can't contain the wacky fun that has always been associated with that wascaly wabbit.